I can tell that my repeated requests for you, Dear Readers, to donate to the FundRazr campaign on behalf of my friend Joyce's dying husband and her essentially destitute family have apparently stirred you to the heights of apathy.... I have my sneaky means of finding these things out, such as how the total amount of money raised to help them stay flush in food, basic shelter, medicine, and gasoline hasn't risen above $62 in months.
Sooooo.... if you are looking for a way to feel a little better about your skinflint selves, here you go: FundRazr will feature her effort to get some money to make Billy's last days somewhat easier this Friday, in honor of Veterans' Day.
About FundRazr.com: "With FundRazr you can raise money for Anything. Anywhere.
Disaster relief, personal fundraising, group, non-profit, organizations, schools, churches, family, politics, causes, health, animals, accident, charity, legal, memorials, education, veterans, arts, entrepreneurs, celebrations, events, community, travel, volunteer..." Right now, of course, their home page features the myriad needs created by the monster storm Sandy.
Billy's page can be found HERE. It was set up by one of Joyce's daughter's Christina. It could be better if that family had Mad Men skills, but they're kind of busy having hot dogs for dinner every night. Billy served his country for seven years, then was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He's a smoker, and was diagnosed with end stage lung cancer just a few months ago. There will be no "estate," only debt, and there won't be a windfall of veteran's benefits or life insurance.
So, please, help this family out. All three grandkids have money-sucking illnesses -- from ADD, stunted growth, and migraines, to Arnold–Chiari malformation and psychological issues from stress, poverty... and well, isn't that enough? Joyce also juggles the fiery combinaions that come with a family stricken with the genes of addiction, that lead to narcissistic compulsions to lie, steal, beg, and generally ignore the needs of this struggling sister, daughter, aunt, and mother.
So, Sweet Reader: Advertise that FundRazr compaign for Billy and his family! Tweet it! Make yourself a sandwich-board sign and stroll about your town with insouciance and affected panache! By helping Billy die with dignity, you help Joyce carry on, you help those kids, you plant the notion of a seed that people really do care.
Confuse the public tomorrow -- they'll be expecting an inundation of blither and blather about Obama and Romney and the inevitable congressional battles -- bring them up short, reboot their tired brains with information about how to actually effect real, tangible change: by helping Billy die with dignity, by chipping away at the medication co-pays and ambulance bills, by helping Joyce finish raising her sister's child, and serve as the stability in the lives of her own biological daughters' lives, and her 3 beloved grandsons.
You can pray all you like. Send purple, pink, sea foam green balloons with sweet wishes inside up into the ether to choke birds and litter the landscape. Grace the universe with good thoughts. Make a vow to help the next needy person you trip over on the sidewalk.
You can also donate a dollar. Use user-friendly PayPal. Steal a buck from your Aunt Mathilda's purse. Tithe 10% of your casino winnings. Go bet on the horses! Swipe your kids' Halloween candy and sell it back to them, a dime a Skittle.
Billy has taken a turn for the worse, as of last night. He cannot think clearly due to oxygen debt, despite them pumping in O2 as fast and as at high a rate as they can. Though he's dropped an awful lot of weight, he's still a big guy, and I am very scared at the thought of him getting up and falling. Joyce is there alone, with only her teen daughter in the apartment to help.
The nurse today heard no breath sounds on one side, and very labored, diminished ones on the other. Billy rambles, thinking he is talking to his grandson Brian, for whom he has essentially served as father.
All the nurse could do was order some Ativan and advise Joyce that there would now be more bad days than good, and that he'd not likely make it to Christmas. Personally, I think that was a pissy bit of not-much help, but I've never worked as a hospice nurse, never stood before a harried, harassed stretched-to-the-max woman who is running on empty.
Okay, so your own life is tragic -- your own stories would chill my spine. But you're smart, you're something of a techie, you're good-hearted. Find a way to get people to go to the FundRazr page on Friday (or any day, duh!) and remind your own sweet crowd that we are all in this together.
You can even use the old "six degrees of separation" thing, though that's probably a bit tired. I'll leave it up to you.
I would not want to be accused of being bossy or telling you your business.
P.S. Somewhere in the margins of this blog is an invitation for you to leave traces of yourself here. I've always meant it. I know your stories are supremely important, your needs as soul-devouring as can be. I've been blessed to share in some of your great moments of happiness. It's sadly typical that I may never have thanked you -- for whatever trace you've left, even those silent electronic breezes that sometimes take my own breath away.