Monday, August 13, 2007

The Things We Do For Love...

I have learned first-hand that there is a fantastic group of people who make up the Blogosphere - people who post caring comments, who send caring emails, some who even take the time to send a caring card the old-fashioned way (provided they know my address, that is!). I have come to know some truly wonderful people who have cheered me up when I've been down, who have shared both tears and laughter with me, who have been there just like a friend in "real life" would be - sometimes even more so.

So ... now that I have sufficiently buttered you all up and made you feel good about yourselves (which you should!), I am going to ask a colossal favor. Knew there was a catch coming, din't cha? Well, yes, there is and I'm truly hoping that I can take advantage of your good natures by this simple request; a request that will cost you nothing but a click of your mouse and a tiny bit of your time.

My best friend in the whole world Cyndi, who lives 3,000 miles too far away from me in California is going through one of the toughest weeks of her life, as is her husband Jeff. After over 20 years of having her youngest son Daniel, the child who is her heart, at home with her she is now facing his placement into a care home. We have talked of this possibility for years and every time it was mentioned, no matter how remotely far away it might have been, tears would fill Cyndi's voice on the other end of the phone. This is something that she knew would come eventually but that she put off as long as physically possible.

Daniel, bless his heart, is severely autistic at a low-functioning level (Maddy help me out with this one, is that right?) and he is prone to very violent outbursts from time to time. Outbursts that have put holes in walls, put broken glass in Daniel's head, caused trips to the emergency room, and awarded countless bruises to both Cyndi and Jeff as they tried desperately to keep their son from hurting himself during one of these episodes. These incidents have taken their toll on both parent and child and is the main reason that they have opted to have him placed outside of their home in the hands of people who are specially trained to help children and adults with developmental disabilities - people who are better able to physically handle the demands of Daniel.

From the time he was diagnosed with autism around age 3, Cyndi has been a fighter and a champion for her son. She has taken on school systems, doctors, administrators, and a long line of others who have stood between herself and the best care possible for her son. She has been tireless in insuring that Daniel's needs have been met, that he has received not one iota less than his due from his teachers, from the staff that works with her, and from herself, Jeff, and her other two children.

But it has taken its toll and neither Jeff or Cyndi can physically do it anymore. Daniel is a big boy at age 20 and both of his parents face health issues that make it near impossible for them to handle him without injury. Jeff has arthritis that seems to get worse every day while Cyndi has been battling fibromyalgia for years (a disease that caused her to step down as one of the best dispatchers I have ever had the pleasure of sharing a console with), painful cervical disk issues, and now debilitating sciatica that will require spinal surgery. As much as they love Daniel and want to keep him at home they know that just isn't possible anymore so this week they will take the final steps that will put Daniel in placement in a home that is close but certainly not close enough as it isn't theirs.

I can only imagine the pain that Cyndi and Jeff feel and I am sure it pales in comparison to the pain that I felt in putting Jamie on a plane several weeks ago. My daughter may not be physically with me but we can talk on the phone, we can write letters - we can communicate. How do you communicate from afar with someone who can barely speak? How do you get that person to understand that you didn't abandon him or love him any less because he no longer lives with you? These are the things that tear Cyndi's heart out even more as she doesn't want her boy to think that she and his father have abandoned him or sent him away for something he did. I can't begin to fathom this kind of pain but I do understand that words of comfort and encouragement can go a long ways in the healing process and that's where you folks come in.

A little over a year ago Cyndi set up a Blogger account and posted just one single solitary post explaining the reason for the existence of her blog and why she never really planned on doing much with it. True to her word she has done zippety-do-dah with it and she even disabled comments on the thing. Well, sneaky best friend that I am, I was able to remember her log-in information from a time she had asked me to check something for her and she had been physically unable to get out of bed to get to her computer so it was pretty easy for me to go into that one post and enable comments.

What I would like you to do, am asking you to do, is to please take a few minutes out of your busy lives (and trust me, I know they are truly busy!) and stop by Cyndi's blog and leave her an encouraging word or two. Even though it's sporadic, she reads my blog enough to know that there are some fantastic people out there and she knows that you guys have pulled me up by my bootstraps a time or two also. I have sung your praises to the skies when I've talked to her on one of our many long-winded long distance telephone conversations and I would love nothing more than to show her the power of the Blogosphere first-hand.

I don't ask this for myself, I ask this for a friend whom I love dearly and her husband whom I think the world of also - good people going through a really bad time. If you'd like to leave some words of encouragement or support, please go to 90 mph uphill-in-Reverse and leave a message before Cyndi realizes I changed her settings!

Thanking you all in advance!


  1. Anonymous11:02 PM EDT

    I am sure you are a great friend, Linda :) Oh by the way, I'm your new reader, Pelf, LOL.

    And perhaps you'd like to read about a remarkable woman I recently met?

  2. well, I left her a comment. Don't know how coherent it'll have to read around the tear drops.

    You're a dear friend.

  3. Anonymous2:46 AM EDT

    You a good, sweet hacker to have as a friend linda...

  4. You made me cry! but in a good way.
    I am welling up again!

    I have left a comment, i hope it helps a teeny weeny bit!

  5. nice post linda, went there did that

  6. Done...

    And may I say whatever she did to train you as a pertner obviously worked, as I am the one privledged to share a console with you on occasion now. I hope someday to be at least a fourth of a partner she was!

    Long live Team Red!

  7. What a moving post, Linda.
    Cyndi is lucky to have a friend like you!
    I am headed over there.

  8. Went to her site, left a few words, and now I must say, you RULE as far as friends go...! Whoever said "to have one friend is to have a treasure", was talking about the bond between you & Miz Cyn! God bless you, Linda!

  9. 112 with the 105, now BA back to your 111!! Linda, you truely ROCK as a friend! God, how do you do it? Please realize that Karma has the MOTHERLODE of rewards waiting for you...! The thing is, we know you did this because you genuinely care - a trait sadly missing in too many people these days...!

  10. oops, commented twice...didn't think the first one went through. 109, time for a 103L! ;-)

  11. Will do that for you and especially for Cyndi!
    Your post also reminded me that I need to go visit my aunt and her daughter -who are both in a nursing home now. My aunt is 90, her daughter, 50. The daughter is severely mentally and physically challenged -cerebral palsy and retardation factors from birth defects caused by RH factor. This is my aunt's only child and until last August, she cared for her daughter almost totally alone, in her home as she would never consider putting her daughter in a home. Now, my aunt is failing, mentally and physically quite rapidly, but her daughter is thriving, doing very well in the nursing home setting.
    You're a great friend not just to Cyndi but to whole bunches of us here in the blogosphere, Linda. Keep up the highly commendable job you're doing on all fronts, Kid!

  12. Consider it done; a wonderful post, Linda.

  13. You're a good friend Linda, my comment is done too x

  14. Heading there now. You are just the greatest! :)

  15. Anonymous7:34 PM EDT

    Thank you so much for this Linda. It's such a beautiful gesture and I know my mom was immensely touched by it. I'm off of to read all the wonderful comments again . . .

  16. Linda, you are truly a 'friend in need'. Being disabled, I couldn't deal with this. Yet, Cyndi deals with this without complaint, and no whining (listen to the supposed 'troubles' so many whiny people seem to have, but of course don't). Will do!

  17. Anonymous11:01 PM EDT

    Linda, you're so sweet! I went over and wished her well. :)

  18. Linda, I'm like Claire - I'm dripping into my laptop. Wow. What a wonderful thing to do for a friend. If I could give you wings, I would. You're beautiful!

  19. Done! What a wonderful and caring friend you are...of course, we already knew that about you!

  20. Anonymous4:18 PM EDT

    Done, with great pleasure. I hope things get easier for her.


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