Growing Pains

Our grief seems to manifest itself in many strange ways. Collectively we have: Building a blanket cave in our room and living there, not doing chores, calling the puppy names, pooping in the tub (ok that may just be because he can), starting fights over dumb stuff, starting fights with everyone in the house, professing unrequited love to a close family friend, unsuccessfully looking for blind dates on the internet, retail therapy, playing video games well past bedtime, still not doing chores and acting confused when it is brought to ones attention that the house is a mess, answering every question with “I Don’t know”, being uptight with those only trying to help, living on the internet… ect.

I guess we are all right on track, beautifully F’ed up. Seems pretty much perfect for now. The trick is to catch one self or call each other on it. I frequently have to remind the kids and myself that things are seldom what they seem. When we are jammed up about the “little stuff” if we take a minute to feel we will usually arive at “Damn, I miss her.”

Other than that I have been working my way though a little bit of the stuff I need to every day. Car insured, license renewed, ect. Apparently the social security benefits that Andrea though the kids would be getting don’t exist. Apparently she didn’t work enough in her lifetime to have the government do anything for the kids. Lousy, because that was to be a big part of my child care fund. Folks are always asking if they can help… so yes, If you are good with kids (and I know you) if you want to take Clay somewhere and do something with him for a few hours here and there ( especially during the rest of the summer) so I can have some time to pack, make appointments, go to the gym, make an AA or church meeting…. That would be super helpful. If you want to come over some night and cook our food and have dinner with us… That would be supper helpful (ha ha get it). I get a strange pleasure a out of knowing that Andrea would be rolling her eyes at that last one. In case you didn’t know I married the queen of the eye rollers.
I feel like the universe (that means you) has already been more than generous for this lifetime, But fyi any donations to the paypal account at this point will most likely go to childcare… And that would be helpful. I am trying to do the best I can as a single parent and some days are better than others. Unfortunately I can’t multi task like the missus used to.

As we of the secret handshake like to say.

This too shall pass.

Kelly

34 Responses to “Growing Pains”

  1. ByJane says:

    Yes, it shall.

    Wish I wasn’t on the other side of the country, so I could come and take Clay out. Wish I wasn’t so broke, so I could contribute.

  2. Roads says:

    Well put, Kelly. Each day can seem longer than a lifetime, when no diversion can really take you round the gap.

    Art thou gone so ?
    … For in a minute there are many days.

    Time stretches now, sometimes. But it does its work, all the same. Spirits up.

  3. Pat says:

    I live in SC so I’m so sorry I can’t do much to help you but you and your family are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. i hope the good memories will help you get through the tough times. Here is a virtual hug from my family to yours.

  4. Heather says:

    If you could email or post an address to the paypal account, I would like to help with what and when I can. Unfortunately it won’t be this week as we have had to praise the Cash advance god for rent, but over the next few weeks I hope to collect some money for you guys to help out where we can.
    Sorry I can’t do more. Grief is a bitch, but it will get easier to deal with.
    I lost my grandfather days after you guys lost Andrea and while it isn’t the same, I too am grieving for her.
    I’m keeping a candle light vigil for you guys.
    Blessings of healing and peace.
    Heather in Florida

  5. Jodi says:

    Hi,
    I have been following your blog since it was on Preston and Steve. I am so touched by this blog. I admired your wife’s courage and spirit when she would blog and it would renew me to go back to my life..mom of three small ones,wife to a philly cop, nurse, ect. with renewed energy. I pray for you family and I am following your blog as you move on since Andrea’s passing. I would like to help you in any way I can..(as you have helped me already by your story of spiritual strenth love and faith)… If you post the paypal again I d appreciate it. I am a decent cook, as in we dont starve ..so if you were serious about some dinner company..and I have some things I would like to donate..We have clothes for little ones toys strollers ect..Please let me know what you need… My email is FredRep@verizon.net. ….Thank you and God Bless you and your family Jode

  6. Someone who cares says:

    I soooo feel for you and your son clay the most, not that the other kids don’t count or mean they aren’t just as important but i relay to this as i have a son your’s age and couldn’t imagine what it would be like for my husband if I was Andrea ! I will hit paypal for your family as I think if I was your wife she would do this for me ! keep strong and keep your blog going ! some on us may not be “punk rock” but we all have families and that is where we all come together and hope other’s out there reading this blog will donate to your family.. $ 5.oo makes a different people if you cant do more…… This family for a year opened up to us all and not to be mean…..This could be an eye opener to us and realize the goverment doesn’t care about just eveyday people and your kids could be in kelly’s situation so let us all do what is right and help them… Keep strong kelly and family ,those of us who don’t even know you have come to love you and your family’s blog ! Im not a punk rock mom , but Im a mother who care’s ! keep this site going! god bless you and your children !

  7. Colleen says:

    Although this usually makes me cry it also makes me feel better; it’s a verse my daughter gave me written by Angelo Patri. I wish I had a quick fix for all of you, but there just isn’t one. Just hold on to love! the heartbreak will always be there but it will feel just a little softer each day. Peace & luv to the family.

  8. Rachael says:

    Thanks for a great update. I laughed at supper helpful. You can be funny! I bet Andrea totally rolled her eyes wherever she is.

  9. Aja Beech says:

    Hey
    Since I know you’re on the internet most of the time I’ll leave my message here. I’d love to hang with Clay any day- I have my boys everyday except Mon and Tues. This Wednesday I’m one teacher for a recycled art class at the Hagert St playground and after is the Transformers movie. Anytime you need a break or some help or to talk or anything just give me a call.
    Ps- I truly love to clean and do dishes. Truly. Ask Naomi- I was sneaking in and doing dishes before- I’d be happy to make it a habit.

  10. Jeanine says:

    Kelly – thank you for another real and honest post – and yes, you can be very funny and it’s awesome to read! On the topic of social security benefits – is there nothing that can be done, no loopholes? Anyone than can FIND a loophole? That just totally and completely SUCKS. Andrea – from everything I have read – was just about one of the most amazing moms and her job – guiding her children to adulthood – more important than anything else I could think of.

    Anyway…… thinking of you guys, and thank you for posting…… I hope to someday have the chance to meet you guys because I love how real you are.

  11. Denise says:

    You don’t know me. Andrea didn’t know me, but she touched my heart through this blog. I learned of Andrea from an internet friend in Australia, and sent what little money I could and an email to Naomi.

    I live in DE and work near 11th & Arch. If there is anything AT ALL I can do to help you with the kids, please ask. Even if I just pick up take out for you guys. Please don’t hesitate to ask. Much love to you and yours, and I wish you all peace in your grief.

  12. Renee Khan says:

    Kelly it beyond sucks that the kids won’t get that social security money. What a world we live in.

    You are doing everything right and I think your children areall very lucky that you are such an evolved person.

    Keep up the fight, and like I use to tell Andrea, just breath.

    Love Renee

  13. Heather says:

    I’m wondering if your local hospital has a grief/bereavement class for the kids? Ours has one and it teaches the kids to deal with their different emotions in a constructive way. Maybe you could call and see about that when you get a minute? ((prayers))

  14. Michelle Wienke says:

    Kelly and family-

    I’m so sorry that this is your reality! What you are all going through is so normal-frustrating, exasperating, exhausting, but normal. I know you will continue to love all of the kids as your own, and keep the lines of communication open with all of them, as well as continuing to be the father that they can count on each day to look out for their best interests.

    Because I am in New York, I am unaware of the “rules” of Pa- is it possible for you to contact social services to explain the situation. There must be some type of assistance to help you feed the kids and keep a warm home for them….please have someone check this out for you!

    I know your friends will continue to help you out in the many ways that they have- rely and depend on them-they are angels there for all of you.

    Please continue to talk with the social workers/bereavement counselors at Hospice- I believe, in Pa too, it is totally FREE for the first 13 months- please take advantage of this for both you and the kids. You have taken on a monumental task, single parenting is hard, even under the best of circumstances,,,,but I believe you will continue to nurture the kids and love them and show them the good in life-Andrea would not have left them with you if she didn’t believe that.

    Please take some time for yourself-going to the gym, AA, church, even a little work, will all help you feel some sense of normalcy amidst the ciaos.

    I am having some surgery tomorrow, and may not be able to check back until later this week, or early next week-please know that I will continue to keep you in my prayers- you are an amazing man-and God has you placed right where you are for a reason-I believe that!

    Be well-hold onto each other!

    Keep the posts coming when you can- we are all pulling for you!!

    Michelle

  15. pamela says:

    thank you for sharing, you and your kids are still in my prayers. sometimes the most significant prayer in your life can be, “help!” i wish i were closer to help out, my son will be in philli this week helping his fiancee move in for med school. he doesn’t even believe you guys are real! i think you are one of the most real guys i know (even if i know you thru andrea and the blog!)! it is when you stop being real that things fall apart. keep telling how you feel, ask for help-some people at church or from whereever may not want to bother you, so keep asking!
    blessings to you all,
    pam

  16. Laura K says:

    Hey Kelly,
    We are all praying for you and the kids. I miss you all so much. My Dad has lots of boxes and we wanted to know a good time to bring them over. Please call me or my mom Jesse should have her number and I think you have mine if not you know he has it. If you need anything please don’t hesitate to call. I love you all and I’d be more then happy to take clay for you any time.

    Laura

  17. leah says:

    let me know i can bring you guys some food, are there days of the week that are better than others? or when meals are harder? days and times? i can bring some “ready to eat meals” for ya : )
    ~leah

  18. Tess Collins says:

    I know you are at a loss on what to do without such a wonderful woman and having the children. I am from the neighborhood so feel free to let me know if you need anything. I know school is coming up and time to get school essentials-let me know if you need help picking some things up. I may not have a lot, but helping others comes back to you-that’s how I feel. I park in the lot on FKD ave and drive near your house a lot and think to order pizza sometimes, but not sure of the address. I do things with my daughter on the weekends so if you need some time to do things I can take Clay for a bit. My daughter will be four so not a big age gap with the kids.

  19. Maura says:

    Dear Kelly

    Anger & frustration are just a part of the grieving process. This is all still so new and fresh for all of you. There are several wonderful books out there on the “grieving process.”

    From reading Andrea’s Blog, I have learned that she had no contact with her father or sister but, there were several references of her mom. Have you reached out to her for some help with the children?

    As for social security, there has to be something that can be done. You need to contact your local legislator for help. I personally know people that have received social security benefits as children when the parent didn’t work at all. County Assistance is another venue. They can give you food stamps and emergency cash. Your family is certainly in need. Though I don’t live in Philadelphia, I have several friends that do and I will ask them to do some research for you.

    God has blessed you all & I am certain you will all get through this. You all need time to heal.

    ~MAURA~

  20. Heather says:

    My husband went to Saint Joe’s Prep. If they have any question or concerns please let us know and he will help. Once I get my next pay check I will send a few your way. Also, if the kids need any school supplies please let us know that too. I don’t want to put all my info out on the blog but you can contact us the Chubb Rock if you want. Tell him Heather and Byron wanted to help.

  21. cynthia says:

    where’s the paypal link?? need to get that top of every page.. for easy access…

  22. Peggy, Portland Oregon says:

    Kelly you don’t know me but that pretty sounds like the story here. I so feel for you and your family. I am sending something via the pay pal account! Hope it helps
    Peg

  23. Val says:

    Boy SS blows. The same thing happened to a nephew to my BFF. The mom passed from a motorcycle accident about 2 years ago. She mostly worked part-time so no benefits for her 3 kids. I did not believe the father, but I guess it was true. I don’t quite understand. You’d think she paid some money into SS so her dependents should get some money. Every little bit would help.

    I do think that everything will work out for you. The almighty has his ways about him. It will take time and alot of healing for you and the kids. I’m sure that Andrea’s spirit will be there helping you.

  24. Mary Beth says:

    When I checked over the weekend, I was so touched to see that you posted another entry. After your previous entry, I wasn’t sure, but no one would question if there was never another posting. You need to heal and focus on living and getting through each day. Thank you for continuing to touch and inspire us by your strength and your love for Andrea and the children.

  25. Rachel says:

    Kelly – I’m a friend of a friend and have a few weeknights a week free. I’d love to help either with childcare or with coming over and cooking dinner for you all. Please feel free to email me. thanks.

  26. Donna says:

    Paypal account is at the top of every page under ‘wanna help’ and it is very easy, gets charged to whatever CC you use.
    Kelly and Kids,
    My mind, heart and prayers are with you and I know whatever $$ is sent is helpful and my heart is joyful in doing so.

  27. Angela says:

    God Bless you and your family, Kelly. I will sned $ to help as soon as I can afford to do so.

  28. Kym says:

    I was a friend of Andrea’s back when we were 18 year olds going to CCP and hanging out at shows. We lost touch over the years. I know Rob who told me of Andrea’s death. I can’t imagine what you are all going through. I’m sad the world lost such a strong, amazing woman.

    In Andrea’s memory I would like to donate some money via pay pal (or whatever).So let me know where to send it.

  29. mc says:

    hey, make sure you really work the system and see if anything can count towards work/income. talk to everyone at the office and everyone you know. how short is she in terms of years worked or ss credits? there may be a way – http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10084.html

    The number of credits you need to have family members be eligible for survivors benefits depends on your age when you die. Most people need 40 credits (10 years of work) to qualify for benefits. Younger people need fewer credits to be eligible for disability benefits or for family members to be eligible for survivors benefits when the worker dies.

    Under a special rule, benefits can be paid to your children and your spouse who is caring for the children even if you don’t have the number of credits needed. They can get benefits if you have credits for one and one-half year’s work (6 credits) in the three years just before your death. In 2008, you earn one credit for each $1,050 in earningsā€”up to a maximum of four credits per year.

    is the money from this site considered income and did andrea make enough last year and this year? according to the above, 6 credits is only $6,300. but that means you would have to pay taxes on the income. talk to everyone and see if there are any scenarios that work for you. did andrea receive any income that you didn’t consider as income that could be income for the ss credits?

  30. Kelly says:

    Hi Kym, Thanks so much for your support. It really makes thing more manageable right now. There is a link on this sight that says “wanna help?” that leads to our paypal account.

  31. Maureen says:

    Everytime I read this, I am completely overwhelmed by the strength and the love in this family.

    I gave a little something on paypal. Hope it helps. I wish I was in the area so I could do more tangible things.

    Much much love.

    Maureen
    Akron, OH

  32. Sarah, Leo, Bella & Gigi says:

    Hey Kelly, I don’t know if you know me but I would love to help with the kids. My husband Leo worked with Andrea at T-Moms. Your kids know me and my girls. They are 4 and 2 1/2, Bailey loves them. Send me an e-mail if you think I can help. We live in S. Philly, have a big house and are right next to a playground. I know how hard it is to do anything with little ones underfoot.

  33. Mindy says:

    Kelly,
    I wrote before, we are Andrea’s Temple Starbucks people. Ben, Rebecca and myself all have kids under 2, and would be happy to take Clay for a playtime whenever. I live in the Northeast and work at Temple, but if you need us to organize some Clay time, please feel free to contact me. I am sure you have an outpouring of offerings, but just wanted to put it out there. We are organizing some assistance through our company, Sodexo and Temple as well for monetary funds and food as well. You or anyone who I should speak to can contact me at the email I sent.

    Sending love and support,
    Mindy

  34. Ann says:

    Kelly, I am friends with Jetter. And the kids know me and my husband Brian. We will be two blocks away from your new house and look forward to spending time with you all.

    In the meantime, I have some free time over the next few weeks. I can watch Clay for a few hours – he can play with our almost 2 year old daughter Evie. I’d also like to volunteer to cook for you…I’ve eaten with the kids and am intimidated by the amount of food I’d have to make, but I’ll try. Why don’t you email me or call or get one of the boys to call (get my # from Tony) and we’ll make some arrangements.

    Best, Ann