Monday, May 5, 2014

The Pink Hat: Mission 4 and a disturbing business

Its 10:35 pm

   I am back....iced coffee at hand,a cool movie score ("The Deadly Spawn") on the old CD player and the cheetah is walking under my desk. Its raining outside again,we have not had a three day stretch of good warm weather as of yet here in SE Michigan. Not really complaining,not when huge EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes are ripping through the south.
   We might not get a major warm-up anytime soon,the Great Lakes are still 26% frozen which the weather folks will affect our spring and summer,making them much cooler.
  I had to break down and get a new computer,the old one was running Windows XP and when Microsoft quit supporting it,I tried to have it upgraded at Polygon Computer but to no avail...Mr. Li said I would need a new computer so taking a cue from my friend and duelist extraordinaire,Chris...I got a new Dell for a pretty good price. Mr. Li and I got uploaded and put in a new security suite and I was able to come home in a couple of hours and go online 10 minutes later.
   The machine is very fast but I do not like the keyboard,it looks and feels cheap but I had no choice to use it as Dell won't let me use my old HP keyboard.
  Its May...and I have been really struggling as of late. It will be one year on the 20th since my Lori left. My heart is very heavy as it has been for most of the past four years. I can't help but look back at where we were last year,I get very emotional thinking about this. Watching Lori fade a little more each day in body but her spirit was still very bright. I hold on to that very tightly...I am now ready to take my video camera in and have the two videos I have been saving downloaded and copied. I was watching a documentary on 9/11 about the folks who called home while being trapped. For too many of them,that call is the ONLY thing they have recorded with their voices,they have tons of pictures but no recorded videos. Those folks hold on to that because you will lose the memory of the voices. As much as I find it painful to see and hear Lori in her condition,it would be that much more painful NOT to have it.

   The Pink Hat mission in April was a lot of fun...the theme was Bake For a Stranger and I baked three cakes for my co-workers and brought them on Easter Sunday. I think my co-workers were pretty amazed that I actually did this but that was the idea! To bake for a stranger,neighbor,co-worker,church group,etc.
  I baked 2 chocolate and one white,what I forgot was maybe bringing along some ice cold milk as well.
While the turnout was very light in my group,the idea of doing a Pink Hat mission is getting a little better.
My good friend Monte in Arizona has reached out and bought lunch for three different strangers in the past month.

    Lori's best friend Deb sent me the following:

I didn't bake but hopefully this counts for the mission. On Saturday, I visited my mom's neighbors bearing not baked goods, but an Easter Lily. Mr. G. is 103 years old and is lovingly cared for by his wife. They are so inspiring. Mr. G. is brilliant. He has a love for art (and is an artist, himself), music, sailing, nature, architecture, to name a few things. I love to listen to his stories about his life experiences. Mrs. G. is so loving and nuturing. She moved here from Poland and is doing so well with her English and adjusting to life in America. They were so thankful for my visit but I am the one who is truly blessed for knowing them.

Why of course it counts! Doing random acts of kindness is what its all about. It doesn't matter what act you do,just that you do something.
The last thing I expected from my mission was to be someone who benefitted from it myself! But that is what happened when our Alana decided to bake up 6 totally awesome carrot cake cupcakes and drop them off at my doorstep! As I have written before,Alana's mom baked our wedding cake and is a world class bakery chef (that is fact,not hyperbole). It seems like Alana has been passed down some of those genes because those cupcakes were just amazing!

  May 6th will mark the second year since Amy Rauch Neilson left us as well. Last year was the first time I talked to her husband Don. My journalist friend Amy recommended that I do and so one night,we talked....for three hours. I told him that Lori was dying and he listened and talked about how lucky we were to have been blessed with such amazing women. We talked like old friends and finally we said good night and I went to check on Lori.
   The following morning when I went on Facebook,I saw Don had left a note on his was the first year of Amy's passing and he had spent three hours with me,comforting the darkest of days,he shone brightly and showed incredible compassion.
  Funny thing about cancer or any other major illness...when people find out about it,many times they fall to wayside,they don't know how or what to say to the affected person or the family. They are paralyzed by indecision or doubt and sometimes just plain afraid.
  Others are different,they rush into the breech and offer support and love in the ways they are able. Car rides,babysitting,food,chemo buddies,etc. They do this with a pure heart and with no strings attached.
  But recently I stumbled through Twitter a woman who looks at this in a different light. She has decided to make a living off other's pain and heartbreak. Her name is Tambre and she has a business in where she will offer coaching and support tools,for a price. Being she is based in L.A.,I am sure its a nice hefty price at that.
  As I walked through her mostly New Age website and all the things she can offer a caregiver for a price,the more angry I got. The sheer greed and evilness of actually charging people for coping,support and whatever else she is offering is just disgusting. Patients and their families are already by being overwhelmed by costs,different levels of suffering and pain. Caregivers are stressed enough already,many are the only ones helping their loved ones.
  To charge what should be offered as a simple kindness....I have two therapists who help me,Becka from Arbor Hospice who has stayed with me in the first year. Generally that is the hospice offers before the person who has lost a loved one transitions to a group or another stage in the coping process. I,myself,will go see Debbie from our church. But Becka reached out and volunteered to stay with me from a few more months. Neither Arbor nor St. Thomas has ever sent me a bill,asked me for money. None of our friends has done that...when I shared this person and what she was doing with others who have lost a loved one to cancer,they too,were appalled.  But you tell me,am I overreacting? Should anyone profit off someone's tragedy? Or is it capitalism at its finest?

  5 May
4: 21 pm

Yep,this is going to be a "newsy" entry. I call these blogs rolling entries because I write them when I get the time to do so. Thanks for staying with me so far.

Okay,my next installment of "8 Questions with....." will be ready to run. I am interviewing film maker Tim Teets of o73 Films,a one man film studio. I ran across Tim's FB page and was struck by his DIY spirit and his dream of making movies. I really think you will be impressed as well...I will be working on cleaning this up tomorrow.
  Also,I also have two guest blogs coming up....a very talented English writer Sophie Bowns will be sharing her creative mind with a chapter of a new story she is writing and Susan Smiley will be back yet again with the sequel to the story of Oliver,the cat who escaped death twice before finding a forever home.
  I like to thank all the new readers and especially the comments,I am so tickled by makes writing all that more enjoyable.

The Pink Hat Mission 5 has gotten off to a late start as far as pushing it goes. But if you like to help out,there are two ways to do so....

One is donate blood to the American Red Cross,I did this as my first mission but because its a gift that always is in need,I will be repeating it in May. Cancer patients go through a lot of transfusions so the blood is always welcomed.

I like to thank Kenny Sinatra for donating blood this really is a great feeling!

Another way is to help my friend Gary Avila's daughter Isabella meet her goal for the Relay for Life event 31 May. Gary lost his wife to leukemia a few years back and this is his way of honoring her.
 She is very close to her goal so if the idea of donating blood isn't your cup of tea,maybe a small donation to Isabella will be. Below is the link to her page.
Donate to Team Dragonfly here.

I am going to end this for now. Thank you for reading and I will be back later on this week.

If you are on Twitter,follow me @Jinzo_2400

Shout outs:

Gary - Where do I send my bill to?
Sydney- embrace your talent and run with it

Angie and Kim- keeping me grounded
Donald and Theo - I am with you tomorrow and everyday. 
Charles Fox - I will see if I can maintain the insanity of your group.
Chris Alexander - Starlog is back??? You are the MAN!
Debbie Rochon - sorry I missed you.
Michelle (ND) - You can stop with the S word now,unless it starts with Su!
Thank you for all the comments and traffic! 


  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Cupcakes look tempting :)

    1. I would try spinach and cheese....but is it okay if I took the corn out of the sandwich?

  2. Wow, what a long post! My thoughts are with you at this time as you remember your loss. Your cupcakes look so yummy, too. It's a great thing that you did with the baking.

    1. I wish I could I say I shared them with my cat,but I would be telling a fib. Thank you for dropping by

  3. You're covering some ground with these posts!
    I like the idea of random acts of kindness.
    I like the idea of cupcakes
    I like the idea of holding onto fond memories even if they can be bitter sweet.
    I hate changing to a new computer! ;-)
    Best wishes,

    1. How about being charged for coaching and support if a loved one has cancer? Pretty mind blowing....

  4. Wow! That was a long 'entry'. Your content at the beginning touched my heart. How sad it must be to have lost a loved-one. Every morning I close my meditation by offering the wish that those who have lost their loves will see something in the coming day to give them hope to carry on. Visiting from Blogger's Corner.

  5. I love the look of your cupcakes!

  6. So sorry for your loss. I can't imagine losing my husband. We have carved a beautiful marriage out of a messy hunk of life. It's awesome that you are doing random acts of kindness. My mentor at church loss two of her three children to cancer and she is such a blessing to me and the Care ministry. I pray for your comfort through doing these wonderful acts. BTW, I feel like cupcakes now!

  7. Really awesome. I'm sure they were amazed unexpected receiving brings warmth to others hearts. You will be blessed beyond measure too.