This is an update on my friend Jean, whom I blogged about yesterday. She's posted a follow-up on her blog, but in case you aren't the link-following sort I'll reprint it here.
Flabbergasted.The TL;DR version is "Thank you so much for your donations, they mean the world to me." And I want to thank you as well, because Jean is a dear friend and this is the first time I've ever been able to do anything to help her through her troubles (2010 has been a very rough year for her.) Thank you for helping my friend, thank you for caring, thank you for renewing my dwindling faith in human goodness and charity. It isn't important how much you gave; all that's important is that you gave.
That's the word that describes how I felt when I saw Erin Palette's blog post, and I felt it even more when I saw the e-mails from Paypal telling me that people actually gave. You guys... you guys made me cry, all of you. And in the good way, which is a nice change from the other kind of crying I've been doing a lot of lately.
I have to tell you that just last night, I was telling Matt how, when my dad died, and even further back when each of my grandparents passed, how my family was overwhelmed with people showing up and knocking on our door to bring food and love and sympathy and company, to make sure we were taken care of and that we knew we weren't alone. That hasn't happened with his mom's passing. His mom and step-dad valued their privacy and didn't have a ton of friends and neighbors and church family and what have you. My family is close by and they've given emotional support and let us know that they're available if we need anything, but otherwise most of our friends are long distance. So last night we were really feeling isolated and alone.
But you guys have given us the Internet equivalent of friends and neighbors knocking on our door bearing casserole dishes and comfort. And today we also received an outpouring of love and support from some of those long-distance friends. So now we're assured that we're not alone, and that means so, SO much to us both.
Thank you. Erin's right--I don't like to ask for help, especially this time of year when it seems like everybody's struggling to afford their holiday obligations. But I can't deny that we need it. The cremation wheels are already set in motion, and we can't undo that, but we've made our peace with it, so it's okay. But we have other needs, focused primarily on taking care of the living. I don't know whether we'll incur legal fees in getting power of attorney over Matt's step-dad's finances. There will be the cost of getting his things moved to the nursing home, and getting the rest of the apartment cleared out. And we still have to plan some kind of memorial service for Mom. I told Rob that we'd try to get a nice urn for him to keep her ashes in--I have no idea how much those cost. So the expenses are piling up, but you guys have helped to offset them, and Matt and I are going to sleep a little better tonight because of that.
Thank you, again, from the bottom of our hearts.
But... all of this was merely Phase 1 of what I am calling "Operation: You WILL have a Merry Christmas if it's the last thing I do!" or OYWHAMCIITLTID, or OY WHAM for short. Phase 2 of OY WHAM is a charity auction of high-value geek stuff, most of it Firefly-related (Jean is a Browncoat, y'all) but with some comic book and other stuff thrown in for flavor.
I'm still working out the logistics and nagging people to donate, but this is what we have so far:
- An autographed and smooched copy of Bootleg, a CD by artist Marian Call which is out of print and otherwise unavailable.
- A complete set of Fruity Oaty Girls maquettes, signed not once but FIVE TIMES by Geoff Mandel, the graphic designer for the movie Serenity in which they appeared: once on each girl, on the candy bar stand, and on the box which holds the entire shebang together. It hasn't yet been determined if this will be sold as a lot or broken up into separate auctions; we'll do whatever we think will bring in the most money.
- Some kind of autographed comic book (either a Common Grounds graphic novel, or the Twilight Guardian "pilot season" comic, or maybe even both) by Eisner nominee and friend of this blog, Troy Hickman.
- and hopefully some other stuff by people from whom I've shamelessly asked to donate.
In the rare even that someone reading this wishes to donate to the charity auction, please contact me immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your support of my friend Jean in this trying time. Let's carry her for as long as we can.