AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – The holiday season is a time for happiness and joy with family.

But, for those dealing with divorce, domestic violence, or the aftermath, this can be a time of great sadness and despair especially if there is little money for gifts and toys for the children and one parent is left to carry the load.

I think of my paternal grandparents Thomas “Burch” and Marceline Brown a lot throughout the year, however, they are constantly on my mind over the holidays.

Recently, my aunt Cynthia shared a beautiful picture of my grandparents which is attached to this blog post.

I stare at the picture almost daily out of love, admiration and missing them deeply.

You see, my biological father and mother’s marriage ended in divorce and resulted in our relocation back to Georgia, from Missouri, when I was two years old.

Despite the dissolution of my parent’s marriage, Grandpa and Gram Brown didn’t end their relationship with me or my sister.

Like clockwork, we would receive a box of treats, toys, fruit and nuts that was often larger than me in size.

The box always arrived at my maternal grandmother’s house where she would smile and announce it was from Missouri which incited excitement and anticipation of its contents.

Grandpa and Gram were humble farmers who didn’t allow a break in their son’s marriage to dictate nor diminish the love they had for a child who shared their bloodline and even physical attributes.

Years later, prior to Gram’s death, she placed my hand next to hers and pointed out our crooked fingers that are a family trait along with my, then, thin, tall body frame.

Unfortunately, many children cannot anticipate a box of toys or gifts from otherwise estranged family members.

Many single mothers and fathers can never imagine receiving money or anything to help with the cost of making a child’s Christmas bright.

Instead, sadly, a lot of family members feel once the marriage, or relationship, ends so does any care, financially or emotionally, for the child(ren).

But, that speaks more to the character of the absent parent and his/her family than the single mother/father making the sacrifice, pinching pennies and praying for a miracle to provide a good Christmas, or even birthday, for the child(ren).

For years after my divorce, and the termination of parental rights by my ex-husband, I prayed that there would be Grandpa and Gram type surprises for my son from his other half.

I wanted my son to experience that love, acceptance and excitement.

It never happened.

I know there are many other single parents in the same boat trying to steer their way through seemingly unchartered waters without a map and only equipped with a wing and a prayer.

There will never be a box of goodies from family on the other side.

There will never be anonymous money in the mailbox to help pay for gifts and toys.

There will never be a check-in to see how the child(ren) are doing and if they need anything.

Nonetheless, I am grateful to have experienced amazingly wonderful grandparents and family members whose actions demonstrate true character, kindness, love, goodness, compassion and greatness.

I’m so blessed that their blood runs through my son’s veins and he bares such a strong resemblance to my Grandpa Brown.

I’m also blessed and grateful for my mother, “Honey,” sister, Dawn, cousins, Gerald and Christeen, Aunt Sandy and Uncle Sam, best friends, Vonda and Doug, dad, Charles, bonus mom, Renita, as well as friends near and far who are part of our village and help provide love and little surprises for my son.

It’s never too late for you, or someone you know, to have a change of heart and make a difference.

Keep in mind, it’s not the child’s fault the marriage or relationship ended.

Take a chance and just drop off a gift, or money, with a trusted mutual friend who will get it to the parent of an estranged family member.

Stash some money in an envelope and place it in the mailbox with instructions for the parent to utilize it for Christmas gifts, school, a movie day or even a bill to help out.

Technology also makes it easy via various electronic cash transfer sites and apps that can be accessed from the comfort of your home, office, car or even bathroom. LOL!

There are literally no good excuses to not step up, be a good person and make a difference!

In essence, don’t talk about being a good person be about it!

Remember, actions speak louder than words!

It’s never too late to bring brightness to a time of year that can be dark, sad or otherwise for children of divorce and/or domestic violence.

Thank you Grandpa and Gram Brown for being exemplary and truly good people through words, actions and deeds.

Happy Holidays Everyone!