That's my Mom, Michelle Mendez, in the center of the photo. My sister, on the right, was murdered and dumped in the ocean in November of 2014. Her name is Jaimee Mendez. After she disappeared, hundreds of us searched by land, water and sky; but my mom blanketed the streets for over 80 days straight, never considering stopping until my sisters body was home. Her remains were discovered by a dog walker the morning after the first snow storm of that winter, which didn't come until January 28, 2015.
Since then, life has been a rollercoaster of emotion for the entire family. Jaimee left behind a beautiful, now 9 year old autistic son, who my mom has been granted guardianship of. She has implemented a strict diet and, combined with an excellent school, we have seen Jayson make extraordinary strides in his development. After the death of my sister, my mom found her purpose in life in raising Jayson. She is doing a wonderful job. She also cares for her elderly father, who requires more and more care as time passes. Understandably, she can't work, but has not obtained social
security because she needs help with filling out the paperwork.
Once she has her income, she will need help filing the appropriate paperwork to gain full custody of Jaimee's son Jayson. Is there anyone willing to donate a few hours of their time and help my mom figure out how to get this done?
Next, my mom will need some assistance cleaning out her current two bedroom apartment, which has been in rough shape since her life was torn apart. A dumpster for a few weeks would probably be most ideal, and if anyone was willing to lend some labor some weekend, I would be more than happy to set it up. I think it would run about $1,500 for the rental and weight.
Once the apartment is cleaned out, my mom will be able to move up to Maine, where she has always wanted to live. She has done the research, has found the best school for Jayson, and is ready to go. She just needs help with the things mentioned above. My dad and I would be able to help my mom with Jayson and my grandfather, while my mom would finally be able to have a little time to take care of herself. Fryeburg, Maine is a little over 2 hrs away from where my mom lives now, so close enough to visit often and see the rest of the family.
The memory of my sister will never fade, it seems like yesterday this all happened - it's hard to believe three years have gone by. Her murderer was given a 17 year deal less than 2 months ago. The news broke my mothers heart even more than it already had been. But through it all, she has stayed strong and even taken on the responsibility of caring for her autistic grandson and elderly father. I hope you agree when I say that this amazing woman deserves a break... a HAND UP out of a crappy situation that has all the potential to be 100% better for everyone involved if we can just collect all the missing pieces.
She also badly needs a safe vehicle. But honestly, if she could get the help she needs to get her social security and move out of the city, I believe she would take care of the rest and have a car in no time. She has just been struggling for a while now so I am hoping and praying things will turn around soon for her.
I love you mom,
- Alyssa Mendez