I currently reside in Fayetteville, NC.
Here is my story:
As many of you are aware, I have endured numerous tragedies in a very short amount of time.
There was no life insurance when Tim, my best friend and soul mate for 25 years and father to my children died of a sudden heart attack at 53 years old. My brother and 4 year old niece were slammed by a tractor trailer driving through a snow storm trying to get to me the following day. They amazingly survived but not without injury. My children scattered to find their own way. I was broke and broken. I lost my Dad a few months later. The house I moved into caught fire around 3:00 a.m. the morning, while I was asleep, due to an electrical arch in the living room wall. There were no smoke detectors to alert me and the house and contents were a total loss. There was no insurance. My dog, Penny, perished. I have little to no recollection of it due to being overcome by smoke inhalation as it had smoldered for awhile before erupting in flames. I do not remember escaping from a blocked window with my roommate.. the only way out. It is nothing short of a miracle that we survived it. He was airlifted to the Burn Center in Chapel Hill, injuries sustained by the back draft of flames upon opening his bedroom door. He is fine. He has family and lifelong friends that have been extremely supportive. As angry as I have been, I need to give credit where credit is due. Had he not been a light sleeper and awoke to investigate what he thought was a break-in (the flames erupting and glass exploding), It is a guarantee that I would not be here. I heard nothing. I was absolutely clueless that the house was ablaze.. what it meant.. until I woke up in the hospital.
Most everything my family had accumulated over the last 30 years.. cherished memories.. was lost in that fire.. A tough pill to swallow as I was clinging hard to what was left of my family as I knew it. The few items that I attempted to salvage from a room sustaining only smoke damage were finished off by Hurricane Matthew. I have bounced from place to place living out of bags. Depression and anxiety were daily struggles and went un-medicated. I have been unable to be there for my children which only exacerbated my poor mental state. I have taken odd jobs just to get by. A dear friend of mine, Betty Rankin, gave me a room of my own this year in exchange for helping her with her daily tasks of medical appointments, shopping and upkeep while I figured things out. I love you, Betty. Many of you have reached out to me personally but until I had a solid plan to move forward and made a conscious choice to turn what has happened into something positive.. embracing myself as a force to be reckoned with again, it was pointless. I have replaced nothing. I have not recovered fiancially. Accepting help has never been easy for me. Pride is not a virtue of mine. It has been almost 3 years of debilitating sadness, worry, guilt, despair, anger and self-reflection. I have in excess of $40,000 in medical bills from the fire. (My personal health insurance rate jumped to over $1100 per month with a $5000 deductible through Obamacare and I could no longer afford it).
It is uncanny how life can throw us a 180 curve ball and, if we are patient, the trauma will eventually morph itself into something embraceable.. paving the way for newfound empathy..thus opening the door for a new sense of purpose.
A few years ago, I was offerred an opportunity to contract under FEMA as a housing inspector for disaster relief... a lateral move for me to utilize my thirty years of Real Estate experience. The fire, the hurricanes, tornadoes and floods I have personally endured only fleeced the way for that budding interest to bloom...and I am chomping at the bit to go. I could deploy to any one of our current disaster areas, to include Puerto Rico. It will be long hours in unsavory conditions. I understand the plight of those affected by trauma and natural disasters. I have been there. My purpose is clear.... to productively channel my newfound empathy for the greater good. The time is ripe.
In order to move forward, I have maintenance and repairs needed for my vehicle to make it dependable and two minor traffic violations to get dismissed from my driving record.
I am reaching out now because I am finally ready to jump. I am not done for. I am nowhere NEAR being done. I am trying to raise $5000 to just get me off the floor and upright.. to move forward..though any amount at all will be extremely helpful and much appreciated. I can rebuild and replace once I get on solid ground and am on the move. My goal is to be deployable on or around November 15.
Any and all donations will be used to bring my vehicle current and dependable and clean up those tickets, approximately $3500. The remaining $1500 will fund one month's living expenses, allow me to complete my NC Broker's license renewal, and for travel to train and secure the necessary tools to deploy as a Contractor.
Any extra donations will only position me better to secure a home for myself that my young adult children can once again find respite as needed and enable us to come together as a family once again.
Thank you so very much for any assistance you may be able to give..if only for your good vibes and sharing..
Peace be to all of you.
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