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This is my worst Christmas ever.

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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-11 01:29 PM
Original message
This is my worst Christmas ever.
Edited on Sun Dec-25-11 01:33 PM by demodonkey

I don't want to be a downer and spoil people's holidays... but it's Christmas Day I have no one else to talk to except this stupid computer. Many on DU know that my dear mother and best friend was killed in an accident in August. ( http://www.tinyurl.com/MerleK )

I am now all alone and this is a horrible day.

I miss my mother terribly. She was the one who taught me the importance of voting (and much more); later got me to be a pollworker, that led me to the 2004 Ohio Recount, and later to fighting for better voting systems in Pennsylvania and everywhere.

I've tried to do my best for election integrity and activism but no one has ever seen fit to hire me on the national or state level so I can be paid for my work. Others have been hired since; others who know less and have done less than I have.

The non-profit I founded, VotePA, does good work and is widely acclaimed but of late we haven't even able to raise expenses and my mother and I covered many costs so the work could go on in PA.

In the meantime, in addition to working more than full time for fair and accurate elections, for many years I have served full-time as a family caregiver. Yes, you could say I was doing two full-time jobs; sometimes more than 16 hours a day.

In 2006 my mother suffered a disabling stroke and since then I fought for (and later gave) her care... I also took care of my autistic and diabetic brother until he died due to a hospital-acquired infection a few years ago. I had to fight for his care, too. Healthcare in the USA sucks, but that's no surprise to anyone on here...

For the last almost three years I took care of my mother at home. She was wheelchair-dependent and needed almost 24/7 care but it was no problem because we were so close and such good friends. One of the last August evenings we spent together outside on the porch before her accident, my mother and I were saying how LUCKY were were that we had each other.

Anyway, now she is gone and on top of missing her, I am facing the fact that I have NO INCOME. My mother had a small teacher's pension and her social security which made her the breadwinner of our family. I was the unpaid caregiver. I gave up my career years ago to help my mother take care of my brother when my father died, thinking it would be a short break, but I stayed until she had the stroke and then until the end. In the meantime I used up all the little savings I had.

Now my mother is gone, and I'm in real trouble. I have enough money left for about one more month. And that is assuming I don't buy any heating oil, keep my car running (no public transportation where I live) or pay any taxes on the house, and that I spend very little and very carefully.

People who I guess mean well have tried to suggest all sorts of crazy things, most of these things I couldn't make happen immediately even if I wanted to. Then there are the "get rich" schemes, etc. In the meantime I have sent out many resumes for all sorts of jobs and of course haven't got even one interview. I am so tired of hearing that "times are hard." Yeah, maybe, but SOME people are getting hired. Again many with less ability and less work ethic than I have.

Earlier this fall I got one little part-time job that was bringing in about $45 a week (not enough to make a dent in my bills, but it was $45 I didn't have otherwise.) Then, the Republican "job-creator" in charge fired me even from that a few days ago.

In the meantime many, many people tell me that the job for me is to keep doing exactly what I am doing now. People say they need for me to continue and that no one else is going to lead the fight against bad voting systems in Pennsylvania unless I do (this is probably 100% true BTW.)

That's all fine but unless I can get my non-profit to kick into gear and raise some funds to pay me a living wage for my work, I soon will be unable to pay even my most basic bills. I won't be able to do much for fair elections after my electric, phone, and internet are canceled. I am actually afraid that I could even end up a tragic statistic. Several times my temperature has gone to 95 degrees in my very cold house that has no heating oil (can't heat too well with a space heater.)

In the meantime, a week or so ago I returned home to the freezing cold house and opened a letter from the Treasurer of my organization (a woman who was my college roommate and is supposed to be my next-best friend in the world after my mother) stating coldly that she is resigning immediately because she is "too busy" with her own work. She didn't even offer to help find someone else to do the job. And she knows how badly we need to push to cover expenses and get me paid... it is almost like she WANTS me to be destroyed or even dead. Anyway, the abrupt resignation of this "friend" leaves me not only alone in trying to raise funds, but now I have to find another Treasurer to handle them.

So here I am... sitting here on Christmas Day listening to carols on the radio with tears running down my face, all alone desperately missing someone I can never again see on this earth... and terrified I am not going to survive. Or if I do my life from here on is going to suck so bad it won't be worth living... and one of the biggest losses will be that I won't be able to keep working for a better society and helping others.

It's so horrible because I really do think I have a lot to contribute to the world. I have learned so much fighting for my mother's and brother's care, and for better voting systems, and for a lot of other things I have had to deal with in my life... I want to use all that to help make things better for us all. I would even like to run for my State Legislature this year... I think I can beat the do-nothing Republican that got the seat and from the State House I could make an even bigger difference to improve things.

But I have to survive first.

Again I am not wanting to ruin anyone's Christmas... I just am just really sad and really, really scared... I'm not sure what anyone can do, but if you have read this far, thanks for at least listening.

Hold your family close today; give them a big big hug and love them every minute because you never know what the future will bring.

Take care and love to you all.... demodonkey

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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-11 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. >_
:hug:


I have tried to hold them close, but they are dying too. My brother died in April, I have my very ill Older sister and beautiful daughter left, and she is leading her own life now, Dad is secondary.......


All my best


DB
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fizzgig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-11 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. i wish i could wrap my arms around you
i'm sending you all my love across the miles :hug:
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-11 05:43 PM
Response to Original message
3. I wish you the best
I know this may sound silly to some, but having been in your position, Remember to take care of your health. Take vitamins, at least. Your health can go down hill very fast. Check with social services. They can point you in the right direction for assistance, even if it's just food stamps. :hug:
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enigmatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-11 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
4. All the good vibes I can send are on their way to you
:hug:
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-25-11 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
5. I am so sorry, sounds like a tough situation, and one that's been beyond your control.
Hang in there, since it also sounds like you're intelligent and enterprising. You're now free to follow your own destiny. But I really do know how it is. I lost my mother in September... ;( :hug:
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-27-11 03:12 AM
Response to Original message
6. Take care and love to you.... demodonkey.
Edited on Tue Dec-27-11 03:14 AM by Enthusiast
I hope things turn out well for you. You certainly deserve a break.
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orleans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-27-11 04:31 AM
Response to Original message
7. so very sorry
there seems to be somewhat of a parallel to our lives. not completely, but there are similarities.
wish i could help.
maybe check out the bereavement group here, and on the new du3

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

and

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=forum&id=1234

best of luck, wishing you well, and love,

orleans
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nadine_mn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-27-11 07:14 AM
Response to Original message
8. I am so sorry - I wish I could give you a big hug
I am a great hugger and that alone should help warm you up a little

:hug:

I am so sorry for your loss and sorry that you are going through such difficult times. Please take care of yourself and know that you are loved and cared for by many (even from far away).
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UnitedVoters Donating Member (51 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-29-11 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
9. .
:hug:
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-29-11 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
10. ..
:hug:
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-11 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
11. keep your chin up, demodonkey!
sounds like you have created a lot of positive karma, and you are due some good things. if you don't keep your chin up, you may not see the good things coming your way. i know it's an old cliche, but it's always darkest before the dawn... surely there is light coming your way!

:hug:
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stockholmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-31-11 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
12. hugz from Sweden
:pals:
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Chemisse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-12 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
13. That's really a terrible shame.
Take care of yourself. It is always darkest before the dawn. I am hoping there are better days ahead for you.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-12 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
14. Merry tenth day of Christmas to you, demodonkey!
I hope the succeeding days have been better!

:hug:
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UnitedVoters Donating Member (51 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-05-12 10:37 PM
Response to Original message
15. I hope 2012 is better and you find friends to...
...kick in and help you.

I would like to help too. Please let me know what I can do.

:hug:

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UnitedVoters Donating Member (51 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-09-12 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. .
:-)
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Curmudgeoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-09-12 07:53 PM
Response to Original message
17. Demodonkey, I am so sorry for your loneliness
and the problems you are having. I know how hard the holidays are when you have lost your mother, when she is also your best friend. This was my tenth year without her, and I still cannot bring myself to celebrate Christmas anymore. The pain subsided over time, but is never gone.

If you want to live in western PA, I have a warm house with lots of room. Job situation is shitty here too though. One requirement, you must love kittehs.
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-17-12 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
18. Sorry it took me so long to find this.
It's not much, but sometimes I send...special thoughts to people in your situation.

Very sorry about your mom. I can relate to many, many parts of your story.
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NCarolinawoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-17-12 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
19. If you are able to tell us how you are doing, please let us know.
I just read your post today. I am so sorry for what you have been going through. Your mother was truly a very special woman.

I hope that you will check in here and discover that DU2 still exists, at least for now. I also hope that you still have access to a computer... among the many other things that I wish for you. :hug:
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Curmudgeoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-19-12 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. There is a plea for help on DU3.
MaggieTheVoter has issued a plea for some help for DemoDonkey. If anyone wants more info

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002181311
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-25-12 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. It is also on DU2, in General Discussion.
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NCarolinawoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-25-12 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. I really appreciate this link.
I think I will be able to help a little. :)
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