Grief and ramblings

I’ve sat down many a day and mulled over what to write. I feel a sense of writer’s block and nothing seems to flow as it usually does. I’ve been out of sorts the past few weeks. Death will do that to you. It brings on a flurry of emotions, and I’ll be honest in saying that I usually prefer to keep the physical part of grief to myself. That being said, sometimes when you don’t know what to write, you just have to start someplace, be honest, and see where the old brain takes you.

I realized the other day how grief when you’re a parent is a different ballgame. At least for me it is. I have so many responsibilities that there simply isn’t time for me to have a meltdown, or a big deep cry. I’ve also become fairly distrusting of people’s motivations over the past few years and prefer not to let people see me sad. I don’t need to give people fodder for gossip. I think it’s important for my kids to see my grieve, but sometimes when I am in the thick of it, I know that my tears will bring questions, and sometimes I’m not always ready for those questions. Sometimes I need to just process my own feelings before I am ready to handle my feelings with everyone else’s feelings layered on top, if that makes sense.

The day my grandfather died was a weird mix of emotions. The usual grief of losing someone was there. The grief of losing my last grandparent, and knowing that it was sort of an end to an era. The knowledge that with his death would eventually mean the sale of his house, which made me sad too, since I had a lifetime of memories within those walls. I felt sadness for my dad too. He lost my mom and now both of his parents. There was some relief on his behalf, as I know he wouldn’t have appreciated how that last month went for him. Death often feels rather undignified, and my grandfather was a very dignified person. It was a veritable onion of emotions, and I wasn’t quite ready to start peeling the layers. I knew I wanted to go to the funeral, so I allowed myself an hour or so to try to get composed and set off to work, since I didn’t have much vacation time left. I arrived, started to cry, caught myself, and headed home. I stayed pretty stoic and held it together quite well through telling the kids, and navigating arrangements.

Each time I started to get upset, I’d rein it in. I had a job to do, kids to look after, a husband. I had friends going through their own troubles. And through all of it, I held it together. Life is just to busy and I have too many people to be responsible for than to fall apart.

I started to crack when the hearse pulled up outside my grandfather’s house. I pulled it together quickly. I decided I would try to grab a few moments with his casket after the church service. I made it through the service quite well. I held it together even when I learned I wouldn’t get the chance to have a few moments alone with my grandfather to say goodbye due to a lack of communication on my behalf with the FD. I held it together at the gathering after. I allowed myself a quick few minutes to cry when I stepped out of his house for the very last time.

There really hasn’t been any proper grief that I’ve allowed myself.

I remember that when my mom died, I went into a type of shock and into survival mode. I was a new mom, with a new husband, a new home, and I went back to work. My world crashed down and I had to stay strong to keep everyone else ok, and keep myself above water. I allowed myself just a few minutes to privately grieve here and there. I managed. That being said, I felt like the grieving process dragged out for ages, where perhaps if I had allowed myself to really feel it in it’s entirety up front, I’d have processed it better.

I need to have a good, old fashioned, soul cleansing, ugly, red faced, boo hoo sobbing cry.

Sometimes a good old cry can work wonders.

On the brighter side, my trip had some really lovely moments. I spent time with family. I learned that certain people in my family will always show for me, and I felt really loved. I stayed with my cousin and the two of us had loads of laughs. I got to hold baby puppies and pet older dogs. (If you’re having a bad day, go look at some baby German Shepherds and listen to them grunt, it’s adorable and will brighten you right up.) I got to see and bring home my great grandparents’ marriage license, as well as numerous other pictures and documents. I brought home a suitcase from WW2 that belonged to a little Jewish boy my great grandparents took in during the war. I learned to cook some new dishes. I walked outside in the freshest of country air. I had people come up to tell me they went to school with my mom, and how amazing they always thought she was. I had folks come up to tell me what a fantastic person my dad is. I worked on our family tree. I got to call my husband and kids and hear that they were doing ok, but that I was missed a lot. I got to meet family at the pubs for pints of well poured Guinness and old stories. I got to go to my mom’s grave, and catch out of the corner of my eye a beautiful sunflower growing out of the top of a building, making me feel comforted and happy. I had late night chats and hot cups of perfectly brewed tea to combat the chill.

In other words, I felt at home, surrounded by family who have known me my whole life and love me, plus I found a lot of happy, joy filled moments during a sad time.

Having family on two continents means that my heart is always split between the two. I always feel like something is slightly missing, but also feel that regardless of which place I land in, I am at home. I feel at home walking the streets of my town here in the US, but also feel perfectly at home walking the fields of a village 3000+ miles away.

In summation, my grandfather, who had admittedly and vocally grown rather tired of this life, has passed. Perhaps he is back with my grandmother, perhaps death is all there is. Regardless, he is not suffering, and for that I am thankful. A trip caused by a sad loss was also filled with joy and laughter, because life is always a balance of the two. If we do not experience sadness, how do we truly appreciate joy? And lastly, I need a good cry once in a while. Grieve the loss, but celebrate the life.

Medium Left Me Cold

After losing some of the most important people in my life, for a while, I became pretty interested in death. I suppose everyone has their coping methods, and mine was to learn about death. It felt like if I could get a grasp on it, talk about, and learn about it, perhaps I would and could fear it a little less. The end result was that I learned it’s not death I fear so much, but the loss of hope and losing the loved ones I hold so dear to me. I think a lot of people, when faced with death, follow up with the question…what, if anything happens next? Are our loved ones’ energies still around somehow? Are there ghosts? Why do ghosts always seem to be from the Victorian era, and not Bobby the crack head from around the block? Are ghosts and spirits real? Or are they just a figment of our imagination we use as a coping mechanism? Can we somehow communicate with the deceased, or they with us? Or, when you die, is that just…it? End of story?

Last year, I started looking into self proclaimed psychic mediums. I was curious what they had to say, and whether any appeared to be legit. I saw one who did some readings online, and started paying attention to see whether he was on point, or whether he was cold reading. If you’re not familiar with cold reading, take some time to look it up. It’s a bit of an art form, and once you know what it is, it becomes easier to spot. Cold reading is when a person can sit with someone and effectively throws out statements and questions, common names, letters, and other info to try to “pull in” the person sitting. Usually the person or people sitting WANT to believe, often because they have recently lost someone close to them and want to get some message or closure. For example, someone professing to speak to spirits may do a group reading, and say…”I am seeing an older woman, and I am getting an “M” name. Mary? Maggie? Marie?” Now an audience with older people in it have pretty good odds that their parents, aunts, grandparents or great grandparents may have passed away, and all of those names are common. Usually someone will acknowledge the connection, and say “yes, my grandmother’s name was Mary!” Now the reader has a target. “She is telling me she is very proud of you. You do so much for others!” The reader, hearing flattery, is likely hooked in at this point, agreeing they do much for others. The reader may then make generalized statements about ‘Mary’ that could apply to just about anyone, before saying “I see a male energy, he is pretty quiet though”. At this point, this male energy could be anyone, and is open to interpretation. Any info by the sitter to the reader can lead them on to the next piece of info. Hits are celebrated and focused on, misses are brushed aside and occasional excuses are made “hmm, not sure who that could be, but she is definitely telling me something about a man with the letter G. Think about it.” Often times, the person getting the reading begins to fill in the blanks. This makes it easier on the reader, and they can then use that info to play into. Cold reading is a bit of an art form, but with the help of an audience that is already pre-programmed to believe, it usually isn’t all that hard.

I started watching a medium who does readings online, usually in groups. The messages are often prefaced by implying that those watching should see how the message may be relevant to their lives. He makes general statements, and the viewers dive right in. I watched as people feed him info without meaning to. The saddest are those who are determined any info that may come up is from their loved one, even when the statements are incredibly general. It becomes inherently clear that people want to believe and will do so at all costs. I’ve watching him read for people I know, and while one person raved that he gave them specific, detailed validations, the others I watched were full of sweeping statements that the person determined MUST be a message for them. When a medium says…”I am seeing someone pointing to their chest…as they may have died from a heart issue or a lung issue” it doesn’t escape me that 2 of the number one killers are heart attacks and lung cancer. With statistics as they are, the person is bound to get a hit. I can spot the cold read, but then again, I’m familiar with it and looking for it.

I dove in and scheduled a reading with a psychic medium that came highly recommended a few months ago. I was admittedly curious, as the person who recommended them has a close tie to me, and the meeting they had with him had info that was so specific, it caught my ear. Even information on the spacing of writing on a headstone was mentioned, as well as info that one could certainly link to my mom. I scheduled a video conference with him, and settled in. As someone who is inherently familiar with cold reading, I was cautious to listen intently, but not really provide a ton of information. I felt comfortable that my social media was locked down, so there was no way to garner much info about me online. I didn’t offer up details or much, just confirmed what was applicable, denied what wasn’t. The reading, sadly, didn’t really go anywhere. Without me offering details, I found he really struggled to give me much info at all. Honestly, though, the guy was really pleasant, and I felt a bit bad he was so stumped. He didn’t even charge me for the reading.

Now, before you say “well, maybe nobody came through” let me assure you….anyone who knew my mother knows if there was a tiny sliver of a way she could reach out to me, she WOULD. My mother believed in an afterlife. I think that’s part of the reason I believe some of the things I do. When my mom died on the operating table and had to be resuscitated, she told me a story after of what she had seen, that she had asked for proof of such, and we found the proof existed. After she died, I had a lot of strange electrical things happen, and it followed me from place to place. It became so bizarre that I have no doubt if she was able to communicate in any way, she would.

This leads me to today. I saw a discussion online about psychic mediums and a medium came up as HIGHLY recommended. I admit, my curiosity was peaked. As a birthday gift to myself, I made an appointment. At the very least, I figured, I’d be entertained. Best case scenario, I might get a hell of a birthday gift. Before I went, I spoke out loud my plan to the universe, and felt, if my mom was able to hear me, that I gave a few “keywords” I would be looking for. I walked in, sat down, and met the medium, who was, honestly, extremely sweet and lovely. Again, I had oodles of people who had said how “spot on” she was during their readings with them.

We started off with small chat about the weather, and suddenly, she delved right in about an older female energy. I decided to offer a bit of info, and acknowledged that could be my grandmother. She mentioned strife between my mother and my grandmother. I advised the two were actually very close. She then turned to my mom and said…so how are things with you and your mom? What’s going on there? I paused, unsure how to answer that question, which I think she took to perhaps mean an affirmative. I’m hearing that something is going on with you and your mom now, what would that be? I said “not much, I mean, she passed away”. “of course, I am seeing her now” she responded. Already, I was seeing that this wasn’t going to go very well. She said my mother always tried to look her best and dress nicely (don’t MOST women do that?). She said my mother was proud of me (doesn’t every child hope to hear that?) She kept asking me about a letter name, but it was nothing related to me. I explained I had a friend who passed with the same letter, but not that name. “He is telling me you were such a good friend. You always had things to laugh about”. Well, don’t most friends have things to laugh about? (Aren’t most friends kind to each other?) I didn’t offer up much info about my friend and she quickly left the topic. Back to my family it went, without saying much. “Your mom says you are very independent, very busy, always on the go” “You did things your own way”. These type of general, sweeping statements could apply to anyone. I was feeling defeated. This is just SO bad. I tried to offer a lead her way “I am wondering about a very random object in the dining room, as my mom would be very, very clear about it” I said, to which she paused, trying to clearly figure out what on earth I could be referencing, before switching topics.

She made a lot of statements, all of which were flattering, somewhat vague, or statistically plausible. None sparked me. In fact, while I tried to keep a straight face, inside I was dying. This was going just SO badly. There was a lot of flattery, a lot of generalized info, but I felt without a doubt, that she was not speaking with anyone I knew.

You know, they people we love and cherish are such 3 dimensional characters. They have passions, humor, and nuances about them that make up their spirit of who they are. My mom, at about 5’1, was a tiny force to be reckoned with. She had a somewhat dirty sense of humor that was often surprising considering her posh accent and clothes. She was a HUGE personality in a tiny package. She was talkative, kind, and always extended a hand to the new person or outsider to bring them in. I have no doubt that if she had a chance to truly send me a message, it would be quite specific and there would be something humorous about it. She would want me to have no lingering doubt it was her. The messages I received from the Medium today belied everything about my mom. I paid the woman for her time, but left almost angry with myself for wasting it.

Will I ever go to a medium again? I can tell you I don’t honestly know. I think my experiences and the fact I have seen so much cold reading should lead me to say no. I’m an optimist at heart, albeit a bit of a cynic, which is an odd combination.

I’d give anything to have any sort of conversation with my loved ones who have passed. Sometimes when I am mulling over something I can almost hear their voices telling me what I’m quite sure they would say. Maybe I don’t need a medium. Maybe the ones I love are always in my heart, and I know, deep down, what their thoughts of things would be.

So far all those claiming to be mediums have been clearly cold readers. Maybe they truly believe they have a gift, maybe it’s just a job with a parlor trick. Who knows? What I do know, is that HAD my mom been sitting in that room, she would have laughed and said “This is bloody bullshit, this is!”

Granny Panties?

I’ve written about a lot of weird stuff in my life, but today is probably up there on the list. That being said, this morning was deemed a granny panty day. For the record, I abhor the word “panty” and typically only use it only in combination with the aforementioned “granny” before it. I assume I’ll break that rule multiple times by the end of this post. Before we delve into the story, for the record, I own about one pair of granny panties, and usually prefer to go the thong route myself.

So, there are these panties that I’ve had for YEARS. They aren’t huge panties, by any stretch, but as a thong user, these don’t get much use because they are butt-cover panties. I already have a sad excuse for a rear end (all boobs, no ass at all) so I have always decided to go with no panty lines and keep things back there as neat and tidy as possible. No panty lines, no wedgies…just smooth. These panties were a gift from my mom’s mom, and I’ve had them probably 20 years. That being said, they have remained in my drawer, and despite having them so long, they haven’t seen much wear until somewhat recently. My grandmother always got my mom beautiful, dainty and lacy underwear for Christmas each year. I can’t tell you which year I received my first pair of undies from her, but this pair was it. They were black, covered my butt, and had some lace. These were not sexy panties…oh no. These were practical panties with a little lace to convince yourself you weren’t going full on practical.

At the time I received them, I thought they were nice enough, but felt a hair embarrassed my grandmother had gotten me undies, plus shunned them a bit because they were practical briefs…and I had already learned girls with no asses were prone to one cheeked wedgies. Plus, I felt chubby (my god I wish I was as fat now as I thought I was back then…I was about 120 lbs!) so these panties just symbolized my issues with weight. That being said, they were luxuriously soft and comfortable. I relegated such a practical item to the back of my drawer.

Multiple moves, over multiple states, and still those panties came along for the journey. I suppose I kept them because my grandmother had given them to me and I’m a sentimental person. She lived 3000 miles away, but somehow had always made me feel close and loved. She was one of my favorite people, and damn it, if she gave me granny panties, I was gonna keep them, even if I didn’t wear them! That is, I didn’t wear them, until I did.

When I was pregnant, those were a favorite, because they were the perfect level of snug but still comfortable and stretchy, not to mention oh so soft. They took me through medical issues, hospital stays, weight gain, weight loss, and days when I just felt like I needed to be cozy. They weren’t the sexiest, but they were pretty. They felt a bit magical, because they always fit perfectly, no matter what size I was, and their softness made me happy.

Today, I went to grab underwear out of my drawer and my hand felt the softness of the pair my grandmother gave me all those years ago. I slipped them on…after all, it’s a cold, dreary Monday and a girl could use some soft comfort. It reminded me of how her gift has lasted me all these years, and went from being sort of shunned in my young stupidity, to being a favorite in my later years. I felt silly for my early reaction, and mulled over that these panties had meant more to me, and taught me more than I expected. I learned that comfort and practicality is so very important. Quality is important. Happiness with small things in life is important. These make me happy.

Such a silly thing, really, finding happiness in a pair of underwear gifted by a now deceased but always beloved person. Who knew that one could learn a lesson from such a gift. They truly are my “granny panties” but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

One Day

Oneday

One Day.

That’s all it took.  Just one, unimaginable day, and she was gone. I woke up to a call from my father saying I needed to come quickly, as the time had come and she would likely pass away soon.  The problem was, there was no “quickly” about it.  I was a good 5+ hours by car away, and still a good 4 if I tried to take a plane instead.  There was no quick. There was only tears, and fear, and horror as the “should be” 5 hour drive turned into 11 painstakingly slow hours.  I was right near the George Washington Bridge when I got the call.  I was too late. I also had a very long drive ahead.   But I am ahead of myself.

One Day.

That day I got married, and she couldn’t be there because cancer made her so weak she couldn’t travel up.  It was a Justice of the Peace wedding, not at all as I had planned in my youth.  But if my mom couldn’t be there, I didn’t want the big wedding.  I married the love of my life without either of my parents able to be there.  That’s a hard pill to swallow.

One Day.

The day my son was born.  The day I truly believe she fought and battled that cancer to be able to be there for.  She couldn’t get there until well after he was born, but she was there.  I remember her telling the nurses to be extra kind to me, because her mum was dying and there was all just so much STRESS when there should have been only happiness.

One Day,

That day my daughter was brought into this world, without her Grandmother there to wonder out loud if she had a curly haired grandchild, and to marvel how pretty and delicate she was.  I remember telling the nurse that I had held it together all day in front of visitors that I was just so heartbroken that my mom wasn’t there to meet this beautiful baby, but I couldn’t hold it any longer.  That nurse called the station to say she would be a while, sat down and let me cry while she held my hand.

One Day.

The day my father finally remarried, and I wrote a lovely speech that thrilled him, smiled for pictures, and made peace with the idea of him making that next step, all while hurting that the change had to take place because she was gone.

One Day.

The day I had my uterus taken out and knew I’d never have another baby for my mom to meet, but that same nurse was working, so I asked for her and thanked her so profusely for what she had done for me to get me through the happiest day that was still tainted with a touch of sadness.

One Day.

That day every year when mothers, including myself, are celebrated and revered, but the day is so bittersweet.  The card displays I walk past, the gift ideas I scroll past online, and the thought of “oooh, she’d love that!” only to know I won’t be buying it because she’s not there to give it to. The day when my husband and kids take me out, and I feel so special, but also a little tinged with the reminder of the loss.

One Day.

That day that I remember how she trusted me to get on my bike and ride to my friend’s, and my son asks me to do the very same thing.  Only this time, I say yes.

A lot can happen in One Day.

Devastation and a new lifelong friend

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I am writing this blog so tired that I can barely think, but I just have so much to say. As many of you know, this weekend I came across a story of a family that had lost everything in Hurricane Sandy. their home, their cars, and everything they owned. This wasn’t the only story like this I had heard, but something struck a chord with me and I just couldn’t shake it. The husband was one of the first responders to ground zero on 911, and had worked there for 9 months. Now, he has terminal cancer. Plus he’s diabetic. They had moved to the Jersey Shore because he wanted to live out his days by the beach, with less stress. Now, they are homeless. I was trying to find a family to help, and this, my friends, was the family I chose.

One phone call with the wife and I knew I had met a “sista from another mista”. I felt, from that first conversation, that I had known her my whole life. She told me they hadn’t evacuated because her they didn’t want to leave their sons, who were firefighters and staying, they also couldn’t leave with their dogs because no shelters there would allow them. They chose to stay and ride it out. I had always been someone who thought “why don’t people just evacuate when they are told to?” yet for some reason, i understood, as a mother, why they wouldn’t leave their sons on the island. I promised her I was coming the next morning, and told her I would bring her husband the insulin they needed.

I barely slept a wink last night. I was nervous. Would I have enough gas to get there and back? Would I be able to get the supplies there? There is currently a gas shortage, and in NJ they ration each day according to whether your license plate has an odd or even number. I had the right plate for the day, but the lines could run a half mile long. The other issue I knew I would face is that the family live on Long Beach Island, and the island is closed off completely and blocked off by the national guard. We had made alternative plans, but I really wanted to meet the family. The other issue I faced, was that they were 3 hours away. I set off this morning with my car jam packed with supplied and donations. What to give those who had lost everything??

Along the way, I passed one car accident, more roadkill than I can tell you about (or would ever want to), tons of downed trees, and strangely, one young boy of about 10 or 12 wandering around on the median of the Garden State Turnpike! He was wandering with cars whizzing past him at 80 mph as he pulled wooden spikes out of the ground. Not a parked car or adult anywhere to be seen. I couldn’t pull over, so I called 911. I’m not even sure if they believed me, but they promised to send a squad car out to search.

I arrived at LBI, and drove up to the bridge, on the side of the road was a toppled RV, and boats strewn about in ditches. I went to the first checkpoint and was shocked when they told me to proceed. I went to the second checkpoint and explained who I was, why I was there, and who I was trying to help. The guards asked a police officer to come over. He heard my tale, and asked me to clarify who I was there to see. “I’ll escort you myself” he said. I couldn’t believe it…I almost shrieked with glee! I had access. They were letting almost NOBODY over. This was huge…and a testament to the family I was trying to help. He asked how I knew them..I told him I didn’t, I just knew they needed help. He shook my hand and thanked me.

I met the family and was given hugs. There were tears. I cried too. I was taken to their house where they had weathered the storm. The neighborhood was devastated. Boats slammed through houses, garage doors and house doors ripped off. Refrigerators were washed outside. “see that green house across there?” she asked me. I replied I did. She pointed to a space next to it. “There was a house there. I don’t know where it went. A whole house…disappeared.”. We entered her house. The first thing that hit me was the smell of flooding and water. The air felt damp and heavy. Everything was covered in mud. There were marks on the walls over four feet high where the water had come in. The stove had water in it. It was easy to see the water had picked up everything downstairs and dumped it elsewhere. Dressers were moved or tipped over. A lifetime of memories were sodden, muddy, and destroyed. I looked at her in horror. Nothing appeared salvageable. What do you say? She looked at me and said “I can’t believe I’m homeless”. My ears welled up with tears. It seemed completely unreal that this had happened, especially when the sun shines brightly on the bay, making the water sparkle.

We walked around the neighborhood and surveyed the damage. I took a few pictures with my phone. I wish I had had a better camera, because it’s impossible to show the level of devastation. I saw a mountain of wood blocking a yard. “that was their back deck”. I saw a boat smashed into a house, but resting on a garbage pail. I saw their cars, misted windows from the dampness on the inside, items inside had obviously been floating. The gas had been cut off to the island. When the power company attempted to restore power, 4 houses exploded due to an undiscovered gas leak. She told me how they had a little swimming dock, and she had been out before the storm tying it up frantically and her family had been laughing at her tying all sorts of knots and ropes, that dock was right where it should be, safe and sound. I couldn’t help it…when I’m nervous I make jokes. “who knew the cars would have been safer parked on that dock you spiderwebbed to safety?” I asked. That made us both burst out laughing. You have to find humor, or you’d never stop crying. The other moment of humor we found was a rowboat that had floated down the street and landed on a fire hydrant. The fire hydrant had broken through the bottom of the boat and it looked almost like a decoration in its absurdity. The boats’s name? “Life’s a Beeeetch,”. The irony of it had us in stitches.

Now, keep in mind, there is pretty much nobody on the island…save for a few people at the fire stations, some national guard members (who were there as 4 pm drew closer as there has been some looting), and us. The streets were EMPTY. You couldn’t see any cars or people hardly at all. It was like life after the apocalypse. I never knew silence could be so eerie. There were streets so full of sand they were impassible. Houses were ripped to shreds.

Before I left, we stopped at the Surf City fire station, where they were setting up clothes, food and water for people. There was a decent supply, but many on the island were still unable to return. They were in for a rude awakening. My newfound friend introduced me to everyone at the fire station. I met Art, an 86 year old man who had lost everything. He was camping out at the fire station. It was heart wrenching.

I almost didn’t want to leave. I wanted to stay and help them however I could, but I had to go. There are curfews and national guard patrols at night. The fact I had gotten ON the island was a miracle…I wasn’t going to push my luck!

After I said goodbye, with hugs and agreement we would be lifelong friends, I pulled the car down the street. Then I stopped, when I was out of eyeshot, and burst into tears. How unfair that this family had given so much during 911, only to have the husband end up with not only diabetes, blindness, but cancer as well. I cried for them having to deal with all of that, knowing what cancer and diabetes does to a family, and then I bawled for them losing their home and cars. They had moved there to live as stress free as possible, and now…the stress was mind blowing. the insurance companies wouldn’t pay out for the cars because they said they were supposed to evacuate. Never mind two of the car owners were on the island as firefighters! It was sickening.

I drove home in about 4 hours. I stopped to check Twitter at a rest stop, Half the tweets were people trying to help victims of the hurricane, and the other half were whining about political candidates and trying to push their agendas. I wanted to scream….”we need to help all these people!!!!”. I know that after Sandy, we were fortunate to have power after the storm and nearly no damage, I live about a mile from the coast. I was in shock we had fared so well. I think a lot of people thought the storm wasn’t so bad. Areas like Staten Island, Rockaway, and LBI to name just a few were devastated. I’m not writing this blog to make myself out to be something special
for going, but to give you a clue of the turmoil and complete devastation these people are facing. The wife tried to apply to FEMA for help, but was denied because she could’t get off the island to sign the paper they wanted signed. She is frantic.

Please. Contact the fire departments and ask what people need. Help people. Hell, drive down and give them a hug and some tequila. Hand them a 20$ bill. Help them clean up the damage. Do SOMETHING. It’s what makes us human. Help in whatever way you can, big or small. Foster a pet for them. Do some laundry. Bring fresh pillows and towels. Bring coffee.

I drove about 7 hours round trip to help a stranger and to teach my kids how to be kind. It was the best lesson I could teach them, and they are proud of me. They learned from the pictures how lucky we are to have a home. I made lifelong friends today. I feel like I have known them my whole life. It’s kind of eerie. I am mobilizing people to continue to send supplies down there. Please don’t forget these families. If you know anyone in the LBI area who will have a rental where this family can stay, please let me know. When they called one place, the landlord changed the rent from the advertised price of 1400 per month to over 2,000. They need a home. Help me help them.

Night Loveys. Thanks to all those who cheered me on, and to those who are out there doing great deeds!

Messy xx
Ps…sorry if lines don’t make sense or typos…writing on an iPad with a bad autocorrect and I am exhausted!!!

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