Losing a parent is traumatic. You never feel ready when it happens. The ten Flanigan siblings, although devastated, were lucky in that they had one another and their faith to lean on.
Ten siblings proudly donning the Flanigan surname lost their mother, Tonya Flanigan, to a heart attack in 2020. Not only was this family grieving, but with their mom's death came a serious challenge that could have left them on the streets.
The oldest sibling, Talisha Flanigan, took all of her nine siblings in after the tragic incident. Talisha struggled to look after her siblings emotionally while facing a housing issue.
The ten Flanigan siblings in front of their home. | Source: facebook.com/talisha.flanigan
The landlord was sympathetic, allowing the ten siblings to live in the three-bedroom rental home initially, but eventually told them they had to leave by August 2021. Flanigan recollected:
"The things that I'm finding I can't get into them because of my credit. So I was like, ‘What am I going to do? What am I going to do?’ So I made a post saying ‘I need help.[sic]’"
The post, which she shared on Instagram, spread like wildfire online. Using GoFundMe, this sister raised money for a new house for herself and her siblings right before Christmas of 2021.
The ten Flanigan siblings’ mother Tonya Flanigan. | Source: Youtube/FOX 5 Atlanta
Taking to Facebook on December 22, 2021, the ecstatic and grateful Talisha expressed her thanks to God and how delighted she was, writing:
"I WANNA THANK GOD!!!! CUZ HE CARRIED ME THROUGH!!!!!!! DIS HAS BEEN A VERY LONG HARD BATTLE/JOURNEY/FIGHT NAME IT I'VE BEEN THROUGH IT!!! [sic]"
She shared the news, spoke about going viral, and some of the negative responses she received, saying it was all worth it. The post included a picture of all ten siblings standing in front of the house.
A STREAM OF LOVE
Beyond the critical reactions, the sister said she previously received, Talisha's post was filled with only positive comments this time. Many congratulated her, and some said how proud they were. One Facebooker expressed:
"Congratulations to Talisa and the TBabies. Your Mother would be so proud of you for holding and keeping things together. [sic]."
A significant number also turned to their faith, thanking God and mirroring Talisha's religious affinity.
Individuals’ comments on a post by Talisha Flanigan. | Source: facebook.com/talisha.flanigan
The family's devout nature, which they inherited from Tonya, kept them strong during this process. Before Talisha initially asked for help online and raised money for the house, one of the brothers, Tamik Flanigan, said:
"You can't rush it, you know? Everything is in His time, and it may not come when you ask for it, but He's always on time."
If walking into and sleeping in their new home four days before Christmas Day is not absolutely perfect timing, then nothing is.
The Flanigan family shows that the bond between siblings is a bond for life. This special relationship is why it is so tragic when brothers and sisters get split up when taken into foster care.
One man, Robert Carter, would not allow that to happen, having been stripped away from his siblings as a child.
Robert Carter with his five kids in the courtroom [Left]. The five siblings [Right]. | Photo: twitter.com/KTVU | twitter.com/FOX19
Initially, Carter fostered three little boys for a few months, developing a deep connection with them. When he learned about their two sisters, he arranged a meeting, deeply touched by the emotional reunion.
This beautiful meeting convinced the 29-year-old that he wanted to adopt all five siblings, officially becoming their father on October 30, 2020.
Although we may fight or get annoyed with our brothers and sisters, they are our first and closest friends -- a treasure we should never take for granted.