Twin brothers decided to sell lemonade and their toys outside their home to help their single mom pay the bills after realizing her health was deteriorating. One day, a luxurious car pulled up next to their stand.

Alexa raised her twin sons Alonso and Alfredo alone after her husband left them when the kids were only a year old. Although she was a housewife at the time, she was forced to work two jobs, which eventually took a toll on her health.

Before their separation, Alexa and her ex-husband Steph were in a happy relationship. They enjoyed raising their children together as well as the honeymoon phase of their early married life.

That all changed when Alexa was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease with no cure. It is a costly disease, needing maintenance medicine that took a toll on Steph and Alexa’s monthly budgeting.

At one point, the family needed so much money that something in Steph finally snapped. “I can’t do this anymore!” he yelled. “I feel like an ATM in this family. All I do is give when I receive nothing in return from any of you!” he complained to Alexa.

“I’m sorry, honey. I’ll find a job so I can help pay the bills. I can leave the kids with my mom. I’m sure she’d be happy to take care of them,” she offered.

“No! And then what will our friends say? They’ll say I’m an irresponsible husband who forced his sick wife to work. They’ll think I’m not capable of raising a family!” Steph argued.

Alexa was confused with what Steph was trying to imply. She thought he was subtly asking her to work, but when she offered, he refused. “Then what do you want us to do?” she asked him.

“I want to have a normal family,” Steph suddenly blurted out. “How am I supposed to have a normal family with a wife who has a life-long incurable disease?”

Alexa’s heart sank as soon as she heard this. She never wanted to get sick, and she never wanted to be a burden to anyone. “I’m sorry you feel that way, Steph,” she said sadly. “I never wanted to have lupus. The diagnosis pains me just as much as it frustrates you.”

“Well, I’m sorry, Alexa. I think we should end things now than in the future. I don’t want to take out my frustrations on the kids, and I don’t think I can spend the rest of my life living this way. We should get a divorce,” Steph told her before walking out the door.

Alexa was devastated. She sank to the floor and sobbed, not knowing what to do. She loved Steph dearly, and she thought they made a promise in front of God to be together “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.”
After Steph moved out, Alexa called her mom crying. “He just left me, mom. I don’t know what to do. I feel so lost.”

It took Stephanie less than thirty minutes to make it to her daughter’s house. She hugged her the entire evening, trying to console her while looking out for the twins. “Mommy’s here. Cry it out, sweetheart.”

Stephanie allowed her to grieve. After a while, she encouraged her to toughen up and start looking for jobs to raise her children in a comfortable environment.

Eventually, Alexa got an excellent job working as a designer at a local flower shop. It allowed her to pay the bills and have a little extra money to save for rainy days.

Life went on as usual for the family. Stephanie sold her apartment and started living with Alexa and the two kids. She was happy to be a full-time grandmother, as she had always dreamt about that point in her life.

“I’m sorry for burdening you with childcare, mom. You should be enjoying your retirement,” Alexa said one day after seeing her mom still doing the laundry at nine in the evening.

“Don’t be silly, Alexa. I LOVE being a grandmother. I enjoy being home all day with Alonso and Alfredo. Don’t sweat it; just promise not to work so hard. Spend some time with us. You can’t stress yourself out because you might relapse,” she warned.

A couple of years passed, and life went on as usual for the family. Alexa got promoted to senior partner at the flower shop she worked in and started working longer hours with the flower shop owners.

Unfortunately, thriving at work and earning more took a toll on her health, and the disease took a more aggressive form. Alexa started experiencing muscle, joint, and chest pains, which hindered her ability to work.

Alexa started spending more and more time at home, and her maintenance medicine started piling up and becoming more costly. Eventually, the money ran out, even with her savings from the past couple of years.