You can never go home. Again. My #GivingTuesday Story

Exit 106B and directional signs on the road to Michigan State University in East Lansing.

After landing on the red eye, I was halfway home in my rental car fiddling with the controls of the rental Ford SUV trying to figure out how controlling my iPhone and CarPlay would jive in the last moments of darkness before sunrise.

After an eight year break (for reasons I have no excuse), my son Joe III decided to attend his mother’s Alma Mater, Michigan State University bringing him closer to my family. It gave me a reprieve to begin regular visits get home and see my mom and our family.

Stay Away Order

Trying not to crash into someone or drive off the road in pitch darkness I saw a message notification beep in. It was from my sister April and it just said simply, “Call me”. Using Siri, I dialed her and her next sentence again changed the recent trajectory of my life. It said, “You can’t go home. Mom’s has cancer has returned.” This time in a more rare, fast moving form…

As the words tailed off I was lost. Confused. Crying hysterically, I was only about 15 minutes away mom’s house and my heart began to race. What’s going to happen to my mom? Where would I go? What would I do? I pulled off the freeway, turned the car around, then sat in a fast food restaurant for three or four hours figuring out when to head up to East Lansing.

That was the first of two occurrences where I would be prevented from seeing my mother after landing in Detroit. The current time happened back in April, being prevented again from seeing her due to COVID-19 and both she and I being in high risk groups for exposure. First eight years, now eight months.

Giving Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Give Today, #GivingTuesday

As you consider helping a cause on this Giving Tuesday, I ask that you consider supporting a charity that helps cancer survivors and their families. Here’s some things I feel strongly about:

  • A Big Orange Heart – this organization supports and promotes positive well-being and mental health within remote working communities. WordPress professional are for the majority solopreneurs and work remotely and support during these difficult times are much needed;
  • American Heart Association, Heart Walk – I’ve participated in the Heart Walk as part of the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Cardio-Rehab Team and I’m thankful that friends and family supported heart-event survivors;
  • Cranbrook Horizons Upward Bound – as a child that grew up below the poverty line, this program helps inner city youth with pre-college educational programs that empower, encourage, and support student achievement and scholarship. I was both a student and a counselor in this incredible program;
  • Knowbility Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR) – this group out of Austin, Texas work tirelessly towards achieving their mission to provide training, education and consulting services for accessibility and inclusiveness. One of their programs, the six-week AIR competition raise awareness by building non-profit organization’s website; and
  • The Movement for Black Lives Fund supports the work of the larger Movement for Black Lives ecosystem and our collective work. It is made up of over 150 organizations.

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