Monday, November 12, 2012

Veterans' Day: Update on Billy, an Ignored, Mentally Disabled, Dying Vet

*Billy Long passed away this morning, Tuesday, November 13, 2012, at 10:03 AM*

to help them: click HERE
to see all posts about billy posted previously on this blog, click HERE

Grandson Brian telling Billy, "I love you."

Billy Long served seven years in the Army before being diagnosed with schizophrenia.  He was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer several months ago, in a pretty dismissive fashion.  Sent home with hospice care, his family, mostly Joyce, his wife, has cared for him every minute of every day.  The hospice nurse comes twice a week, and an aide comes to help bathe him..Joyce is not accustomed to "help," so I am not sure she is getting all that she could.  Unlike the perfect rest of us, she suffers from pride, and like so many from a disadvantaged background, she does not trust easily.

Billy got much worse this week, talking to people not there, often talking to his oldest grandson, Brian, for whom he served as a father figure.  Brian is having a very hard time, as are the other two grandkids -- who all live with Billy's stepdaughter Christina in the apartment next door.

Billy is now unresponsive.

They have no money, and Joyce, also disabled by fibromyalgia and severe osteoarthritis, will see her disability income cut to $80 a month when he dies.

And this disabled vet, who served while suffering (and one must conclude, *obviously* suffering) from a disability, is being ignored now, just as he was ignored when he served his country.

Joyce's daughter Christina started a FundRazr online to help with the co-pays and ambulance charges that they were assured were not going to be charged -- for the car they had to buy to get back and forth to hospitals and ERs -- for the gas -- for the nightly meals of hot dogs -- for the nutritional drinks that were Billy's last meals.  (The reason the FundRazr campaign is in Christina's name is that Joyce does not have a bank account.)

I went to Joyce's Facebook page this morning and read:

Was up all night with Billy, he was very restless, talking and mumbling all night. Now he is unresponsive since 9am this morning. When he passes there will not be a funeral for him, back in August when he went into Hospice care he signed papers for Body donation even though its not what he really wanted to do, so Christina started a fundraiser in September to maybe get help for a funeral, and some of his and our bills together, he was hoping to be able to change his mind and have a real funeral, But for THIS VET WHO SERVED HIS COUNTRY, there will be no last minute miracles as the fundraiser didnt get the results he hoped for. Today is VETERANS DAY and it is still not to late to help, there are quite a few bills related to his cancer, so if you can please visit the sight below and donate what you can:::  via

It's too late for Billy.

It's not too late to help Joyce -- who is raising her sister's daughter (and has since birth), and still caring, in many ways, for her two adult daughters, and those three handsome, talented grandsons.

I'm begging you now.  To help them, click HERE.

Happy Veterans' Day

Billy in the Army

Billy Bradford Long GRANITE FALLS Billy Bradford Long, 57, of Granite Falls, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, at his home. Billy was born Nov. 28, 1954. He was a veteran of the U.S.Army, having served from 1973 to 1980. He is preceded in death by a brother, John Long; and his parents, Dale and Getty Long. Survivors include his wife, Joyce Williams Long; mother-in-law, Olivee Williams; sister-in-law, Jeannie Williams; brother-in-law, Michael Williams; three daughters, Misty Bentley and family friend, Michael Sebert, Christy Casco, and Shawna Williams; and three grandchildren, Brian, Aric, and Christopher; his brothers, Tony Long and wife, Linda, Gary Long and wife, Lisa, and Roger Long and wife, Damaris, of Conover; and Libby Silcox, and daughter, Jessi, of Hickory; and many nieces and nephews. There will be a memorial service held at a later date.


  1. Please delete this comment if you like - I don't know how to communicate to you privately.
    It may be too late, but perhaps some of the reasons people are not donating to Billy are that some things perhaps might not come across as sympathetic about the family. I am not passing judgement, or saying right and wrong, just speculating what might put people off.
    Billy getting disability money, and giving his away, and then wanting people to donote theirs.
    Family with addiction. Fibromyalgia, which many do not believe in.
    Billy probably getting the lung cancer from smoking.
    Just saying, you might have better luck with emphasizing different points.

  2. i won't delete it. i have tried to be honest about this family... because this family is NOT unusual but we love to pretend that they don't exist. there is a portion of the 47% rhat no one wishes to look at, our "lesser" relatives, so to speak.

    these are our sisters and our brothers. part of their disability is a genetic predisposition to addiction (not billy, but joyce's family). in case people were prejudiced against genetics and how those deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecules choose to deform themselves, i chose, in many posts and tweets (hard to do in 140 characters) to emphasize that joyce has been the non-addicted member of the entire clan. she was sexually, physically, and emotionally abused, and came out terribly damaged and in two bad marriages. then, in the last two years, she has been reborn. somehow, she discovered how strong she was. she banned the druggies and the drunks, she has cared for the biracial daughter that her sister-the-crackhead had and then shunned, and that daughter is now headed for medical school.
    i could go on and on but now i am crying.

    these are our brothers and sisters.

  3. OK, fair enough. Again, I wasn't intending to comment upon her or her family, just speculating on possible ways to improve the fund raising.
    I'm sorry if you are more upset now.

  4. "i'm sorry if you are more upset now." as a student of rhetoric, allow me to congratulate you on the use of the suckiest form of "sorry" the language allows.

    how am i to dictate the terms of their fundraising? excuse me, i guess i am to "spin" it, though you, when you discovered the "truth," would feel "used." and i'd be sorry that you felt used.

  5. he's in extremis, DOCTOR T, so how would you like the FundRazr presentation to be dressed up and palatable now? "Billy and Joyce, who were never addicts or drunks, but two mentally and physically disabled people -- she who worked all her life from the age of 17 to 48, when her legs gave out and her arms couldn't control the van she drove to pick up the developmentally disabled adults she worked with -- well, now it's just her... and though qualified for governmental disability, is having that cut to a pittance." you, T, are no physician... how long do you intend to pass yourself off, while making suggestions to others as to how best to appear for charity's sake?

  6. p.s. to contact me privately, you do what you'd do on most blogs -- except your own, of course -- and go to my profile, where you find an email link. many a reader has managed to find their way.

  7. Good heavens, I was only trying to be helpful. I truly meant, I was sorry that you felt more upset, as that was not my intention. Why are you so angry at me? I have never been anything but kind to you. I do understand you're frustated and upset, and have a very difficult life.
    And of course I am not a physician, and I do not pass myself off as one at all. Never have.
    I'm not that up on blogs, I don't have my own, and I didn't go hunting for an email thoroughly enough I suppose. I did suggest you go ahead and delete my first comment to keep it private if you wished.

  8. oh, god, i am sorry... and by sorry, i mean i regret what i wrote. i thought you were "dr. pheo."

    it is no excuse, but i was doing really poorly, and reacting rather than thinking.

    please accept my apology, and yes, thank you for your kindnesses.

  9. in case anyone ever wonders why i leave up embarrassing comment threads (i.e., where i am usually the embarrassed party) -- it's because it's honest, and because i hope to learn (one day) not to jump to conclusions. this exchange was not too bad, as TAM, i think, may forgive me... but i have, in the past, terribly upset the families of deceased CRPS patients by continuing to apply what i feel is honesty in my descriptions of their lives. there may be something to this notion that white lies have a role, or that what is true is sometimes far from what is important.

    i still wish people would give to billy's fund. i haven't heard from joyce since around 2 am, when they had removed his oxygen, and he remained unresponsive. the hospice nurse said he had "hours." joyce, who is reverting, in the midst of stress, to some old ways, sent the hospice nurse home. joyce's daughters all left, no one stayed with her, and i am sure that she probably had an unconscious role in that. she is used to isolating herself. so she said she was going to just sit and hold his hand until he died. i am angry -- at cancer, at billy, even at joyce. i am angry at her family and how they use her, and how she has enabled it. for two years now, she has worked at stopping that behavior and at improving her life -- but in the midst of such stress and sorrow, we do what we know how to do best. please help her if you can...

  10. Of course I will accept your apology, please don't worry about it. Misunderstandings happen, I believe that it is a very hard time for you, and of course I understand and forgive you.
    Really, please, delete this whole comment string if you like - I do not mind at all.
    btw, Dr. Pheo is a real doctor I believe. I figured out who he is I think (I won't say however, as he wants to be anonymous. Not sure I remember anyway, but I did figure it out once).
    I did (and do) truly regret that my words upset you further.
    All I am wondering is, not hiding anything, but emphasizing some of what Joyce has accomplished might help with the fund raising? Putting a kid through medical school is pretty impressive, that really struck me - turning a life around. Anyway, please ignore this if it isn't helpful, or is more upsetting - that's the last thing I want.

  11. Might this help? I do not know if he's eligible:

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. Since my husband and I are the subject of blog thought I would add my 2 cents. Billy has passed on but the needs have not. In reference to the comment about him giving his money away, yes he did give some away, but the bills were paid. The money he gave, he gave to his stepdaughter to make sure she had what she needed for her and the boys, he gave money to the boys so every now and then they could get something they wanted. He was a generous, kind man who always tried to make sure everyone had what they needed even if he had to do without. His sister told me he was like that all his life, she said once he had just gotten paid and he saw this lady, she said she needed money for her and her kids, he went in the bank, cashed his paycheck kept a few dollars for himself and gave her practically his whole paycheck for that week. Yes he was generous, sometimes to a fault, but he loved making others happy. He served his country, he worked until he couldnt anymore and he had his faults like we all do.
    As for my disability, I have more than the fibro, and just because some dont beleive it exists doesnt mean that it dont, and until they walk in my shoes, feel the pain day in and day out then they have no room to judge. I worked until I couldnt anymore, I worked with adults with developmental disabilities, and I have worked in furniture, in hoisery, in rec centers. And when I wasnt working in a factory, I did babysitting in my home.
    Just wanted to clear up a little bit. I will admit I am not good at fundraising or knowing what to say. My daughter started it for us and we did the best we knew how at the time. Thought it was pretty honest and straight forward.

  14. I'm very sorry for your loss. I'm sure you are/were both good people. I personally don't have any issue with anything that was said.
    But I think, sometimes, people tend to give more to people they admire rather than feel sorry for. I think there are many things you did that are admirable. Fund raising is a little like a job interview, sadly, I think maybe it might help to emphasize your positive points. Everyone judges, to some extent, and if you want people to give you money, they have to judge you positively.
    I was expecting to write to the blog owner, not you, or I would have phrased it more differently I suppose. But truly, my intention was to try to help, not hurt anyone's feelings.
    I didn't see what you yourself wrote, and wasn't commenting upon that - I was commenting on the words of the blog owner (btw a lady I much admire).
    If I hurt your feelings, it was not my intention, and I apologize.

  15. Joyce, please ignore this if you already know this. But I had a thought, just in case it might help.
    From the prof saying you will only get $80 a month (if I remember that right) in disability income, I am thinking that you might be getting SSDI disability (based upon your previous work history). But there is also SSI, which is a needs based program. Without your husband, if you now qualify, you would probably get much more.
    If this might be pertinant, I would encourage you to speak to your social security office, or try this online tool from social security:

  16. Truly my feelings were not hurt at all, both prof and I have been as honest as we can be. Actually you were writing to the blog owner, I just had to add my 2 cents. Personally I dont have a blog, I tried just didnt seem to work out.
    Anyway the 80 dollars a month was because of Billys check. According to Social Security while we both get a check, he made to much for me to be entitled to my full amount. Previous to him becoming ill, we were seperated. I was getting SSI, he was getting SSDI. I have talked to SS and have an appt on Nov 29th, however that doesnt help with December. Billy is now gone as is his check and since it is too late for ss to make changes I will only receive the 80. Not much to pay all the bills. However in January I think my check will go back to the original amount of 698 a month and I think I qualify for something from his, not sure yet.
    And I too very much admire the owner of this blog, she is one very special lady..

  17. well,,look what happens when i take a nap... joyce, meet TAM. TAM, meet joyce.

    you are two very nice people.

    TAM makes some good points about pitching fundraising, and if i were creating the fundrazr, i'd have done it differently. but it is joyce's, and she has this "thang" about telling it like it is. there is something to admire about both approaches, and probably wisdom somewhere in between.

    you guys are good people.

    and i am going back to sleep.

    thinking of you often, joyce, and hope everyone is okay.

  18. Thanks prof, anyway the fundraiser is worded that way because quite frankly we had no idea what to say or put, just thought being short and to the point was what it took. Never done anything like fundraising before so I dont guess it came across the way I intended. But since it has been seen by thousands and tweeted and shared every where I dont know about deleting it, changing it or what. Not very good with words when it comes to asking for help.

  19. Asking for help is a hard thing. You're brave to do it at all.


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