For Sarra and her dad TJ.
Yes DONATIONS are still needed!
Check and Re-check.
Sarra died tragically on Friday afternoon. I was up all night and did what I could to show my support. I also found myself many times over checking and re-checking my motives BUT honestly found no malfunction. I was simply ‘THERE FOR THE FAMILY’ the best I could be, because in my heart I knew, that it was the right thing to do.
Yesterday things were rather quiet. Her “immediate” family has gone into seclusion after all the drama of the days prior.
Who could blame them?
I personally, lost myself in old VHS tapes. Comfortable in my own numbness.
Sarra’s death was my loss too… Afterall I had, at her father’s request tried to mother her (albeit at a distance) over the last several months with daily check-ins, phone calls, texts and FB messages.
Though she had all these family members local, when something really bad happened, I was the first one she called on and I am 300 miles away.
The last time something happened, she couldn’t call. Her death instantaneous.
So many times, I wanted to gas up the car, and head for South Florida BUT circumstances wouldn’t allow it.
I saw this tragedy coming. I did! 😦 Although I thought SHE would lose her father, not the other way around.
And now, even though she is GONE, I somehow feel my job is not done. And I NEED to be there for the CLOSURE, but can’t be. Which amplifies my own reality and that is that we are still STUCK, removed ( but not insolated ) , and HELPLESS to do anything about it!
YESTERDAY or the DAY before, I couldn’t bring myself to even mention this fundraiser or the donations that WE need to continue. IT didn’t seem appropriate somehow.
But it is MONDAY, and I know I let myself get sidetracked by Sarra’s death over the weekend and in doing so, lost momentum in seeing to our own needs . Maybe I needed the respite of focusing on someone else’s crisis for a little while. Selfish maybe? Right now I don’t have time to ponder on it further.
Donations ARE still NEEDED. So please if you can find it in your heart, and able, send something. Every little bit helps!
Our initial GOAL was $3000.00. We have raised $1,745.00 to date. We still need to raise another $ 1,255 .00 to get us to a safe plateau. And the sooner the better, because every day we remain stuck is another day lost in our recovery process.
Thank you all for your kindness, support and understanding NOT only in this fundraiser, but with the tragedy of Sarra’s death.
God Bless you All!
No … I don’t really expect every one to understand my journey or the people in it. Many have urged me to move on. That these ancient family connections don’t exist for me anymore. Oh but they do! This has never been so apparent before in my life.
Friday evening, I went to bed early and fell fast asleep which is rare these days. At right before midnight, my dear husband sat gingerly on the side of my bed and did his best to wake me without causing alarm. He put a hand on my shoulder and shook me gently.
“Honey.. wake up babe. I need to talk to you. Listen, we just got a call, from Stephanie. She wants you to call her. Sarra died.”
Sarra ( not spelled the same ) but also the name of one of my daughter-in-laws who recently learned of a blood clot on her lung.
That’s when my eyes popped open and searched his face for reassurance that my grandkid’s mother was alive and well .
Praise GOd…. Sara’s fine!
In my waking FOG I heard him clearly. But none of it rang true. Surely a hoax? A bit of really bad dramatic revenge, orchestrated by a few in the ‘family’ to stir things up with another part of the family ?
“Stephanie who? What did you say? ”
I stumbled down the hall, with my husband close behind me to steady me as I waited for the circulation to return to my legs.
I slumped on the couch.
What now? Start from the beginning?
Patiently, he explained himself again slowly.
What did Tommy post?
Then he put coffee water on and handed me the phone.
Hello Stephanie. This is Sherry. What’s going on?
“Aunt Sherry, Sarra’s dead!”
What do you mean Sarra’s dead? I was just chatting with her earlier.
IS this a hoax? I demanded.
Talking to my niece, a stranger to me!
I heard her voice CRACK, and then soft crying.
I heard, through her mumbling ( and my husband’s chattering ) another voice in the background. It was her husband relaying the information he was reading off the internet.
“No, it’s not a hoax, I am afraid! My husband is reading the article now. Do you know how to reach Uncle TJ?”
OMG! TJ doesn’t know? I felt horrible.
This brief interaction with ‘my niece’ began a strange odyssey, of familial connection, and reconnections. An estranged family, of adoptees, exes, ex in-laws and misfits coming together in anger, love and in grief over a life cut short.
I spent the first 5-6 hours in FB chat trying to make sense of it. Speaking to a slough of nieces who I didn’t even know.
Reading POST after POST of information, misinformation, tributes and written assaults from another part of the family.
A remix of pain, disbelief and anger.
Tommy ( my step son) was flying down from the northeast.
He was not responding to anyone.
TJ. My biggest concern was missing.
Suddenly I FELT that I was sought after as the pillar of strength, the voice of reason, a source of information for ALL CONCERNED.
It didn’t MATTER that I felt completely unworthy of the challenge. I tried never-the-less.
I also had to contact MY OWN children and share this news. They , took it well and rallied to support me.
TJ. My biggest concern was missing. I worried that he’d find out his youngest child, and only daughter was dead on Facebook.
I dared NOT voice those concerns publicly. The ‘other side’ of this clan were being vocal enough about it. Besides, I did not want to shut down the lines of communication by pissing someone off.
I kept most of those feelings to myself.
As for TJ, who was already struggling with his own disheveled life, would go over the edge with this news, I was certain .
He did in fact learn of his daughters death on Facebook sometime Saturday morning.
Thankfully, he LOST IT in a public place, and the police were called as well as local friends who consoled him. Tommy was close behind.
But no one knew this until later on in the day.
Once I could no longer hold my eyes open, I laid down for a few hours.
When I woke, I had several messages on my FB book page and in private messages.
One was from TJ.
Later, yesterday evening, I got a message from TJs first wife ( I was his second)
TJ was with Tommy and they were on their way to Port St Lucie to her home after trying to connect ALL DAY .
Whewwwwwwwwwww. I was relieved. Besides thinking that it was very kind of her to relay that message to me. I thanked her.
Funny, from that point on, the family broached this fact gently to me.
“Did you hear? TJ is with Pam. Did you know that?”
I couldn’t help but laugh at their transparency. I knew they MUST be thinking the same about myself, and our strange but long-lasting alliance.
HA! Like it would really matter to me that he was with his ex- EX. lol
I was just glad he was safe.
Later my phone rang.
It was TJ. Tommy and HIS mother could be heard in the background talking.
TJ seemed OK but kind of numb-sounding.
He just wanted to keep me informed as to where he was and his side of the story as to the events of the last painful 24 hours .
I was so glad to hear from him.
Knew that no harm would come to him with Tommy watching over him.
I took a deep breath when I got off the phone.
I made dinner and my husband and I settled back into our evening.
This saga is long from over.
Especially for those closest to the events.
I am SO amazed that my husband was so supportive through it all.
Noone in My own BIRTH family ( other than my children ) have responded.
Several good friends did come forward and offered to help me as I processed this information.
One friend helped me make phone calls.
Several others left condolences on my FB page.
From what TJ told me last night. Today, himself and Tommy will start making funeral arrangements.
I still don’t know if I will be able to go BUT plan to if at all possible. Depends, on if I can secure a train ticket and a safe place to stay for at least one night.
My husband have given me his blessings in my decision to attend if I am able.
I think that the one thing I learned from all this IS just because a divorce occurs, doesn’t mean you simply disappear from a family’s roster.
I just can’t walk away and pretend this part of my life, never existed.
Though for awhile I thought I could.
That I was FORGOTTEN by tiny little girls and pretty pink dresses. My only memory of these NOW grown women who still call me Aunt Sherry ( and in doing brought tears to my eyes and made the hair stand up on the back of my neck)
Yes LIFE indeed goes on ( but whether I am present or not ) or ( like it OR not ) I am still a part of theirs.
And as strange as it may seem , I’m OK with that.
I also find comfort in knowing that something good is coming from Sarra’s death.
For those who don’t understand this connection with my past, Oh well, that’s on them!
Thanks to my blogging friends for all the kind words and support.
God Bless You All!
TJ is the father of five including my two sons , from three marriages. His daughter ( not mine ) is the youngest from the last marriage.
By the time Sarra was born he seemed to have it together. He has expressed to me that Sarra saved his life with her very existence. And in the end she was all he had left.
ALOT on this poor girl’s shoulders .
In the last six years, they lost his mom, her mom, and her mom’s mother. Her older, maternal half-sister is sitting in the Florida State prison.
Still with me?
Anyway, to put it mildly, TJ and Sarra were very close ( albeit not the healthiest of relationships) She has some developmental disabilities so is not always thinking right. They bring out the worst in each other and it’s a lot for this 22 year old to deal with . She gets a disability check and all that.
Last year, he lost his job and was forced to sell his home ( a condo )
Sarra moved in with her boyfriend’s parents temporarily.
TJ moved into a hotel temporarily.
And somehow blew through $12,000.00 in like 6 weeks time,
Later they both moved in with my ex sister-in-law but only for a few weeks and were asked to leave .
TJ used to his mom bailing him out of everything, LOST IT!
In and out of hospitals, overmedicated, under medicated. Nervous breakdowns.
He has also burned a lot of bridges in his life.
Oh well. He is still a human being and my children’s father.
I have always tried to keep the communication open and friendly because of the kids.
Yesterday this poor man lost his only daughter.
She was struck by a car while riding a bike and trying to cross a busy street.
He has no way to communicate with anyone except at the public library computers and Facebook.
He has been pretty transient, with no permanent place to stay while he waits for a workers comp check which is due any minute.
I know Tommy (my step son) flew to South Florida today to help his dad.
Sarra’s boyfriend, is taking messages.
I had to share this news with my own kids today who never really knew their dad, let alone their half sister.
Do I feel loyalties towards this man STILL?
Yes I DO! Although I am not sure why.
As well as I am in touch with various members of this rather large extended family of ours.
The calls started coming in last night, I have two hours sleep since then.
This is another time I’d like to BE THERE to help HIM with arrangements etc. BUT I Can’t! 😦
I would if I could though.
Some don’t understand this.
He messaged me a little while ago on FB and he was at the public library waiting for Tommy to arrive.
Information is sketchy. BUT my heart breaks for him.
Please pray for him. He needs all the prayers he can get right now.
Thank you all and God Bless.
PS. If you’d like to read the news article, the link is in the blog post below.