Brenda Smith, 56, used to think that when she reached a certain age, she and her husband Bruce would be celebrating their golden years together, with no one else in the house.
That thought changed about eight years ago, when the Smith household began to take care of Shylar, Bruce’s grandson and Brenda’s step-grandson.
According to AARP, more than 2.5 million grandparents in the United States are taking in their grandchildren and becoming responsible for them.
Brenda takes great pride in raising Shylar as her own son, but Shylar isn’t the only person in the household living under her care.
In Dec. 2011, her father Bill Wilcox was diagnosed with cancer and after being faced with the reality of going to a nursing home, Brenda made the decision to take him into her home and take care of him.
She experiences life’s joys and struggles as she splits her time between raising her 8-year-old grandson, and caring for her 84-year-old dad.