He’s also handling the mortgage payment on his and Patty’s Youngstown home alone now, while living with his parents in North Tonawanda long enough to get his bearings back. Bryan, a student in the Lewiston-Porter school district, is staying with Ripson’s uncle in Ransomville on weekdays, so his school year isn’t interrupted, then linking up with Dave in North Tonawanda on weekends.
Dave thinks he’ll end up moving his family to North Tonawanda permanently, after the school year ends, to be closer to his parents. His mom only works a couple days a week and is caring for Rebecca while he works and irons out legal matters, he said.
Rhonda also is teaching her son the fundamentals of raising a baby — feeding, bathing, diapering, mothering essentially — that he never knew and figured he’d learn from Patty.
“It’s not too cool living with your parents at 30 years old, but I need the help. I’m learning,” Dave said. “I don’t know how single moms do it. It’s tough.”
Dave says he and Bryan are doing “OK” emotionally and they don’t have any pressing material needs.
“We’re eventually gonna be fine,” he said.
Rhonda says her son is being reluctant to ask for help. He’s overwhelmed by the expenses of parenting and baby care, she said, and could use “everything” from diapers and formula to infant clothing and accessories.
More than that, he could use a friend who understands his loss.
“My son is a good boy. He’s trying so hard ... but he needs somebody to talk to who’s been through it. Honest to God, that’s what he needs most,” Rhonda said. “His dad and I are here to help, but we don’t know how it feels.”