Here is the video that son Jojo made, walking through my house after the fire. Please excuse his language, at times. He was obviously very upset, seeing the aftermath of what his mother was pulled out of.
Son Jojo and his dad have been working up at the new house all weekend putting in ramps for my wheelchair, and a zillion other things to make it more comfortable and accessable for me, but still can't move in yet because I have no furniture or anything else to make it livable yet. All the funds from this fundraiser have gone into the landlord's hands and have bought me two changes of clothes so I can at least leave the house for appts and such without having to wear that same darn muu muu again! My love and thanks to all who have made this possible for me. You are in my heart and thoughts each and every moment, of every day.
Bright Blessings to All,
Duckfeet, you absolutely amaze me. Like I've said before, you always seem to pop up when I need ya the most. The truest, of true friends, ya are. Thank you also, for the post you did at our home base. Meant the world to me, and, gave others a view into the window of what life is like for me. I try not to complain much (my mama always said to count your blessings, not your complaints...she was a smart lady:), but darnit, living out of a wheelchair and being stuck on a bed or sofa (I had a sofa but that's now gone from the blaze), doesn't make things any easier, that's for sure. I had just gotten to a place where I was finally starting to adjust, when this happened. So, here I am starting all over again, this time from a wheelchair and having to depend on others for help. Thank you for letting others know what you know about me. You have no idea just how much that means to me, so now I hope you do. From the deepest place in my heart, my thanks, eternal. You are one of those blessings I count each day. Good news: the house passed inspection! I still have to get the deposit together and the things I need to actually start living there, but at least I know I have a home. Whew!!! More as soon as I can sit up longer. Again, my heartfelt thanks, and a grand good night to you.
PS: Duckfeet, your donations are going toward the deposit on the house, and clothes. Not one cent is being wasted. It's ALL going toward getting my life back, and maybe even better than before:)
I had just finished writing my thanks to duckfeet, and a big update, when POOF, I hit some key and it all disappeared! AARRRRGH! What I want to know, is where do all those words go, when they disappear? Floating around out there somewhere in the virtual world? However, I will not allow my annoyance with this to overshadow the smile that DUCKFEET put on my face:) Thank you, with all my heart, for your help, duck. You have been here for me so many times through so many years, I can't begin to count them all, and it has always been when I've needed ya the most. Know that my gratitude runs deep, my friend. You've been there to help through my worst of times, especially when all the troubles with Jojo happened and I was a wreck. I still have not forgotten all the support you gave me, and never will. And here you are again, at my worst of times, when I need help the most. How do I ever thank you enough? I will just say that it is important to me that you know how appreciated you are, and always have been, and always will be. Your donation will be going towards either putting some clothes on my back, or to the new landlord. We are still waiting on HUD to do the inspection of my new place, then I can start moving in. That's the one thing that is giving me knots in my stomach. If they don't get it done by the 1st, I will have to give him more funds to hang on to the house, which will be hard to do. But, as long as they get it done this week I should be ok. Then I will just have to pay my end of the rent for the month, instead of having to give him "hang on to this house" money again. I don't have much of anything yet to actually "move", but at least I'll know I have a home to move in to. I am getting a hospital bed, yay, after I see the Dr. on Thursday, and get the script for it. So, at least I will now have a bed:) Some nice ladies we know are sending me sheets, so I'll be set to sleep and have a decent place to hang out on, besides my wheelchair, so this is a big deal to me. I am making a bit of progress each day. It's still a long road ahead, but I will make it. And so much of that, is because of good people like you, who have so kindly and generously donated towards helping me rebuild my life. I could not be more thankful, than I am right now.
Good and true friends, are the greatest blessings of all<3. With all of my love, Barbara Leah.
It is Sunday, and I got to sleep in today. Finally! I've been pushing myself so hard since getting out of the hospital, I really didn't realize just how tired I've been, but kept ignoring it, to keep on doing all I have to do in order to start rebuilding my life. When I am awake, I worry, and worry some more. I see the images stuck in my head of being inside that house when it was ablaze, and no matter how hard I try to push them away, they only stop when I sleep. I am back to making calls tomorrow, and at the top of the list is to find a therapist who specializes in helping victims of fires, and/or PTSD. I worked as a therapist for close to 20 yrs, and treated many people with severe PTSD symptoms. I can honestly say, I am about the worst case I've seen so far. It's kind of weird. I sort of step outside of myself, and look at "me" from a therapist's point of view, and realize that I do need help to get past this. I have learned that one of the biggest mistakes we can all make, is to NOT ask for help, when we so need it. Lesson learned, Higher Power. And to whoever was watching over me when my house exploded into flames, my deepest thanks of all. My entire belief system has been changed, and, for the better, I think. My love to all, Barbara Leah
First, a HUGE thank you, to Christian! I was getting all too close to being wiped out here, due to having to give the bulk of the funds raised here to my new landlord. I am using your donation to go get some clothes tomorrow. I cannot begin to tell you just how much I appreciate your thinking of me. And, another thanks for the kind words you left for me. Bless you, Christan. <3 Barbara Leah
This weekend, I spoke with my new prospective landlord, and although he had said the place is mine, he is getting antsy for funds, while waiting for my HUD paperwork to transfer to go through. I am going to call him today, and see if putting a good chunk of what has been so kindly donated to me here in his hands will calm him down and ensure that he doesn't turn back on me, causing me to lose this place, which, is perfect for me. I also had my hair buzzed off (smile). It was so singed from the fire I looked like a scarecrow. That, along with the burns on my face had my self-esteem at about a zero. I feel much better now. Your help enabled me to do that, too. Thank you SO much! Got some food, medical supplies and then when I got back to where I am staying temporarily, I fell over and slept for the first time since the fire. Today, phone calls. A LOT of them, but it has to get done. Starting over is hard work, but will be so worth it all. I feel like I am getting the blessing of a whole new fresh start, and that, is a wonderful thing. Thank you all, again and again, for giving me what I need to do this. It would not be possible without your help, and for that, I am forever in your debt. My gratitude just gets deeper every day.
To flowergirl, Joseph and Jane, I am overwhelmed by your kind generosity. Just "thank you" does not even come close to the depth of the gratitude I feel. I will never forget what you have done for me. You ALL are literally ensuring I will have a new roof over my head soon, and the things I will need to start over again. You are saving a human life. My deepest thanks, and God Bless you. Barbara Leah<3
Jeff and Lynne, again, my deepest thanks for your donation. You are literally helping me to put a new roof over my head! The world needs more people like you. You are forever in my heart. Barbara
The Santa Cruz Sentinel, who did the cover story about the fire, opened up a comments page on Facebook today. My deepest thanks to them. I am struggling. I cannot say things feel better as of yet, except for all the love and support I've been shown by so many, not just family and friends, but by neighbors and total strangers. I'm just going through so much pain and trauma right now, and fear, of what is to become of me, I can't seem to think straight. The flashbacks are terrible and unrelenting. As is the pain in my body. But I have to make it through this. I HAVE to!!! Again, more thanks to all, for all you've given me. You are forever in my heart. I pray for tomorrow to be a better day, and the next, even better. Keeping the faith, Barbara <3
Trying my best to smile through the tears. I keep thinking of Greg Kinnear in "As Good as it Gets" when he looks at himself in the mirror for the first time in the hospital after he was attacked: "Oh my gosh, where did I go?"...Could have been much worse. I am truly counting my blessings. My thanks again, and again, to all for your donations and words of encouragement. Blessed Be, to you.
Another view...how I am looking as of today. Kind of glad no one can see up my nose, for that's where it's hurting pretty badly right now. Ick.
Healing so far...today's pic of my facial burns.
It's been rough today, but a bit more progress made. Allowed myself a brief nap/break and awoke to find an anonymous $20 donation. Can barely see through my tears of gratitude. Thank you, so very, very much. My hope in on the increase, I will NOT "fold"! God Bless you<3
I will have Joe take some pics of my singed face this weekend. I am so lucky to have come out of this with burns that WILL heal. My lungs and inside my nose still hurts pretty badly, but I am handling it. I can't say it enough times: I'm still here! Son, Jojo, keeps saying "mom, I swear you could carry kryptonite". It's become my mantra, each time I feel myself starting to fold, it lifts me back up again.
Sarah, I cannot thank you enough for your kindness, compassion and generous donation. It's all really hitting me today, the enormity of the lossess. I think I've been "numb" since getting out of the hospital a few days ago. Now the emotional stuff has started. I was awake all night, worrying about how I was going to make it to my Dr appts on Monday, with no clothes to wear. Thanks to you and the others who've so kindly donated, I can be taken out to get some things tomorrow. God bless you. You will forever be in my heart, all of you. Your help goes far beyond your donations. You are giving me the will and hope I need to start doing all I need to do to start over again. Today I am very tired, but my gratitude that I'm still here just gets stronger with each day, too. Thank you, most deeply.
On March 17, my home exploded into flames with me trapped inside (I am disabled, wheelchair-bound and couldn't get out the doors without help). If it were not for the heroic actions of my neighbors, Carol and Kevin, I would not be here posting this right now. He kicked in the door and dragged me out in the nick of time. I had already gone unconscious and was lying on the floor, and unresponsive. Holding his breath, and the place pitch black with the smoke, he went in and found me, dragged me out by the arms and saved my life. My neighbor Carol, helped him tear off the door jam and was the one who told him I was trapped inside. I was transported by helicopter to Valley Medical Center in San Jose, CA, where I was in ICU on life support for 6 days. When I awoke, I was then made aware than all had been lost in the fire. I had JUST gotten a power chair, to enable me to finally be able to get around on my own. Gone. All my clothing, household goods, television, computer, everything I had worked so hard for through my working years, gone. But, I still have my life, thanks to Kevin and Carol and their amazing acts of bravery. They put their lives on the line, to save mine, and I am grateful beyond words. I am 56 yrs old, crippled, confined to my wheelchair for life, and must also deal with issues stemming from having Lupus. But, again, I am still here. I take nothing for granted and never will again. But, I admit I am scared. It's a very scary thing to have to start all over, from nothing, at this stage of my life, with disabilities on top of it all. It is hard for me to ask people for help, for I have a lot of pride. But, I am now in a position where I have no other choice. I have nothing left. My husband, from whom I've been separated for the past two yrs, had to go buy me some underwear and a nightgown to leave the hospital in to come stay with my son. The only pieces of clothing left were what was in the laundry that had been taken out the week before the fire, which consists of two pairs of undies and a muu muu dress. That is literally all I have left. I need help to fund renting a new home, replacing my clothing, kitchenware, furniture, tv, a used power chair (I don't need a brand new one-just one that works I would be grateful for), and everything else one needs to live. Any help, will be deeply appreciated. Thank you, in advance, for your care and support. *I must find a home asap, for my son's place is just not a safe place for me to be all day by myself. It's too difficult to get around in, in my wheelchair, and I can't get in or out of the house. I'm terrified. If you would like to view the video my son did walking through the house after the fire, here is the link:: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0FAVQw-Cwo Please, either turn off the audio or excuse his language, as he was very upset while he narrated and used some words I consider inappropriate. My thanks to all.