In this quiet moment as I gather my thoughts and figure out how to put on my game-face and get through the day, I just wanted to say thank you on behalf of the BGIM family. It has warmed my heart to read so many kind words in response to my last post. As a deeply private family (imagine that), that was a terribly hard post to write but both my brother and I realized that as this situation evolves by the hour, it truly is no longer business as usual for us and pretending it is, does us no good.
Many people have reached out and asked if there is anything that they can do to assist during this time. The truth is, I don’t know. While we await more tests and final words, we are trying to navigate the new day-to-day. One thing is sure, my father isn’t going back to work and that will definitely impact both my brother and I as my father is pretty close to being financially insolvent. In other words there is so savings or back up plans; we the kids are the back up plans. That creates a whole new level of concerns because it means all his needs will need to be taken care of by us. Thankfully years of working in social services and having assisted my father when my mother was ill means I am well aware of the social services that exist and we will be making use of those services. But as anyone who has ever navigated the world of social security disability knows, it is an involved process that takes time and still doesn’t cover the day-to-day as the process unfolds.
In the short run, I am flying home to Chicago tomorrow morning; however, I am only able to stay overnight because as much as I love my brother, sleeping on the floor of his studio is just not happening. My father lives in a single room occupancy building and building rules won’t allow me to stay in his place during his absence. So one of my biggest barriers to spending any significant amount of time in Chicago is a lack of places to stay; I can’t afford the cost of a hotel long term. I am fortunate that I have eight weeks of paid leave time off but the financial reality is that I still have to pay my family’s living expenses since the phone company does not care that my dad is ill. Neither does the heating oil man. It’s life. One of the reasons I have constantly stalled in going out for the past few weeks (before my dad’s situation suddenly became a crisis) is financial concerns.
If one were inclined, the most critical area of need is a place to lay my head either in the Loop or near the John Stroger Hospital. I am staying tomorrow night at the Club Quarters, Central Loop on Adams Street in Chicago, it is $117. 11 a night.
I would say the next area where assistance would be great is food, if you are local to me knowing that I don’t have to cook would be great. Right now the Man Unit is doing as much as he can to lighten my load but with the 7 year old in addition to his own full plate of work, it’s a lot. If we could just eat without much thought it would be great.
I struggled with whether or not to write this post because; I am not very comfortable with asking people for things. I always find that ironic considering what I do for a living, but as I explained the situation to a friend this morning, she told me that she hadn’t considered what the financial implications were for me having such a small family who all live in very small spaces in an expensive city. I also had an online friend who gently pointed out that people may truly want to help but if I don’t say what I need, no one can help. I guess that makes a lot of sense. So that’s it. That is where we are. If you feel moved to help, it would be lovely but please don’t feel like you have to. Just receiving people’s good thoughts and kind words is all I expected when I wrote my last post. But since some of you asked what you could do beyond words, the least I can do is let you know where the help is most needed.
PS: Since I have readers I have never met as well as friends that read here who have reached out, writing one blog post is the easiest way for me to address everyone. I am all about simplifying things at the moment.