Dear Blog Darlings,
I’ve been busy since directly after Yule trying to help a friend, Kelly Anderson, a fellow writer and Detroit native. Kelly has been overloaded by the universe with grief and sorrow and just plain bad times. My other friend, Tanya and I were just sickened that yet another blow was dealt to her and we wanted to bring some balance to Kelly’s world, especially where her son, Myles, was concerned. It was Tanya’s brainstorm that our old circle of friends back in Detroit could pool together and provide some much-needed assistance to Kelly and Myles. Tanya cranked up a GoFundMe and I helped with language and tech stuff. Here’s the story:
Being a parent is the hardest thing on the planet. Sometimes, we don’t ask for the job either. But, Norma F. Downs not only accepted it, she made it look easy. Downs was Kelly Anderson’s aunt and later adoptive mother after Anderson’s own parents died.
“My Aunt Norma was like my mother even when my mother was alive,” Anderson said. “She got me. We threw chicken bones out of the car windows when we ate fast food.”
Anderson, formerly of Detroit and a Lutheran High East graduate, recently had to say goodbye to Aunt Norma, and very soon after losing her Uncle Robert, Norma’s husband.
“Uncle Robert died first, and then Aunt Norma gave up,” Anderson said. “I became her soldier; trying to motivate her… she never recovered.” Norma F. Downs died December 28.
Anderson felt like a real blow had been dealt to her, coming off of a six-year string of heartaches, including divorce, burglary, a home fire, a cross-country move to a place they knew no one and nothing about, hospitalization, the death of her Uncle Robert, and illness. The Anderson Family knew they needed to go to the funeral.
“Now, we learn my Aunt is gone to heaven…” Anderson said. “The last time we saw her was to let my uncle, her husband, go to God in peace in 2009. I want to show proper respects to my aunt, but I also want my son to see some good from something.”
However, Aunt Norma died in California and Anderson currently lives in Providence, R.I. and is a single parent to a college-age daughter, Ashley, and Myles, 12.
“It doesn’t appear that Myles and I will be able to make it to California for my aunt’s funeral,” Anderson wrote in Facebook post. “It’s OK, we’re still counting our blessings.”
Anderson has tried to share with her son just how good her adoptive parents were, why it’s important to have that kind of bond in your life. There’s that hardest job in the world part.
“She (Aunt Norma) and my Uncle Robert stepped up when my parents died,” Anderson said. “When I was very close to death in giving birth to Myles, they had just left the Midwest after checking on another cousin who was sick. When they found out that I was near death and (giving) birth, after being home in California for only a day or two, they came to Michigan to be with Ashley, me, and Myles. Every time I had a hurt or heartache, Aunt Norma and Uncle Robert were there to shake me into reality, give me a shoulder, give me the words I needed to hear and anything else I needed.”
It’s then that some of her friends thought that their friend, Anderson, should have her time to say goodbye to her Auntie-Mum, grieve, and begin healing. So, they set up a GoFundMe campaign to help Anderson and her son make the trip to California for the funeral.
“It’s only right that all her friends, the people that love and respect her, help her be where she needs to be during this time of sadness,” said friend and former classmate, Tanya Hasse Parker. “Kelly, a woman who spends her days helping others, working for Thrivent, and then volunteers to help people on her days off, should get a little help, too.”
This GoFundMe campaign is to pay for airfare, accommodations, and per diem, while Anderson and her son go from Providence to Long Beach. They will be traveling very soon for the funeral and may have to be in California until January 11, 2016. It’s the busy holiday travel season and airfares are high, as are accommodation costs.
Help Kelly Anderson and son, Myles, start the healing process, say goodbye to Auntie-Mum Norma. Let her know we’re there for her. Give to and Share this campaign today. Thank you.
As you can see, we’re halfway there. If you could help pitch in — anything helps — or even spread the word by sharing the campaign link, I would greatly appreciate it. The universe has made it very clear that 2016 is about helping others. Even though this one technically started in 2015, it sure goes along with the theme. I’m hoping we can make it a successful effort. With your help, I’m sure we’ll get there. Here’s the link again, so you don’t have to scroll back up: https://www.gofundme.com/LovetoKelly
Blessings to you. May your generosity come back to you in triplicate!