Have you read this diary? If not, please do so... and make sure the tissues are close by.
Otteray Scribe has been an active participant on DailyKos since 2008. He has been through a LOT of loss. First, he and his wife buried their son, who died in service to our nation. Then, his daughter became ill with cancer. Then, his daughter's son, Reed, at the tender age of just thirteen, contracted a very rare cancer of his own. He passed away last March, and today, he would have been 18. Otteray Scribe paid for most of the funeral service, as his daughter is still quite ill. Then, last fall, Otteray Scribe lost his beloved wife of 55 years, and had to pay for his second funeral in less than a year.
That is more loss than any family should have to endure, and Reed's mama should be able to sit comfortably at his grave and contemplate a real memorial marker. Unfortunately, there isn't enough left to buy that headstone, nor that bench.
From the comments...
Reed's mother is in very poor health. The massive radiation nearly killed her. She is now confined to a wheelchair because her hip was burned by the radiation. It also fried much of her intestines, which are very sensitive to radiation. She is awaiting a highly technical and risky hip replacement at Vanderbilt, but I am concerned she is not strong enough to undergo a five to ten hour surgery.
I talked to her several times today. She is crying a lot. She does not have Internet, but Reed's sister does. I sent big sister an email with the link. I will probably print this off to give to Reed's mom.
She is really upset that Reed does not have a stone. She is on SSI and cannot afford it. His dad has not seen fit to spring for a stone even though it has been almost a year. His mom wants a memorial bench for him. That way she would be able to go out and sit with him.
If a couple hundred of us put in $10 each, Reed's mom and sister and grandfather can have that gift. I desperately want to make that happen for them.
Will you join me?
The money generated from this account will go to Otteray Scribe, with the express direction for it to purchase a headstone (about $460) and an inscribed memorial bench (about $1600), plus taxes and any fees. The total we're shooting for, to be safe, is $2300. If any extra monies are raised, they will be given to Reed's mom to use or donate as she sees fit.
Please - let's show them that we care, in a real, tangible way.
Message me or Otteray Scribe directly if you would like to mail a check, instead (he kindly sent me his address to send out as needed).
Update, 8:30 Central: WOW - we're almost a quarter of the way there! WOOT! Keep it coming, folks! I love you all!
Update #2, 8:45: On the rec list! hopefully, traffic will be generated after the speech...
Update #3, 9:00 Central: Almost to $1000! Woo hoo! In case you don't have time to check the comments, this is a picture of the view from Reed's grave. A bench like the ones in the picture are what we're shooting for (the headstone is paid for by now!)
Update #4, 9:15 Central: this diary has been up for just over an hour, and we are HALFWAY TO THE GOAL! I am so touched by the generosity of this site. Thank you all.
Update #5, 9:50 Central: we have just over $500 to go (possibly less, given that a number of donations will be mailed). Please help us get this put to bed tonight! Thank you all so much. <3
Update #6, 10:05 Central: We just broke $2000! We may be there, with the mailed donations, but let's play it safe and get this done. If we get extra, surely Reed's mom can use it for more inscription, or make a donation, or put it toward her own healthcare costs. Thank you all so very much!
Update #7, 10:24 Central: WE DID IT! $2306.00, as I write this! Reed's getting his headstone and bench! I am doing a happy dance!!
Reed's big sister just wrote this:
I wanted to thank everyone who is taking part in this and tell you all how much your generosity has impacted the entire family. You have made our dream of finally putting a marker on my little brother's grave come true and for that, I thank all of you. I can think of no better gift for such a giving child right now. I don't know you all, but I love each one of you. Thank you. Thank you so much.
Best feeling I've had in a LONG time. I'm going to go to bed with a big smile on my face! Thank you all for being such wonderful people!
8:46 PM PT: Final update for tonight, 10:45 PM Central: The online funds hold at a breathtaking $2,431. My heart is full. PLEASE - if you are sending a check, it is still welcome... BUT if it means doing without, consider just sending a sympathy card for Reed's mom instead. Drop me a message, and I'll reply with the address tomorrow. You all have done a wonderful thing tonight for a family that really needed it. Thank you all so much.