When Carol Evans was awakened by a phone call in the wee hours of that cold February morning, she knew something was wrong. It was still dark outside and she felt confused, like she was floating outside her own body. She didn’t recognize the number on the screen and at first considered not answering it. But something told her she should.
The voice on the other end of the line sounded cold and procedural as it asked to speak with Mrs. Carol Evans. Hearing the man say her name suddenly jerked Carol back into reality. She glanced over to see her cat Matilda pawing at the door. The moon was glowing silver in the night sky. There had been an accident involving Carol’s only daughter.
It’s funny how life can change in the blink of an eye. Angie Evans had been struggling with addiction for most of her twenties. Her mother Carol had been preparing herself for this kind of horrifying phone call for many years.
What Carol hadn’t prepared for was the idea of raising three grandchildren. When her daughter died from an opiod overdose, there was no one else to take the kids, and there was no way Carol was letting them go into foster care, so she did what she had to do.
Carol’s story isn’t uncommon. We all know someone who’s raising a grandchild. By some estimates, there are well over 2.5 million children in the US being raised by someone other than their parent.