Pass the Hat for George and Pat
I never thought I'd be writing one of these someday but my parents had a fire on the morning of Friday September 22, 2017. Mom was cooking when a grease fire erupted. The flames were so high, they went through the ceiling and were very close to hitting their second floor. Mom was able to get out safely although it was very traumatic emotionally for her. On top of this, dad had just started his first day of his new job (his 3rd job) on Friday and had to leave briefly until I arrived. Their landlords and friends have been amazingly supportive with getting the house restoration underway but my mom feels just awful.
Unfortunately, the kitchen is a complete loss and the smoke has contaminated the entire house by seeping into furniture, curtains, bedding, clothing etc. Everything is smoke contaminated. The restoration company called it “severe”. The restoration company will be trying their best to remove the smell and the whole house will have to be painted. Mom and Dad will be facing many out of pocket expenses in the coming days and weeks. All of their upholstered furniture downstairs (couches, chairs as well as all blankets and pillows) were thrown out today...including a 1950 Wanamakers couch from my dad's parents house growing up. I watched as mom's eyes welled up looking at the dumpster and told her it's going to be okay but felt so helpless.
If you know George and Pat, you know that they won’t take handouts or ask for help. My dad served proudly in Vietnam and came back to the states serving as a police officer for ten years as they raised my four brothers and myself. When they needed to move us to an area with better schools and safer streets, my dad gave up his passion for police work and found a job with better pay. My mom went back to work as well and they both hustled tirelessly to give us a better life. I even remember my mom delivering pizzas as her second job when times got tough. Then, when I was in high school, they were both laid off from the same company at the same time which was an extremely difficult time but they made it through, together and stronger than ever. The only thing they've ever asked for is prayers and we are trying to do what we can to help but it has been incredibly difficult to get them to accept any help. I was hoping that a go fund me would be a way they couldn’t refuse.
After 47 years of marriage together, 5 children and 9 grandchildren, they have never lost their faith. Nothing stops these two…with all this stress, mom still reached into her purse at church on Sunday and gave what she could knowing that there is always someone who might need it more and dad came down this evening after a shower belting out “I’m so pretty, oh so pretty”
( he apparently knows all the words to) which made us all smile and laugh! They keep saying “this too shall pass” to each other when one is down…a phrase I heard many times growing up and now I even catch myself saying it! And I believe it will pass too, but
maybe just this once, we could all make it pass a little easier for my parents. My mom and dad have proven that there is always something you can do to help other people. When my parents didn’t have money, they’d give a ride, when they didn’t have a car, they’d lend an ear and when it was quiet, they’d share a joke. They have been such an inspiration to me and if you have been lucky enough to ever cross their paths, I hope they have inspired you too. The expenses are already adding up and I'm hoping to raise enough money so they can breathe easy and not wonder how they will get through it this time.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and I hope you feel moved to pass it along. Any contribution will be so greatly appreciated!
- Bud Owen
- Joe's Bar
- John Febbo
- Beth Negro
- Pat H
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