Its a warm humid night here in SE Michigan.....but my thoughts are both in Oklahoma and my friend Jon and up north in Michigan with my brother-in-law Brian. Oklahoma is getting pounded again with massive tornadoes,I looked at the website of one of the Oklahoma City TV stations and there was a huge track of storms sweeping across the area,there was a huge traffic jam and a tornado hit the freeway where the jam was. As I write this,I don't know how many have been killed or wounded...but I know the storms were headed towards Tulsa next. And that is where my friend Jon lives at....
Talked to Brian today....he said he has been in a scattered state of mind since Lori has died,he is having a hard time focusing on work and he says he is always on the go. Between seeing Lori's mom and work,he also was a Big Brother to an amazing young man named Cody. Cody,with Brian's help and guidance,has turned into a model citizen. He busted his ass at school,helped his mom and aunt out around the house and also watched Brian's dogs whenever he had to leave for business/come see Lori.
Brian helped Cody land a full scholarship at Michigan State where he will be taking pre-med classes. He wants to become a doctor. His aunt is now at the U of Michigan where she will be having surgery to remove her bladder.She too,is now fighting cancer and its hoped she can recover if she has her bladder removed in time.
Lori's mom is doing as well as can be expected,they have started hospice care for her as well now. This means more hands on care as she has almost lost her legs as well. Brian keeps walking her but its getting harder and harder now. Lori's dad doesn't try to walk with her as it would be too dangerous for the both of them.
My week has crept by slowly,I had to do the banking this week. This includes taking Lori's death certificate in to the various banks where we did business. We have our mortgage at one bank,Lori's small 401k at another and our main bank as well. Taking the certificate was very painful,everyone looking it and saying "sorry". You just have to grit your teeth and bare it...keep a stoic look on your face.
I did the first bank on Wednesday and the other two on Thursday. Lori's ashes came in Wednesday night and I arranged to pick them up on Thursday. I then visited the two other banks on Thursday and by the time I was done....I was done as well. As I pointed the car towards the funeral home,I got incredibly sad and emotionally overwhelmed,I didn't want to go....I just couldn't stand it. I found the way home and then sat in my car and cried for 30 minutes. I feel like I'm being forced to mourn too quickly because of the financial pressure being put on me...I have to get my house in order quickly or risk getting over run by it all.
After I settled down,I washed my glasses and had a cold drink at the house before heading out again.
As we all know,the recession has been over for quite a while now,the stock market is booming,houses are selling like hotcakes and the unemployment numbers are down under 8 percent. Even the national debt is being reduced by billions,people are spending more now then in the last 5 years...happy days are here again!
Maybe so,but not by the vast majority of us...and businesses are still being buckled. This month saw the closing of 14 stores by one of Michigan's oldest businesses,ACO Hardware.
While this was and is sad,its not totally a surprise to me for at least one closing. We two stores within a mile and a half of each other. One store got a complete makeover,they knocked down the walls and expanded the line of goods they care. Add in better lighting and a sharper sales team,you can see why they surged ahead in sales and forced the outdated and smaller store to shut its doors.
I stopped by to see if there were any deals as of yet,there really wasn't but I bought a couple of things I needed. I asked the cashier if the rest of stores would be able to absorb the employees of the closed stores.
She shook her and said "No". Once the store was closed,they would be without a job. This is a awful feeling as I went through that with my first music venue,Marsugi's and here in Michigan with Farmer Jack's.
I wished her well and walked out.
I am now in the position of starting to look for a better paying job...I like my store I am at now very much but the pay is just brutal...but I am damn happy to have ANY kind of job. I wonder what those 400 people who will lose their jobs do....there isn't the multi-tiered unemployment benefits anymore because the unemployment rating is down,that means there will be less of a safety net for those folks.
Things like this are now brushed aside by the media,with things being on the upswing,who needs to report such a negative story like this anymore,right?
I went over to the new Dollar Tree and got a box of envelopes as I am starting to finish off my thank you notes from the funeral,I am doing 12 a day as its as much as I can handle. I am trying to add a little personal note in each note because I thankful people came.
I bet Don Neilson can relate to this....I am home alone now. I put on a DVD for noise and open the iPad downstairs and putter on it. I have had many people to ask me to call them anytime and other then talking with the wonderful Pam Kelly,I have not talked to anyone outside the social workers from Michigan and hospice.
The reason is this....as much as I would love to talk with folks,what I don't want to do is talk about what has happened to us. It is too much to have to rehash over and over. The need to talk is overridden by the need to not be hurt again...it sounds strange but that is the truth.
Not everything was sadness this week....Lori's two angels,our two infusion/oncology nurses,Melanie and Terri took me to lunch on Friday. I can't begin to describe what it feels like to have such two wonderful people continue to embrace you despite the fact my Lori is gone. I like to think that we made such an impression on them as they have with us that we now have a real friendship now. It a real treat to hear how Terri met her husband and the little slices of thier home lives. I love you two very much and am looking forward to a Tim Horton ice tea/slurpee day very soon.
I would have posted a slurpee photo but the slurpee cops are watching me and you know who you are!
Back to the weather....Michigan doesn't get nearly as many tornadoes as Oklahoma,Texas,Kansas...but we do get them. Last week was one of those times we got one. It touched down in a small town called Goodrich. Goodrich has about 2,000 people in it so you know its a tight knit little community.
A young family,the Mahaffy's had just moved into their new home about a month and a half ago. Barely moved and and with three young children,Tom and Ashlee's future appeared bright. But as we know with weather,nothing is guaranteed. Katrina,Sandy,the Mouse River Flood,Moore,Oklahoma....mother nature is always the wild card. And so it was last week when a tornado touched and tore apart the Mahaffy's new home. Ashlee used her body to cover her three kids and kept them safe...as the house was blown up around them. While the Mahaffy's were blessed to have not been hurt....they now have no house and no possessions . I posted on my FB that as soon as I got more info,I would post it and I am now.
I like ask if we,the many readers of the Inner Circle,would somehow find a way to help this family?
They have a page on GoFundMe where just over 17,000 has been raised. While I wanted to give 100.00,I ended up giving 50.00 because I still as yet still don't know my own medical expenses in relation to Lori.
I tried donating through the website but for some reason,my bank doesn't like the site. So there is a mailing address you can send something to.
This is the page on GoFundMe if you wish to donate that way.
You can mail your donation here,which is what Derek Jeter and I did. I address my letter to Tom and Ashlee. Please feel to forward this info if your heart is moved by their story. And no,I don't know the Mahaffy's....but I know the love that these two must for each other and their family and isn't that really all we need to know?
3208 Baldwin Rd
Ortonville, mi 48462
I am still sputtering along trying to get my next "8 Questions with...." together,I just to send my questions on to my interview subject. And I am also going to try something new that I have been hearing about....I'm going to have a guest blogger contribute a entry,after all,you don't want to just read me do you???
Well,that is all I have for now. I hope you enjoyed the entry and as always,comments are most welcome.
You can also find me on Twitter @Jinzo_2400.
I love you Kitty.