Father finds positivity by helping daughter during pandemic

PHOENIX, Ore.– A father laid off from his job due to the economic crisis from COVID-19 has found positivity through a new purpose.

The father, who’s daughter has been disabled from birth, now spends more time than he’s ever had taking care of her.

“I’ve been working all my life and this has been a good time for me to spend some quality time with her,” said Mike Boles.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to grow, Boles – a Phoenix resident – found himself like many others laid off from his job.

But rather than getting bogged down by the loss, Boles turned his newfound time into an opportunity to connect more with his 16-year-old daughter Aliyah.

“Kids grow up fast you know, you turn around and they’re grown up so you gotta spend that quality time with them while you have it,” he said.

Aliyah, who was visiting her father on spring break, has stayed with him since then.

While many kids have been at home with parents, for Boles it’s a bit different. Aliyah has been disabled since birth. Boles says a blood clot in her cerebellum led to damages in her brain.

She’s unable to talk, has some mobility issues, and needs 24/7 care.

“You know it hasn’t been easy, it’s not easy taking care of a disabled person but it’s been a blessing to have her with me,” he said.

Boles says having this time to be with his daughter has helped her immensely.

He’s taken her on bike rides, walked with her, they’ve even done yoga. Boles says it’s an opportunity he hasn’t normally had to really help his daughter continue to grow.

“Spending with your children is more important than work I think. That’s just my opinion but I think you can’t replace time. Money can’t buy back time and time is priceless,” he said.

Boles understands everyone’s circumstances are different.

But with a world that feels flipped upside down, he hopes every parent finds the time to be with their loved ones and let them know they’re cherished.

Boles says he’s not sure what will happen when schools reopen in the fall.

For now, he’s focused on other matters and says they’ll cross that bridge when they get there.

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