Duvall/Roock Family Unexpected Loss
She met Paul Roock when he was lived across the hall in our apartment complex, and they started dating when I was but a littl girl. Paul would take me on walks around the block, letting me explore the neighborhood. He took me to parks. He played with me just like a father would. I practically grew up with his as a father in my life. As a teen, we may not have fought a bit (because let's face it, I was a difficult teen. Even my mom will tell you that). But Paul was always apart of my life, through the good times and the bad.
Him and my mother had another child when I was a bit older, my brother, William. William is a lot younger than my sister and I, but I wouldn't have it any other way. We don't consider ourselves half-siblings. He's my brother. There's no half about it. I know my sister feels the same way.
Paul lost his decent job in St. Louis after working there for a decade or so, and settled in Cuba, Missouri where we'd moved. He worked at Voss Truck Stop for practically two decades, only leaving for short spurts, but always coming back. He was laid off indefinetely around 2009 however, and because of his advanced age, could not find work again.
And then, things got even worse for my family. While we were always rather poor, sometimes going without running water or heat, we always had a roof over our heads. However, in 2009, around the same time Paul lost his job, my family lost their home in a fire. Since 2009, my mom, Paul and my brother William have shared a small RV near where their house used to stand. Things were never easy for them. Their pipes continually froze in the winter, leaving them without water for long stretches of time. They barely scraped by enough money to survive most months, much less thrive.
And then, disaster struck again. Paul had been suffering from numerous health issues, and his mental capacity was slowly declining as well. However, everything seemed fine on the February 21st, 2015 until my sister found him dead in the garage. The details of his death aren't ones we care to share publicly at this time, but it was tragic and not expected in the slightest.
My family has no savings, nothing to help with the costs associated with a sudden death. There's no insurance either. My mom isn't even sure she can afford to pay next month's bills without his social security check, much less pay for a funeral and other expenses that need to be taken care of.
Paul was the only one who knew how to work the pump at the house, turning it on for a few hours a day to allow my family to bathe themselves and to do laundry, dishes, etc. Their pump was going out, and thus could not remain on at all times (and probably shouldn't be used as much as it was, but they could not afford to replace it). With him gone, they have no water. My mom is disabled herself, suffering from severe osteoarthritis, including in her spine, that the doctors warn could fracture from stepping off the step wrong. Right now, she's lost - scared, afraid and uncertain what she's going to do. She lost her husband, leaving her alone once more.
People have asked how they can help, and have insisted we set up a GoFundMe. My mom is a proud woman and hates asking for help. It's the only reason we've hesitated this long. But things just continue to get worse. The ceiling my sister's house fell in due to the weather tonight, leaving my sister and her kids without a place to sleep. Honestly, they need to get out of there (my sister's house is an old garage converted into a one bedroom home on the same property my mom's RV now sits), but even before Paul's passing, there was little chance of that happening. And now, things seem even more hopeless than before.
We understand everyone is going through hardships right now. It's the way of the world. And we don't feel we're any more deserving than anyone else for help, but friends have asked us how they could help. Well, this is it. Any little bit could help them in their time of need. Anything that doesn't go toward funeral costs will go toward feeding them and their bills until we can get Paul's social security transferred to my mother's name.
As far as the funeral goes, we are going with the most cost effective options available. And we may have some help with it, but every little bit can still help them through this.
My mom not only lost her husband, my brother lost his father. He's only 19 years old. My sister and I lost a father figure who's been in our lives since we were children. And my nieces and nephew lost their grandpa. My nephew, Tyler, was already in therapy for possible autism, and his grandpa, Paul, was the man who played video games with him every night. My entire family feels lost and confused right now, never expecting something like this to happen.
And for that reason, we thank you for all of your love and support during this time. Please don't feel obligated to donate if you don't have the means. We, of all people, understand that times are hard for many of you as well. Whatever you're able to do, even if it's simply supplying a local meal or giving some advice on planning the funeral, every little bit helps. And every penny donated will go to helping my family find their way out of the darkness.
Thank you for your time.
But this money helps with keeping them on their feet as we figure out the social security situation and deal with our unexpected loss. Thank you to everyone who's donated or shared, it's greatly appreciated.
If you have any other advice or help for them, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. We will need all the help we can get going forward.