We are still at 14 out of 100 tickets having been sold so far in the first 23 days of the raffle (so the amount is still presently at $1,794.94 of the $12,500.00 goal).
For those who have purchased tickets... we thank you so very much. Please spread the news (the only way the raffle works is that all 100 tickets get sold). 86 more tickets to go. The new deadline is November 20th as http://crowdtitlt.com extended the deadline for us to ensure the raffle is successful at meeting its goal.
We contacted and then wrote to The Standard insurance company regarding our "Res Judicata" effort at reopening Penny's Disability claim at Social Security Disability. We actually got somewhere with them, and they are now trying to be proactive by working with us to get SSA to reopen the case (by engaging Allsup and Associates). We'll see how that goes. In the interim, we filled out some papers for Social Security that emphasizes her present medical issues and dropped them off today.
I went to the VA and did my MST consult with North Chicago via TeleHealth (their polycom system). That went well, and then I engaged in the weight control program and nutritionist (which continues next week). Then this afternoon, occupational therapy stopped by to assess me. We'll see if they can help when they get back with me next week.
=( We received the news that our Pastor's father suddenly passed away yesterday (it was unexpected) and I am sitting here contemplating how he is doing right now (I wish I knew what to say to him or console him). The Pastor started a new "branch" of our Fox Valley Church (and has a lot of responsibility), but he is surrounded by a very supportive Church Body and Church Staff (I am sure that others will be filling in for him during his time with his family). That is incredible to me (besides my wife and son and the Church, I haven't any idea what that feels like regarding a supportive family... since my grandmother and mother passed away... (our family has slowly drifted and that was cemented as of the middle of 2010) as my extended family is now irrevocably broken... and that is sad.
I am trying to look back on my experience as a guide..... and it doesn't get any easier to contemplate.
My mother passed away 4 years ago (my point of reference), but it wasn't sudden. Penny and I got to spend the last 4 years with her living with us much of the time due to her medical condition (and we grew much closer to her during that time). We were as prepared for the end as one could get (as her Pancreatic Cancer diagnosis essentially allowed us to try to do a lot with the time left because we knew what that horrible disease could do to her) and yet it still hit us like a brick wall when it happened. The only way I handled it was the support of my wife and my Aunt (at the time). All of my other relatives passed away far from me (including my maternal grandparents) either in Norway or in Chicago (when I was in the Marine Corps in California), so seeing my mother pass was especially difficult. as it was the first time I saw it up close (and dealt with it having to help make many decisions during and after her passing which helped distract the hole I felt in my heart). I am sure the Pastor is feeling as such.
Regarding my own family (my father in particular), our relationship is essentially irrevocably broken (too much damage has taken place and once he does pass, my brother will be the one to handle that situation as he is more his father than mine...... as he is more of a rolling stone than a father... so I doubt I will even be informed either way as he feels nothing regarding me anyways). And that is so very sad to say, but it is our reality.
I am quite sure that the Pastor's relationship with his father was much closer (much like many father / son relationships that I read about). I know that my step-son Travis would be devastated (as he and I do have a close relationship), so I am trying to make sure that he is surrounded with positive people who will be there to help him through such a time period when it does happen. My relationship with my own children is probably as bad as my relationship is with my father (my children will have nothing to do with me thanks to the interference of life /distance / and a never-ending interfering ex wife who has done everything she can to destroy that relationship). I am also wondering how my own children would take the news of my passing (and I suspect that it would be a blip in their lives and wouldn't affect them in the least). My brother and sister also lead their own lives (my brother has essentially stopped interacting with most of our extended family for a while and now, he and I no longer talk (long story, but he is now essentially only a member of his wife's family as his wife doesn't share him, she just judges us with a different perspective than she does her own).... and my sister kicked the family to the curb a long time ago when she chose drugs / alcohol and a drug addict as a partner so we won't interact with her anymore - the result of "tough love" / boundaries) so I suspect that they won't be affected by my passing either.
It is what it is, but in the end..... I take solace in knowing I've done what I can (I am not perfect by any means as I've made plenty of mistakes / screw ups, but I have no regrets).
I am hoping that over time, I will have had the impact on others as the Pastor's father has had with him and his extended family & friends. It is a dream I have.........