It's been a week since Mom's memorial service.
I've been back in Minneapolis since last Friday afternoon.
I'm getting back to the previous "To Do" list, alongside the new one since her death, checking off one item at at time.
Today, I wanted to reach out to all the Go Fund Me donors, who made my extended time with Mom in May and June possible. As it turns out, those were our last days together, though none of us knew that at the time.
I had emails for nearly everyone, and could reach out via Facebook to a handful more that I didn't have current email addresses for.
That left just one group unreached: the eight anonymous donors.
Eight people gave and didn't desire any recognition.
But they deserve thanks all the same. They made my time with Mom possible in her final days, just as much as those whose names I know.
A good rule of thumb would be to try to live my life in general as if everyone I encounter could be those eight anonymous supporters.
Treat everyone as if they were an anonymous donor to your Go Fund Me campaign, during the darkest time in your life, when the need was greatest.
So here's the email you would have gotten from me, if I knew who you were, and how to reach you:
"Thanks so much for your support of me and my family in this difficult time through the Go Fund Me campaign.
Though we thought that the treatment was going to buy us more time, due to unexpected complications, my mother Beverlee died on July 1st.
I had only just been back at my jobs in Minneapolis for a week and a half, and had just started to send out thank you notes to the Go Fund Me donors, when the unfortunate news of her passing scrambled the schedule again.
Now, even more than before, I appreciate your gift in a whole new light. Your gift gave me the ability to spend more time in Pennsylvania, supporting Mom during her time in the hospital and transition to rehab, radiation and chemotherapy. Money literally bought me more time with her, which she greatly appreciated. And now that extra time with her takes on even greater significance, as they were our last days together.
Your support also allowed me to share some of the burdens with my brother Mark, taking care of the financial and medical paperwork that needed doing (and which I will continue to assist with remotely now when I return again to Minnesota, as we will need to sell the house and settle Mom’s accounts). Those weeks we had, due to your gift, made a big difference being able to advocate for Mom and her care, face-to-face with people on site. Those contacts made this new phase of remote work more possible.
In addition to allowing me to stay longer in Pennsylvania with Mom and my brother, your contribution also helped pay for Lyft rides to and from the Parkhouse Nursing and Rehab facility on days when my brother Mark was at work and I was without a vehicle. It allowed me to visit and support Mom on a daily basis. Again, your money bought us precious time together.
Your support also enabled me to rent a moving truck, and pay for assistance in the loading and unloading of the vehicle. It allowed me to load up the family piano that Mom and I had been working the last couple of years to figure out a way to transfer from her home to mine. The truck also carried Mom’s files - so I can continue to do the work of managing her finances and medical paperwork back in Minneapolis. The truck also preserved and transported Mom’s biblical reference library, and helped me finally clear out the last of a storage closet in the loft back at home (all the stuff that didn’t make the cut for the original trip out to Minneapolis to start my life there; and needed to be cleared out to help prepare for the sale of the house).
It means a great deal to me (and the family) that you helped make all this possible. You helped lighten the load we carry in this dark time, and focus on the quality of the time we had left together.
Fair warning, the next time I see you, I’ll probably end up crying. I hold it together pretty well until someone does something nice for us - whether that be a kind word, a card, a prayer, food, or, in this instance, financial support that made all of these logistics less daunting. Then I’m a puddle in short order. It’s hard to type this without crying, to be honest.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for making a terrible time for our family just a little bit easier to bear.
We’ll never be able to adequately express how much your support means to all three of us.
On behalf of Mom and my brother Mark, and of course myself, thank you again."