JEFFERSONVILLE — After raising two children of her own, Shelley Krininger is now raising her 2-year-old grandson, Leo Lawton, at her home in Jeffersonville.
Shelley has been working hard to take care of her grandson since his mother, Shelley’s daughter, was incarcerated.
“This is my special little guy, so I do as much as I can when I can,” Shelley said.
With Leo running around the living room, full of energy, Shelley fondly talked about how friendly and independent he is.
“He was just in love with every kid he met. It was fun watching him,” Shelley remembered from one of their trips to the public library. She recalled how he patted the heads of all the other children he met.
For most of her life, Shelley worked as a paralegal and later worked for the census bureau, and maintained a second job as a cashier at Kroger. But after two strokes in early 2017, she slowly stopped being able to work.
“One day, I’m actually on the phone with somebody and suddenly I couldn’t write. I couldn’t understand what I was writing and it was just weird, it was hieroglyphics,” she said, recalling her experience going back to work after being released from the hospital.
“That was more terrifying than anything because that’s how I made my living, being able to read and comprehend and write. It was gone, just gone,” she said.
Now Shelley is better able to write but she still has some problems with her memory and speech.
“I’ve had to cope with a lot of stuff,” she said.
Since she stopped working Shelley said she has received some financial assistance to help with rent, but she has also spent a lot of money taking care of her daughter that seemed to cancel out the money.
Shelley said she knew she was going to have to seek guardianship of Leo after about six months because she could not rely on her daughter to take care of him.
“She’s always loved Leo, and when she’s here she plays with, takes care of him and that sort of thing but as far as being a responsible party [she was] not quite filling the bill,” Shelley said.
Shelley was able to receive guardianship of Leo a few months ago, though she said it was difficult and lengthy filing the paperwork but she did receive help from New Hope Services.
“I’ve had some really good help,” Shelley said, “I’m very blessed in having a lot of good people around to help me and who care for Leo.”
Shelley said she counts her blessings in things people do; “you see God working through other people.”
Though Shelley said that while not having family, aside from her children and Leo, could be looked at as a drawback, she thinks that it will at least allow her grandson to be stronger and more self-sufficient.
“You can already see that in a lot of things. He wants to do everything himself,” she said.
Shelley and Leo are a part of New Hope Services Wish Book Program, hoping to receive some donations around the holidays. Shelley is asking for more service-related donations that would help around the house.
One request is for a cleaning service to help clean and organize the house. She would also like help with yard work, including cutting grass and gutter cleaning.
Shelley is also having issues with her car that she would like to get fixed including new brakes and fixing the driver side window and fixing a throttle problem.