Um… HELP!

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Sorry friends for being away so long. I feel guilty as if I have let you down. Or maybe it is Andrea’s memory. I will not let her fade so quickly. Not that she would let me anyway. I feel her presence often almost as if she got to stick around a while to see what happens. I think that though not perfect, I was a good husband. I don’t know much about being a good late husband or even a single parent for that matter. On a spiritual level I feel that death has rocked me far far of coarse. I guess I had expectations about the relationship between god and death that were not met. I pray that Andrea’s expectations were and hope I get to find out some day. If God is there then I’m sure he is watching over me and my family in this temporary state of disillusionment and if this is all we have then at least I believe strongly in love and humanity.

So as far as the title goes… I need some help. Help could come in a few different forms I think. My situation is this…. As you know we need to move around the 25th or so. I have managed to survive the day to day grind without my wife. I have even managed to pull of a few shining moments of parenthood amidst a little guilt about just getting by. I have not been able to pack for the move or tie up all of Andrea’s affairs and the clock is ticking. Part two of my dilemma is that Naomi was planning on coming down for a month and taking care of the baby so I could get a lot of this stuff done, but can no longer because she can’t afford to take time away from work. She really took quite a bit of time and energy away for her life to be around during the time of Andrea’s passing and for that I feel forever in her debt. So what I really need right now is for those who are good with kids (and know my little man) to maybe donate a few half days of their time to take clay out to the park or zoo or… so I can get some of this other stuff done without breaking the bank on childcare. Please feel free to give me a call on Andrea’s old phone if you think you can help. 215 806 8573. I will be making some individual phone calls as well to those who already said they might have some time, but even that is hard to find the time to do so if you want to beat me on the draw feel free to grab your calender and call. You guys have all been amazing with helping this family stay afloat financially and emotionally, and I thank you . I will try hard not to be a stranger for so long anymore.

Kelly

38 Responses to “Um… HELP!”

  1. Renee Khan says:

    Hey Kelly:

    You probably didn’t know how to be a good husband when you married Andea either, but you were. And I have no doubt that you are a good father too. And you will be a good single parent too.

    Things are not easy.

    You will get through this Kelly, like I use to say to Andrea — just breath.

    I think of you and the kids all the time, because you remind me what will be here for my husband and kids when I am gone.

    I think you are right where you need to be spiritually. I don’t believe God wants a sheep. I do believe he wants people who think and question. At least I hope he does.

    Take care Kelly.

    Love Renee

  2. Anna says:

    Kelly,
    I live about an hour and a half away so at this time since I have no car nor job, it is hard for me to get to Philly but I do believe I will be able to lend a hand with babysitting in the later months towards March and April, sorry. For now I have deposited a 100. donation in the paypal, I hope this will help. I truly wish I could do more. I have been thinking of you all everyday and was sadden to just learn of all what has been happening, especially through a blog. Wishing you all much peace. Anna

  3. Anna says:

    I wish I did not learn of all what you have endure through a blog, it deeply saddens me, you all have been in my thoughts everyday since my sudden move back in 2006. I have no job nor a car so it is hard for me to get to philly but it is my hopes that in the later months you would have faith in my to let me lend a hand with childcare, I will make it a goal to get things in order here by the new year. I made a paypal dontation in hopes it will help with childcare, I wish I could do more. Wishing you all peace. Anna

  4. Michelle Wienke says:

    Kelly,

    Out here in cyberspace the days do get long waiting for a post to let us know that you are all well.
    I know that you are continuing on, and all of you are processing, loving and missing Andrea, each in your own way, but also together. You will continue to be the Knight in shining armor for your whole family- there are so many of us who believe in you, and know that you will continue to persevere,,,in spite of your moments of self-doubt.

    Do not doubt for one minute that Andrea is around you, and she will be in the new house too-watching over all of you and loving all of you. She will be with Alec as he ships off next week too!

    I wish that I were closer and able to help you with the packing and moving or even watching Clay-know that I am continuing to pray for all of you daily.

    Keep us posted when you can!

    Michelle

  5. OH Boy Kelly………if ever I wished I could be physically present for you, it is now. Unfortunately, my grandson is quite ill and I am about to take over his care —I will be out of town Aug 18th to 27th and then Sept 4 to 10th. I had hoped to be able to attend Alec’s crabfest but that doesn’t seem likely either since my houseguest from Mexico (an old friend) woke up rather sick this morning and I am tending to her.
    I do have to get that external dvd to you guys so my son, David, will arrange that. And at some point I must go to Florida where Shep’s Will is to be probated to take care of that. I’m deluged with lots of details (sound familiar?) and little energy. But will try to pitch in come later in summer. Sorry

    Toni G

  6. Ruthie says:

    Kelly,
    God will meet you right where you are. Don’t feel guilty for whatever you are feeling and just let the emotions roll. Deal with it all now. I pray that you and the kids are able to make this all work. I pray that you will be knitted together even tighter than before with a love that you could have never imagined would be possible. Day by day, Kelly…love those kids, love yourself. You are a strong man, going through probably one of the toughest times you will ever experience. You are so instrospective, and I gather that you will probably kick yourself in the butt for things much harder than you actually deserve. It is going to be impossible to fill Andrea’s shoes, don’t kill yourself trying. Just do things your way, be authentic, help the kids and yourself deal with this immense loss and learn to live a new way of life your own way. Love each other, grant each other much grace and mercy, be willing to forgive immediately….you guys will all make it!
    Ruthie from California

  7. Victoria says:

    This makes me crazy. All of a sudden, now a poor guy is truly asking for help, what, none of all those hundreds of people who posted when Andrea died and quoted skin creeping, religious platitudes cannot now even help him with some child care? I am not a Christian, neither do I live in America but let me tell you I have learnt from a very good friend to put my money where my mouth is and were I even within 30 miles of this family and little Clay and his dad, I promise I would be there. My heart goes out to you Kelly and with my hand on my heart, I so desperately wish there was some practical help I could offer you xx Put down your bibles readers, drive over, pick up the Very Hungry Caterpillar instead and give this man a break as he tries to sort his life out.

  8. Heather says:

    Kelly,
    I, too, am out in cyberspace but wish there was some way I could help you with child care. I was so glad to see your post today – – I check daily to see how you are doing. Try to take it easy on yourself – – you will find your way but for now just be easy on yourself while you figure it all out.

  9. Stephanie says:

    Kelly,
    I learned of your family during an interview w/ Dan G. and Andrea. I’ve been lurking in your lives ever since. I live in Wayne, not too far from you and would be more than happy to watch Clay for a few hours in the mornings. I realize you nor Clay have any idea who I am, but I promise Im a nice, normal person. I have three kids, 16, 15 & 4. The older two are going back to school soon and my little one goes to pre-K every morning. While my little one is in school, I’m happy to watch Clay. If you like, you can email me at slb91003@yahoo.com.
    Take care,
    Stephanie

  10. Amber says:

    I wish there was something I could do… i found this blog a few weeks ago… im been stalking it ever since… i can’t even explain how much this story has effected me… I have two boys… 11 months apart… Zavery, almost 1 and IzzaQ almost 2… and I pray to whatever god there is out there, that people would be as supportive and loving to my family. A couple weeks ago I started a post on a forum I am on called DIYScene for a bunch of stuff to be donated to you guys… (kids mainly, sorry Kelly) Its all handmade rock n roll stuff… hopefully just a box of smiles… so be expecting a big package at the end of the month… If you ever find yourself in Minneapolis,MN I would love to help out with the little man…Im sure our boys could be great friends… Your family is in my thoughts every day…
    Amber

  11. Dina says:

    Kelly- after a summer of being off, I head back to the classroom next week. It is the craziest time of year for me. If we can be of any help on weekends, we are here. Ed, Owen, and I have met all of the kids except for Alec. We have not seen Clay (other than Andrea’s memorial service) since the end of December, so he would not “know” us, but perhaps we can help out anyway. I hope that you guys received the box we sent a few weeks ago, and that it helped out a little bit. Stay strong…you are a good man and a great dad.
    Dina =)

  12. Hi Kelly,

    I can help!

    I have 2 of my own kids (Emmett 4 and Ethan – 10 months) and can totally get Clay to help out. You said you were looking for people that know Clay, and I have never met him, but I am awesome with kids and would love to help. Here’s my number. Please call me.

    215.687.4112
    215.688.0292
    elisabeth@garson.net

    I also know Rachel S. and Shelley C really well.

  13. Someone who cares says:

    I agree with victoria said 100% I live in new york , have a family , work full time and I gave to paypal to help a family that is truly in need! It’s nice to say kind words to the family but right now he is asking for help ,and $ 5, $10 isn’t going to break anyone I don’t think! Sure my finances with the economy isn’t that great either but I gave and that is what count’s for this family right now. Think if this was you in his shoe’s ! American’s give good advise but always turn there head’s when $ is needed. I’m not trying to be mean here but he needs our help, andrea opened her family and cancer battle to us and didn’t hold back anything….. maybe we should do the same ! keep strong Kelly and family

  14. Katie says:

    Hi Kelly,

    Just to say you’re really doing so well, especially that you’ve asked for help and I can see at least a couple of people are offering. Believe me if I was in your country I would definitely offer my help, especially as I have a four week break from my course right now. I wish everyone was as brave as you. I would love to give my help.
    I feel confident this will work out for you. It is nothing like as bad and I am not a practicing christian but I had a run of bad luck recently and I asked for help. I got the most amazingly generous help and made two new friends as well into the bargain. I really hope that happens for you.
    I am so sorry for the tragic stuff life has given you and your family.
    I will continue to check in and pray that exactly the right help comes knocking at your door.
    Keep on keeping on. I hope your move goes ok. keep askign for all the help you need and it will arrive-possibly in unexpected ways, but it will be there. Trust x

  15. Lin says:

    Wow…
    I am so sorry for your loss. Andrea was wonderful and special to us. I can only imagine your fears of expectations, but life goes on and there are precious children here and young Adults that need you. Clay will turn two in October and hopefully you see that he has many needs. Kelly, why not a job, why not earned credit for childcare, why not? You’ll need to become gainfully employed just like those of us who help and donate. you need annual income tax return, and I know you’re 40 and have only filed one return! (unless Andrea was wrong) That is what you need for assistance.

    Naomi works too, Dina works, I work as well and I’m willing to help, but you need to help yourself.

    I believe strongly in love and humanity and taking care of our precious Children.

    It can’t feel good to have to come to this forum every month and Have a post from “Someone who Cares”

    My wish is for goodness, love, and fairness in your life.

  16. Tess Collins says:

    You don’t know me, but I am from the area. If you need someone for a weekend I would help with Clay. My daughter will be 4 and my nieces are 3 and nephew is going to be 2 so there are plenty of kids around. My family owns Luke’s Bar on Cedar ST.
    Let me know!

  17. Kelly says:

    Ok lets see here, I just read a post that says in so many words that i should get a job. I have a job thanks, oh wait I have two. I tattoo at body graphics tattoo and I raise a rather large family. If any of you would like to see my online portfolio check it out at http://www.bodygraphics.com . I’m not really sure what my tax info has to do with anything or why my late wife would share personal information with whoever ( but lets hope it was the medication talking.) I have worked hard for years supporting Andrea and first 5 then 6 kids. She went to school and rarely had a job as our deal was always get the education and then we will be set as a two income house hold. Until Andrea got sick I frequently worked six days a week. I’m trying to make it all work on three days a week right now because I need to raise my son. That said Lin I don’t know who you are but your comments aren’t accurate or appreciated. I’m sure that there are a lot of nice tolerant feedback friendly blogs out there, I suggest you find one (ps if you ever made a donation, I’ll gladly send you a refund).

    I apologize to the rest of you, I am a pretty proud guy and taking charity has been really hard for me. I am grateful beyond words though because your charity allowed me to spend about 2 months just loving and spending time with my wife getting things sort of back together after her death. That is one of the most valuable gifts I have ever received. You let me be there.

    As for this last post I want to say thank you for some of your offers but i really only intended it to be a shortcut so I didn’t have to make a lot of phone calls to those who had already offered to help with clay and that he knows and seems comfortable with. I am really pleased that so many people reached out though. I think I will have it all worked out by Monday afternoon though.

    Lastly, I hope at least that some of you understand that this last post wasn’t about money (save saying thank you). If giving to my family makes you feel good then that is awesome and I will put it to good use, but I don’t have any expectations and is not the purpose of this blog.

    Be Well
    Kelly

  18. debi says:

    Kelly, please do not let the rants of this horrible woman get you down. She is the only person to ever make any “ugly” and sometimes very hateful remarks to Andrea or others here. On June 29th (Just 6 days before she passed) Andrea told her to “go commenting somewhere else”. Lin get some help and also go the hell away. Kelly, I do not need to know you to know what kind of a man you are. For a real man to ask for help is never something he wants to do but when he has little people counting on him he puts his pride away and does what has to be done. You are an amazing man and dad and everything else. It breaks my heart that anyone would be so ignorant and heartless. My husband would do just as you are and I would be proud and I know Andrea is too. Please do not let this get to you. If people don’t know your needs they cannot help. God Bless you Kelly, debi

  19. sandia says:

    I’ve just recently stumbled upon your blog, and have been really touched by both your honesty and your wife’s. Anyways… not sure what I’m trying to say here but wanted to add a positive comment to erase the ugly. Just the mom in me, I guess. Sometimes we need help and it’s okay to ask for it, and I would also be really upset if someone started talking about my income tax on a blog. Maybe she meant well though… Hang in there and breathe. God sustains.

  20. debi says:

    I’m sorry but after reading the amazing Lin again I feel so much more angry. You have no right to talk about Kelly and his tax returns his age or that you hope he notices that baby Clay has many needs. WTF? I know this is not my place and I am trying not to say what I really want to. But really, how dare anyone talk like this to a man who has just lost his true love? I think it’s hurtful to the whole family. sorry for the rant kelly, i am disgusted.

  21. Lorraine says:

    At first I thought, just delete it her! She’s so negative. Your wife has only been gone a little over a month. Move on?!
    But then it made me just mad enough to defy her and go donate.

    Btew, you don’t need to justify your work experience or job history with anyone. It’s not their business. If they’re going to give in terms of money or time it should be because they want to or because Lin has pissed them off 🙂
    Keep your head held high. You deserve it. You’re a good man.

  22. Someone who cares.... says:

    kelly,

    please dont apologize or feel you owe us any explanations to anything that LIN posted ! whom ever this person is lives in a miserable world and enjoys being negative. Obviously this person has never had to experience, pain like your family has and is going through. I hope Lin takes there negativity and puts it towards a positive thing. ( My opinion…. Lin,just stay out of commenting on your blogs as I dont care to read it! ) Your doing great kelly and you have a lot of support here.

  23. Barbara Walder says:

    Hey Lin—

    Walk a mile in this family’s shoes. This is the 3rd time that you have acted like a smacked a– in this blog. I remember being shocked twice before with your snide comments. Do you get a little chuckle after you’ve written? GO AWAY!!! Barbara

  24. Mary Beth says:

    Kelly,

    My mouth dropped when I was reading what Lin wrote. Please don’t put any stock in what she has written. My life has been forever changed by ou, Andrea, your beautiful family, and your amazing friends. Everyone’s love and dedication to each other has taught me more than I can ever express. Because of this journey you have let me share, I strive to become a better wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend. In the face of everything you have experienced, you get up every day and make a difference.

    As far as the thoughts you expressed in your original post, who wouldn’t be disillusioned after what you’ve experienced in the past year and a half? I am so far removed from your story and I was questioning God and how/why this could happen. Your family and your faith will keep you grounded and in time, I pray that you find the peace and resolution you need.

    Many months ago, I wrote in a post that my husband (who is originally from Fishtown) is itching for a new tattoo. He still is and as soon as we get the $$$ together, we will be getting in touch with you at your shop. Focus on all the positive thoughts and wishes being sent your way. You are doing wonderful and amazing things every day! Try to stay strong … you have lots of support here!

  25. sandia says:

    Hi Kelly,

    I think my last post was moderated out so I just wanted to tell you that when I said, “Maybe she meant well”, I didn’t mean in any way AT ALL that she could be right in what she wrote. I just meant sometimes people are misguided and mean well but do harm. After reading the other comments, I can see her rudeness is habitual, and I can see why my comment would seem so “off”. Anyways, no need to post this but I didn’t want you to think I was another poster agreeing with her – don’t want to add anymore negativity to your hectic life.

    Take care, and lots and lots and lots of love and light to you.

    ps. checked out your portfolio and love your tattoos.

  26. diane says:

    Wow Lin, do you need a wake-up call. I would hope that you never know the tragedy that has happened to this family. Do us all a favor and find somewhere else to post….

    Kelly, keep that chin up. Blessings to you all.

  27. Katie says:

    Kelly………..please do not spend any further time smarting from bad feedback. I was shocked like many others and we ‘carry’ the hurting for you I think- you’ve been through enough.

    It doesn’t get any more final than death, losing a partner or not seeing your child grow up.

    It frequently seems to happen, I’ve found, through reading other bereavement postings, that the odd person will somehow feel a bit of tough talk is what’s needed. It is sad to think of anybody not being able to access their heart in an appropriate way at such a time, and so I hope some useful learning and a change of heart will result.

    It’s a powerful thing to ask for help and not feel resentlful and ‘help-less’ by bottling up your real needs.

    A cyber hug x

  28. Jaija says:

    Like many people who have their own perceptions without knowing the full scope of a situation (nor do they ask), Lin may not think about the depth and perception required to capture the `big picture. ‘She makes statements and justifies her reasoning. She feels she is an advisor and mentor. She needs to go back and get some training in communication/counseling and listening. Basic counseling 101…..ask questions prior to rendering judgement,, listen, find out what the other person is feeling/thinking before providing the `cure’ for their life’s trevails. If you do post on this and other blogs again, Lin. find out how the other person is feeling/thinking and learn the facts first before you render opinion. Its the compassionate/caring thing to do.

  29. Lo says:

    Simple-BLOCK ‘LIN’ out. We are all giving ‘Lin’ an audience which is something he/she does NOT deserve.
    Kelly-i emailed you a bit back to get in touch with me about an idea-know you are busy and haven’t heard but when you get a chance, drop me a line and then i will have your email address to send to.
    Also, my very good friend and I are itching for another tattoo and we want Andrea’s star and hope to roadtrip to YOU to get it!
    :)LO
    from Canada!!!!!!

  30. pamela says:

    Hey kelly, i agree with the block-she is feeding off any kind of attention. those of us who have been with you and andrea thru the long run, even if it could only be thru the blog know how great a guy you are! don’t worry about God, even if you are not sure if you believe in Him anymore, He still believes in you! Go visit http://www.stevencurtischapman.com/ to see how this rock artist has been handling his terrible grief. Here is a Christian rock star for like over 25 years who didn’t know if he still believed in God anymore when his little 5 year adopted girl from china was backed over and killed accidently by his son! these things shake us to the core, no matter how strong our faith may be. when you can’t pray anymore, that’s what we are here for, to hold you up when you can’t go on…like the offers of help from those far and near…all the meals, etc. that is Jesus in the flesh for you, He is crying with you, but He is there in the hands and prayers of His people. i don’t know if that makes sense, but it comes with a lot of love behind it, i hope i never am offensive by what i say, i stay silent a lot to prevent that! i wish you joy, my friend…someday.

  31. Melinda says:

    Okay, I’m going to try really hard not to be so nasty that I get banned, but F**k Lin. It’s true that she has the right to voice an opinion, but you weren’t in any way asking for people to give their hard earned money to some guy sitting on his a$$ asking for a handout. I’m sure I can speak for most of us when I say, she obviously has missed the point of your post. You need help, not charity, and for you to be the grown up who is taking care of his kids and can recognize when he’s overwhelmed I say ‘good for you’… I hope some day “Lin” isn’t in the same position and needs help from good people, because God forbid they say “get a job” and think that’s okay. I’m one of those hard working moms with a stay at home dad that has nurtured my kids into awesome people. We don’t have a lot, but you can bet on my next paycheck, you’re getting a PayPal from me. I’ll just go on record as saying that “Lin” inspired me to give when I know I’ll still be okay the next day. It’s unfortunate that we all have to take the time out of our day to acknowledge what was said, but damn it- it makes me feel better to vent!! xoxo to YOU and your Precious Children.

  32. kelly says:

    Wow you guys really have my back. I guess I always knew it though. I love you guys… you have heart. But lets step back a minute, a little circular breathing perhaps. I didn’t mean to start anything, I’m just a really assertive
    guy lately..especially when it come to my kids. Lets use all this emotion constructively. Now go hug someone. lets make the world a better place, or remind someone that that it already is an ok place if you look at it through the right eyes. I’m not mad at Lin. Or anyone else for that matter. I say my piece and move on and find that those around us really only affect us when we let them. My life is good and I think I could say the same for the kids. we are blessed and surrounded by love.

  33. Michelle Wienke says:

    Kelly,
    As usual, you have handled a tacky circumstance with grace! You will continue to be Blessed, and do what you need to do to raise your family.

    Glad to hear that you are all OK, continuing to pray for all of you and holding you close in my thoughts and prayers. Ignore the negative, and do go give someone a hug-maybe that’s what’s wrong with some people-they dont have any love (or God) in their lives!

    Best wishes to you as you get the kids ready for back to school- wishing I could do more for you!

    Love and good wishes!
    Michelle

  34. Jeanine says:

    Kelly,

    I wholeheartedly agree with the previous posters… BLOCK LIN! And I for one am so glad that you are posting things that are going on in your life – I want to know, and because I live in VA all I can do is donate thru Paypal, but I am so glad I can do that. You are an example to so many of us – we care about you and the kids and I am so glad when I read an update. I hope I will be as good a parent as you are when I have children.

    Lots of love and hugs,

    Jeanine

  35. Mary Kate says:

    Kelly, anytime after 3pm(tues thru Sun) and any monday(all day/night). I take some saturdays off for my sanity and would love to take Clay any of those Saturdays off, I just go eat Dim Sum anyway, he would love it. Honestly, any night and any Monday or any Sat i have off. Just call. I’m not avail Sept 4th thru 6th or Aug29th to sept1) Its vaction time at the restaurant and I’m goin camping both weekends, other than that – I’m here. Please use me, I adore that little man

  36. Melinda says:

    Okay I took a few deep breaths and had a few wines…. I am at peace again as well 🙂

  37. Tamara says:

    Right on Kelly. Keep moving forward-You and the kids are surrounded by so much positive energy, there is no room for anything else. This big, blue world loves all of you.

  38. Wendy says:

    I just went to the Body Graphics site. Your portfolio is awesome. You are so talented! I’m glad you posted the link!