According to my Blogger Dashboard, this is my 1000th post here. How fitting. How timely.

Because I want to tell you about my first half of 2012. Buckle up. It’s a pretty bumpy ride. And you might want a box of tissues handy.

You’ve been warned.

January began for me with the same hopes and dreams as the rest of you, but with a dark cloud or two looming on the horizon. A special project I’d struggled for years to bring to fruition failed due to the spite of others. But I rallied on with the help of some wonderful friends who not only supported me, but went to bat for me in writing–a rarity in this world. The project is gone, but the friendships will never fade.

A few days later (still within the first few weeks of the New Year), my husband was laid off from his job. Here in the New York metro area, two paychecks aren’t a luxury; they’re a necessity. And I only worked part time when I got the phone call about my spouse’s sudden employment demise. Panic ensued. I immediately spoke to my boss and luckily found myself gainfully employed full-time. But even full-time, my paycheck wouldn’t cover our monthly mortgage payment, let alone our other bills. Panic returned.

In February, my 20 year old daughter required spinal surgery. Panic ramped up. A friend referred us to a specialist who became our knight in shining armor. I’m happy to report that Tkat is not only fully recovered, she and I managed to skydive together last week–mere months after her procedure! Our family experienced a little breathing room. But it was a temporary lull.

On April 6 (two months ago today), my 13 year old nephew took his own life. Andrew Joseph Murphy was gifted, personable, athletic, and apparently, unbeknownst to us, dealing with some kind of pain that he couldn’t overcome. Andy loved swimming, music, and baseball. His actions have devastated our family, particularly his parents and his two older brothers.
At Andy’s wake, my husband got a phone call: several business associates had given his name to another company looking for a specialist in his line of work. Hubster got the job. It was a bittersweet ending to our saga. Panic fled, but not without taking something precious from us.
Andy can never be replaced and his loss will always be a hole in our hearts. Suicide is a finality that no family should have to suffer. There is help available and it’s important that everyone, no matter what age, seeks that help in times of pain or crisis. 

This month, we’ll be hosting a fundraiser for Response, Inc., a local suicide prevention group, in Andy’s memory. Baskets and gifts will be auctioned/raffled off, with all monies collected going to Response, Inc.

Once again, I’m asking for a little help from our friends. If you’re in the area, please join us at Filthy Frogzz on Hawkins Avenue in Ronkonkoma on June 23, beginning at 4 pm for an afternoon and evening of entertainment in memory of Andy. There’ll be lots of fun prizes to be won! If you’re not in the area, you can help by sending donations whether in the form of items that can be raffled off (even $5 gift cards to Starbucks can be combined with other items to create a terrific prize!), or checks made out to Response, Inc. You can access their online donation form here. Be sure to put In Memory of Andy Murphy on the form. Gift cards and other items for the fundraiser can be mailed to Missy Murphy, PO Box 94, East Setauket, NY 11733.

You can read more about the event in our local Patch article.

I’m truly grateful to all those who’ve reached out to me over the last six months and I thank them for their no-strings-attached friendship, which has bolstered me through some very dark days.

Life, no matter how hard it may get at times, is a gift. I only wish my nephew had understood that tomorrow can change everything. Please help me teach that lesson to someone else who’s suffering.

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