Getting Picked Up After a Rough Week
It's been a rough month. They discovered a cancerous brain tumor in my 4 year-old niece and it has rocked our family hard. We had a benefit for Kailynn Sunday and raised over 15 thousand dollars to help the family get through this difficult time. Thanks to the Stiffler family for hosting the benefit dinner at Ellie's Country Kitchen.
Thanks to all those who helped donate the food and Carpetmasters of Webberville for having the banner made to say thanks. Thanks to every listener, who has never met my niece but had the heart to come out and support the cause. I was on the verge of tears all day. When I handed my brother a check for 11 thousand dollars, he wept like I have never seen him before. After our embrace, my dad came up and gave me a hug. This is the third hug he has offered up to me in my lifetime. The others were when we had family pass away. All told we made 15 grand Sunday and money keeps coming in to the gofundme.com page and to the station.
One of the greatest moments for me, was when the Church of the Living World made a 500 dollar donation. Mort, the blessing of the bikers guy we have on every year, told me how he stood up at church to take donations and broke down. Before they left Sunday, the gang won a 50/50 and donated their winnings back to the cause. I ran out of the building to catch them and give them all hugs before they left. I am guessing they dropped over a grand before they left.
So many people stopped in with donations and raffle items, we were overwhelmed by the generosity. We somehow got through it and came out exceeding our goal. So many people stood in line waiting to get dinner, the line wrapped around the building. Thank you for your patience.
We had people volunteering when they saw the need for a volunteer. David Wheeler from the FFA volunteering his time to sell hugs and kisses for Kailynn. He made 250 bucks selling Hershey kisses. My niece Annabelle, sold bracelets and pictures, she made 100 bucks. We sold out of bracelets. We sold out of Swiss Steak. We still have t shirts available. The generosity was a beautiful thing I needed to see.
We started decorating the Living Arts Dance Studio Friday night around 8 pm. Huge thanks to Living Arts Dance Studio who let us use their building, then made a 100 dollar donation to the cause. We got done around 11 pm with set up.
Mrs. Pants and I went home to get some sleep. When we got home, one of our cats was acting very strange. Foo is 13 and has been battling mast cell disease. For the last 5 years, he's had a rough road. Thousands of dollars in vet bills but all we wanted was to give him a fighting chance. When we saw him on Friday night, I put my clothes back on and got ready to take him to the small animal clinic at MSU. We have had 2 cats put down there before and they are open 24 hours. He was acting very strange, like he was in great pain and he wouldn't eat his soft treat food.
We got to the clinic and they took him back. We waited in the waiting area for about 20 minutes when they came in and told us he would have to stay all night so they could run tests. When we were talking to the Doctor, I had a full on panic attack in the tiny examination area. I became claustrophobic and began sweating. Before I passed out, while he was explaining what was wrong with my cat, I had to go get some fresh air. I hadn't eaten hardly anything and been up for nearly 22 straight hours. It also hit me that this was most likely the end of the road for Foo,
We both knew on the way home, chances were good his adventure was over. I woke up the next day and came in early to get ready for the MSU tailgate. Prepping for the show, I was very emotional and worried how I was going to get through the show without losing it. Mrs. Pants called while I was prepping to tell me Foo had become septic and we would indeed have to put him down. The surgery to attempt to fix Foo would have been about 6 grand and would not have guaranteed he would even be ok. He had a lot of problems.
I go do the tailgate show on campus completely numb and on the verge of a breakdown. I did one stupid thing, asked a coach about a recruit. I was so upset with myself, I was screaming at myself inside of my head. Then I kept thinking, I have to put my cat down as soon as I leave the show. Things could be worse. Nick Chase talked about the benefit at the end of the show. We promoted it and when we were done, off the air, WMMQ listener Rob Pell handed me money to donate to the Kailynn cause. I have had a lot of people hand me money for Kailynn but at that time everything hit me and I couldn't keep it in anymore. Thanks Rob and everyone who helped.
Mrs. Pants text me to say she wanted to meet in Lansing so Foo didn't have to suffer anymore. I walked from the tailgate site to the small animal clinic with a ball in my stomach. We do not have children. Our animals are like our children. We talk to them and they talk back to us.
We arrived around the same time and we crawled in to the cage where they were holding Foo. The doctor said he was throwing up and the nausea drug they were giving him was the strongest they had. When I got in to the cage, he looked at me and looked away, like he didn't want me to see him like that. He looked so bad, a shadow of the mouse killer he once was. We said our goodbyes and off Foo went to the lord. It was the only decision to make. We spent 1,500 dollars trying to figure out what was killing him. We don't have a lot of money but that was well spent.
We were both devastated but we had an event for a little girl the next day. Mrs. Pants asked me not to say anything on social media so we didn't have to talk about it with anyone at the benefit. We made it through the benefit without any public displays of emotion, other than when my brother broke down at the end and Mrs. Pants and I let it all out.
Fast forward to Friday morning around 8 am. Someone named Lisa, dropped off the Darth Vader pumpkin and a note I will save for a long time. I have had one of the worst weeks of my life and I almost died in an electric accident. The note says: "Joey Pants, Saw this & totally thought of you. From a loyal listener for a lot of years. You and Deb make me laugh & smile every morning. Best pair of DJ's around. One Star Wars geek to another. Enjoy!!! Prayers for your Kailynn too!"
Thank you, Lisa. This was like handing me a million dollars. It meant a lot to me.
After my accident, Mrs. Pants and I suffered for years. The financial setback is something we are still digging out of. I am so grateful and thankful to everyone for providing a little security for my brother. I didn't want to see his family crushed by something that is totally out of their control. I didn't want him to go through what we went through. I will never forget what so many people did for my family... and me.