Posts filed under ‘a Cow -elle opinion’

October 3rd- No LIMITS-Chapter 21-Chris Ritchey

NO LIMITS

Forward: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/01/02/jan-3rd-no-limits-the-forward-chris-ritchey/

Chapter One :https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/feb-3rd-no-limits-chapter-1-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Two:https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/03/03/march-3rd-no-limits-

Chapter Three: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/03/april-3rd-no-limits-chapt-3-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Four: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/05/03/no-limits-chapter-4-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Five: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/06/03/june-3rd-no-limits-chapter-5-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Six: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/07/03/july-3rd-no-limits-chapter-6-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Seven: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/08/03/august-3rd-no-limits-chapter7-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Eight: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/09/03/sept-3rd-no-limits-chapter-8-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Nine: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/10/03/oct-3rd-no-limits-chapter-9-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Ten: NO LIMITS- Nov 3rd- Chapter 10- Chris Ritchey | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Eleven: NO LIMITS-Dec. 3rd- Chris Ritchey- Chapter 11 | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Twelve: NO LIMITS-Jan 3rd- Chris Ritchey- Chapter 12 | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Thirteen : NO LIMITS- FEB 3rd- Chris Ritchey- Chapter 13 | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Fourteen: March 3rd, NO LIMITS, Chapter 14- Chris Ritchey | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Fifteen: April 3rd- No Limits- Chapter 15- Chris Ritchey | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Sixteen: May 3rd – No Limits- Chapter 16- Chris Ritchey | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Seventeen: June 3rd-No Limits-Chris Ritchey-Chapter 17 | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Eighteen: July 3rd – NO LIMITS- Chapter 18-Chris Ritchey | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Nineteen: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2021/08/03/august-3rd-no-limits-chapter-19-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Twenty: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2021/09/03/september-3rd-no-limits-chapter20-chris-ritchey/

Houston and Lorain.

The expenses were piling up. Not the hospitals bills you  understand, No,  everything was being covered medically  for Chris thanks to  the 100 percent coverage  his  then “resident” wife received from the Cleveland Clinic.  That, in itself, was truly  amazing and because their Oncologist did not enter him in the SGN 35 trial they  had at the Cleveland Clinic ,as it had closed  on the Friday,  before he went to  his doctor’s appointment on the Monday. The Clinics insurance also  paid for the trial of SGN35 in Houston  at M.D. Anderson.

Of course we still had to  pay  for the living expenses,  the  flights etc. Chris wanted to  use their savings. People had been extremely  generous when he and Angela  got married in the previous June.  Chris was not happy with  the fact his family  were paying for the Houston expenses and flights and rental car etc. He felt he should be able to   cover those expenses .

Our wonderful neighbor of many  years  “Rich” suggested he would like to  put on a fundraiser for Chris , who  was almost like a  3rd son and member of his family.  Chris, was at first very  hesitant , one reason being he was private when it came to  his illness but he also  was aware his mum and dad weren’t wealthy . Chris reluctantly   acquiesed in the end.

I told Rich to  contact the Lombardis , as at one point ,they  had also  made mention  a fund raiser (in the very  begining) but Chris had refused as all the medical bills were being paid for under the no  deductible insurance of the Cleveland Clinic. Chris’s  godparents, his sister  and my  friends and other neighbors  also  wanted to  help and so  I  left it in my  neighbor’s  capable hands, or so  I  thought.

It wasn’t until weeks after that I  was told Rich, Chris’ godparents in fact everyone but Nikki  were told they  didn’t need any  help and that Sue and Tim Lombardi and the sisters of Sue would be handling through  Tim’s bank  First Federal. So  those that offered help in baking, food, clean up and  organizing were told NO  THANKS., they  weren’t needed the Lombardi  Clan would be doing this !

Well now of course I  know the reasons. “Control” a trait that Sue Lombardi definitely  has in her resume in my  opinion borne out  later on  in the saga of the dollar signs.

Not knowing of the Lombardis decisions to   keep out of the fundraiser anyone from Chris’  side I  wrote  blog posts and advertised as much  as I  could  for the sake of this young couple. Chris designed the Logo  in Texas

“The Committee for Chris- aka Chris’ Crew would very much like a head count by this weekend so please if you haven’t got the tickets yet and plan to come please contact Nikki at 440-282-3195

FUNDRAISER FOR CHRIS
When – Sunday – OCTOBER 25TH -1:00 -5:00

Where- Rosewood Place- 4493 Oberlin Avenue- Lorain Ohio 44053

What – Spaghetti Dinner- Silent Auction – 50/50 raffle – Browns Game ( on a big screen TV)

How Much – $15.00 – kinds under 5 eat free.

Tickets and or reservations – please call Nikki -440-282-3195

The Crew tells me there are literally dozens of gift baskets containing something for everyone – from tools, firepits, Cavs games, Browns games and everything to go with them- professional teeth whitening – Celtic goodies- romantic weekends – ( beach condo steps from the water at Catawba )- and hotel rooms- food and drink and a flat screen TV is also in the baskets- So please call is you haven’t already got your tickets- Loraine”

IF I WOULD HAVE KNOWN THEN WHAT I FINALLY  WAS MADE AWARE OF , I WOULD HAVE STOPPED THE WHOLE ROTTEN MESS. 

But I  didn’t know   and being in Houston I was relying on emails  and  half truths being told. When I  questioned Tim Lombardi as to  why Rich wasn’t involved in the accounting of the fundraiser as “

Hi  Tim,

I  hear the sales are going really  well that IS  good news (  and we need good  news) . I  did  ask  Angela over the weekend about  the account at First Federal  but  she said  that you  were handling everything. I  have a couple of  questions, as you  know  I  have run Charleston Villages non profit 501C3 for  twenty  years so  I  was a little  confused……….On a personal  note  after the numbers and figures are all  in if  I  could have a list of  those that donated straight  to  the account I  would  very appreciative as Chris’ Dad and I  want to  send our personal  thank you to  those individuals .

 

he replied  “

Angela , Sue and Tim Lombardi

Hi Loraine,Mon, Oct 19, 2009 at 3:49 PM

Hope all is well with you and Chris in the Lone Star State. Angela may have misunderstood what we did. The account opened at First Federal is a non-interest bearing account as we didn’t want to report any type of interest…….We have tried to keep track of donations and will certainly provide you with the list we have. What do you think about running a thank you ad in the paper?  The generosity of the donors has been over whelming” Tim

I didn’t need to  take out an ad . Tom Skoch editor of the Morning Journal ( lorain)  ran an item as did The Chronicle  ( Elyria) and blogs. People came through  from the Highland Dance Community  from all over the world with  basket items, money, Nikki rallied her friends and Jims friends and realtives all donated .  Since I was in Houston  Nikki  took everything to  the bank and deposited in that damned account.  In hindsight  I  feel sick even to  this day.  Nikki dropped off baskets  and took flyers all around her neighborhood. Tim Lombardi  was right the response was overwhelming .

People of all walks of life , professions  and places  apparently  came to  the event.

Chris and I  waited to hear from Nikki  and family  as to  how things were going. Nikki  called me she was upset , apparently  Sue Lombardi  was telling anyone that would listen the Chris was staying in a terrible place , crime ridden . I was furious and frankly   hurt , I  had done my  damndest to  get Chris and Angela , who  I  naively thought would want to   be with  her husband as much  as she could be. I was wrong about that too.

Chris came into  the living room in Houston he asked what was wrong and I  burst into  tears something  I  rarely  did but the emotiona and exhaustion won out.I  blubed  and blubbered saying I  was sorry … the apartment  was the best I  could find.. and

I  was sorry  it was not what Angela wanted…

What are you  talking about ? said Chris

Finally  I  was able to  tell him what was being said….. he called his sister and told her ”

“don’t tell mum anything that the Lombardis say  about anything it has upset her  and remember [Angela’s  sister], Allie didn’t call her mother “Psycho  Sue ” for no  reason. “

Later on that evening Chris came out of the bedroom after talking to  Angela to  tell me  the fundraiser had made $8,000.00 on the baskets alone  and $36,000.00  in donations  etc. not counting the money  that had already  been deposited by  Nikki  etc to  the account in the bank.

I learned later from the very  mouth  of Sue Lombardi  she opened a “safe deposit box ” in  her bank in Angela’s and her  name for the cash from that night.  I questioned  them as to  a list of donors and what they  donated  so  I  could write thank you notes

Sue said

Oh well we aren’t sure 

I  said

well you  must have deposit slips..and ticket sales. There was over thirty  thousand from the fundraiser alone 

Where did you  hear that ?

It was then I  said:

Angela told Chris and I  know other checks were put into  the accouint at First Federal , I  have that list from Nikki.

And that is when Sue Lombardi  told me directly  she had opened a safety  deposit box in Angela’s name for that cash……..

( So  much  for keeping track. ) and there is more to  come.

Pillars of their Church but money  apparently  can cause even pillars to   fall  for the 7th  deadly  sin of AVARICE!!!!!!

Avarice the 7th deadly sin

to  be continued :

October 3, 2021 at 12:39 pm 4 comments

NO LIMITS- FEB 3rd- Chris Ritchey- Chapter 13

ED NOTE: These next chapters are among the most difficult to  write.  I  have to  “emotionally” pace myself so  I  can get through  the memories both mentally  and physically.  . Those who have lost a son or daughter  know that for the rest of your life you  are locked into  the “time of loss”. The days, week, months and years  go  by  but you  are held  within the  grasp  of those last moments and times of your child’s leaving.   You  see,   the part of you  that was theirs dies too, you  are not the same person you  were and you  never will be again.  Your body  adjusts, the brain tells you don’t go there, you  learn to  dodge the known triggers , the brain tries to  protect, to  stop  the gutting grief from destroying what is left of you . Your mind goes into  “protect mode” however, when revisiting  those times intentionally  in order to  tell the story  you  are a raw  and and the wounds open  as the days of death once again are relived..   

No  Limits – The Book

Forward: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/01/02/jan-3rd-no-limits-the-forward-chris-ritchey/

Chapter One :https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/feb-3rd-no-limits-chapter-1-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Two:https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/03/03/march-3rd-no-limits-

Chapter Three: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/03/april-3rd-no-limits-chapt-3-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Four: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/05/03/no-limits-chapter-4-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Five: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/06/03/june-3rd-no-limits-chapter-5-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Six: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/07/03/july-3rd-no-limits-chapter-6-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Seven: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/08/03/august-3rd-no-limits-chapter7-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Eight: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/09/03/sept-3rd-no-limits-chapter-8-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Nine: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/10/03/oct-3rd-no-limits-chapter-9-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Ten: NO LIMITS- Nov 3rd- Chapter 10- Chris Ritchey | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Eleven: NO LIMITS-Dec. 3rd- Chris Ritchey- Chapter 11 | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Chapter Twelve: NO LIMITS-Jan 3rd- Chris Ritchey- Chapter 12 | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

Houston Days and Nights

I  watched as Chris and Angela went through  “security” at the Cleveland Airport. I hoped he would be able to  get on the plane. H1NI ( swine flu) had reared its head and the airlines were on the lookout for anyone displaying symptoms . Since the Hodgkin’s tumors were making their presence known once more in his body  he developed a cough  as the lungs tried to  expel the foreign body.

“Try  not to  cough  Chris , that would be all we needed to  be banned from the flight”

It had been a whirlwind of action since the phone call that morning  and now I stood in the lobby  of the airport drained, hopeful once again and yet wondering WHY?

Why  was life being so  cruel?

I had booked  Angela and Chris into  the Marriot Hotel near  MD Anderson Cancer Center  for  three nights. I wasn’t sure how long the tests and interviews would take . I got a phone call from Chris that night to  say  they  had arrived and were having room service  ( was that OK? ) I told him:

I didn’t care they  had my  credit card information whatever makes life easier for you  darling

We aren’t wealthy  but I would have sold my soul for him and I would worry  about the debts later.

The next day  I did not leave the phone, finally  Angela rang to  say  that although  MD Anderson had also  closed the trials for SGN 35  they  were going to make a place for Chris on that trial as he fit the profile  and he was going through  a barrage of tests.

Cancer Clinical Trials | MD Anderson Cancer Center

Relief flooded back filling the void of fear once again. Then more good news, trials aren’t typically  paid for by Health  Insurance , again I would have sold my  house if need be, but Angela  being an employee of the Cleveland Clinic  insurance did cover the trial even though  Chris was not at their facility  because he had been denied a place in the Cleveland Clinic Trial.  I truly  felt things  may be falling our way.

After the tests they  concurred Chris was right for the trial. By  now we were at the start of the Labor Day  weekend . Chris was set for more tests the following week  and all being well the first infusion of SGN 35 on September 11th. I  had contacted the family  services people at MD Anderson  to  see about long term lodging. The hotel would be  far to  expensive  over $230 per night  at that time.  I needed to  get them somewhere comfortable and close.

The offices  emailed me a list of about 50 hotels and apartments all of varying quality  and prices.  I had no  clue about where anything was in relationship  to  the Cancer Center , nor did I  know anything at all about Houston.  I gave a short list to  Angela to  see if she could find out any  more information.

Chris called that evening , the tests went well and acquaintances of both  the Lombardi’s and actually   of mine had interceded by  phoning  friends  with  whom they  had been college roommates  who  lived in Houston.  JD and Karen , these people were wonderful they  took Chris and Angela under their protective wing  and invited them to  their ranch  for the long weekend.  I was thrilled , some normalcy  for once. Chris was so  happy  I could have cried.

I found out that  MD Anderson was huge bringing in patients from all over the world  and the places available for short stay/ long stay  accommodation  were few and far between. I reserved a couple and asked Angela to check up on them for suitability . I lost two   because “they  were going to  look after the weekend”

I couldn’t seem to make Angela  understand  this was probably  NOT going to  be an option. I received a call from the one Houston Apartment  Corporate Housing. I had reserved a one bedroom apartment but they  had someone else wanting it so  I  took it sight unseen. It was the Esplanade.

Angela  was not very  happy  I  had done that but I  said

“you  have to  have somewhere to stay and Chris needs to be where he can rest. I  have taken care of all the finances, all you  have to  do  is bring your cases  and get some food shopping  “

It had been decided  that Angela would stay  until the night before his first infusion on the 11th   but she  would return to  Cleveland on the 10th.  I didn’t know what to  say , I realized Angela would need to  come back  to  sort out work and necessary  details but I  thought she would take time off to  be be with  Chris. After all this was a “trial” he was weaker than ever with  the cancer coursing through  his body, surely  she didn’t intend for him to  stay  there by  himself.

Angela said:“He will be fine…. there is a kitchen and he can order in pizza and JD and Karen had lent him a truck……he has to  take ownership  of his illness”

I was incredulous, like it or not my  son was facing death  and an unknown treatment. Nikki  said upon hearing this :

“mum you  have to  go  and be with  Chris, he can’t handle doing this on his own” ” Who  will see to  it that he eats, that he is OK  , you  know how hard it was on him with  the chemo….call an ambulance….”

I could see Nikki  was also so worried so I left for Houston on September 12th, as Chris  refused to  let me fly  on September 11th.  I told him I would find my  own way  from the airport as he needed to  rest after the infusion of the day  before.

The night before I  left Sue Lombardi  and Tim arrived at my  front door with  a suitcase of clothes and essentials  that Chris had asked  Angela to  get to  me as he went to  Houston with just a small bag .

Chris’s dog, Misty, was a loopy  friendly   bundle of happy, she loved everyone, we always joked if an intruder came to  the house  she would lick them to  death

So  I was shocked when Sue walked into  the living room and Misty went mental, growling, teeth  barred and barking  definitely  in a protective mode. Neither  my  husband  or I  had ever seen her demonstrate such  behavior , she would not stop  and it was very  embarrassing. Finally  realizing this was not stopping, my  husband put her outside where she continued to  bark as if the devils from hell were threatening us.

Looking back it may  be because underneath  all the smiles and nicety, nicety syrupy talk Sue was giving off vibes the dog could understand and saw her as a threat . I don’t know but Misty never behaved that way  before or since  or maybe she knew the true character of the woman who  would cause us so  much  pain

To  be continued……

February 3, 2021 at 1:12 pm 3 comments

NO LIMITS-Dec. 3rd- Chris Ritchey- Chapter 11

No Limits- The book

Forward: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/01/02/jan-3rd-no-limits-the-forward-chris-ritchey/

Chapter One :https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/feb-3rd-no-limits-chapter-1-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Two:https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/03/03/march-3rd-no-limits-

Chapter Three: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/03/april-3rd-no-limits-chapt-3-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Four: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/05/03/no-limits-chapter-4-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Five: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/06/03/june-3rd-no-limits-chapter-5-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Six: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/07/03/july-3rd-no-limits-chapter-6-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Seven: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/08/03/august-3rd-no-limits-chapter7-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Eight: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/09/03/sept-3rd-no-limits-chapter-8-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Nine: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/10/03/oct-3rd-no-limits-chapter-9-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Ten: NO LIMITS- Nov 3rd- Chapter 10- Chris Ritchey | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

 THE HOPING TIME- CHAPTER 11

I was never one for organized religion. My brain always questioning as to the logic of faith. The stories written by men with agendas put in the form of a bible, or a book, tablets, writings, of whatever faith was in vogue, translations based on the politics of the day.  But I prayed to an all-powerful, all knowing being commonly known in my society as God!  I prayed every waking minute silently, and every night alone I prayed out loud. Please God take me not him, let him have his life and happiness. I did the deals parents do when they believe someone magical being   can overturn a fate. I would have sacrificed myself on any alter “He” deemed needed to save my son.

 Almost every church in Lorain had him on their prayer chain. Churches both Catholic and Protestant in England, Scotland, New Zealand Australia and Canada reached out to the heavens in my son’s name. Synagogues, Buddhists and Native Americans joined in with their prayers . I was sent so  many  little bottles of Holy  Water  from Lourdes,   from pilgrimages made on behalf of Chris that I could have opened a market stall.

The thoughts kept going through my  head.

“If there is a God as most seem to  believe and he has no  use for me  and no  reason to  answer my  prayers surely  He can’t ignore the hundreds of people who  are praying for Chris, and especially  his wife  and family  a pillar of the Catholic Church. What about their prayers does my  lack of faith tip  the scale against hundreds of believers?

What about Chris what did he ever do in his young life to  deserve this ? His sister what had she ever done, his father his Nana?  The believers told me God has a plan? Well I don’t like his plan  when the drug dealer who  has raped and caused hell to  his parents  is walking around  procreating  and causing such turmoil why  not him I asked  why  Chris? I did not get an answer and ten years on nothing has changed for the drug dealer except his vehicles.

June turned into  July , I watched as my  son started to  look better from his chemical death. He grew stronger  and I started to  breathe a little  better.  Late July  found him going on a 4 wheeler trip  with the guys.

 

Normalcy  and fun , so  I  thought. Dr. Pohlman  had told him in June he wasn’t  going to  have to  see him until November and he had no  restrictions  as such,  just to  stay  away from people who may be ill  etc.  When Chris came back from that trip  he was obviously  tired  but there was something else going on . I prayed it wasn’t the cancer coming back again.

Chris opened up  to  Nikki  that he thought the lump was coming  back on his neck a compromised lymph node . My  understanding is the cancer cells in the blood are larger than normal cells and so can’t get through and block the system causing the lumps ( tumors) . That of course is the very simplest of explanations , there is so  much  more .

Chris finally having   shared his fears with  Nikki and they  called the staff member in Pohlman’s office  he had been given as a contact. They  basically  said to  keep an eye on it  and he had an appointment moved up until August.

The Doctors decided to  do  a biopsy on August 21st , Chris’ birthday.  I will never be able to  think of his birthday  in the same way  again.

I drove to  the downtown Cleveland Clinic  wanting to  throw up  all the way. I was so  scared I  couldn’t even  think straight.  Chris and Angela were already  there. Nikki  having fed the baby,( she was breast feeding)  was on her way. We sat in silence in the waiting room , Chris, Angela and I  , I  had no  words. Nikki  arrived  looked at her brother and said “Birthday” he smiled . He was taken back to  pre-op  Nikki  and Angela went with  him . I  sat along in a corridor trying not to  fall apart, everything within me  was screaming.

Chris was taken down and we went to  the waiting room only  to  find Angela’s support team. One of them her  grandmother , they  wanted to  get something to  eat so I duly  followed on.  The grandmother who  was nice enough  in her way but in my  opinion  sadly  lacking in forethought  said:

“What a shame, on his birthday  too. Oh isn’t it your birthday  in a couple of days, are you  having a party to  celebrate”

and on she “clacked”. I thought has this woman any idea of what Nikki  and I  are going through. I  sat quietly  through the “meal”, whilst they  ate and  rattled on about this and that, we then went back to  the waiting room.

The big board with  all the operations and who was in surgery and who  was in recovery kept changing. The grandmother true to  form had not finished. Nikki had left me to  go  and express  her milk. As I  sat there visualizing what was happening to  my  son  Grandmother pipes up:

Let’s have a contest , everyone pick a time as to  when Chris goes to  recovery, how much  longer do  you  think  it will be. Angela you  are the Dr. so   you  start.

and they  did . I was by  this time  bringing up  bile in my  mouth, I  could no  longer sit there , was not one of Angela’s support team going to  shut this stupid woman up. Did they  not see how inappropriate this was and how painful?

I got up  and left and went outside crying. Nikki found me  as they  had no  idea where I  had gone. Chris had come through  the surgery  and was in recovery. The  surgeon came out and said it went well and they  were sending the sample for tests. Angela left to  share the news. Nikki  looked at the surgeon and said:

is the cancer back?

He was very  nice and said

 we have to  wait for the results.

Nikki looked at him and said :

You  have done hundreds of these and you  can tell, I know , is the cancer back

He looked at her and just nodded.

Mum, you  can’t go back into  the recovery  room . Chris will take one look at you  and know . You  have to  leave.

and so  I  did . I don’t remember driving home . I was numb , perplexed desperate.

Chris missed my  birthday  but came two  days after with  my  “candles” he always bought me candles since he was a little boy.

April 3rd- The Candle Connection- Chris Ritchey | That Woman’s Weblog (wordpress.com)

 

As soon as Chris was  old enough and earning money, he would  buy me special candles – the trouble was they were always artistic and expensive and I couldn’t bring myself to light them. After one more such gift of candles I couldn’t bear to burn , I told you:

“Chris, these are far too nice to burn – just buy me ones I can feel OK with lighting” .

The next birthday came the “Daisy Candles” and once again I didn’t have the heart to burn them I supposed you had forgotten the request .

I noticed the cellophane around the “Daisy Candles” was definitely yellowing and becoming brittle. My thought was to bring them into the living room where my mum, who loves daisies might get some cheer from them as a symbol of “spring will eventually arrive and with it daisies”

I brought the candles downstairs , took off the wrapper and then saw the instructions-

I realized as I read those words you had listened to me– because the candles were special- the wick would burn for 29-30 hours and when it was done the outside of the candle would still be intact and I could insert tea light candle that would illuminate the outer shell.

 

the thought struck me the candle was yet another symbol- how your life burned with beauty and strength for as many years as those candles had hours (29) and what was left was a mere glimmer of memories that would only burn as long as I lighted the “memory of you” . The “tea light” of the 3rd of every month where once again your life is lived!

The candles , the last he bought me, are still waiting  to  give a light that has been lost to  us.

To be continued………

December 3, 2020 at 3:48 pm 2 comments

Oct. 3rd No Limits Chapter 9 – Chris Ritchey

 

No Limits- The book

Forward: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/01/02/jan-3rd-no-limits-the-forward-chris-ritchey/

Chapter One :https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/feb-3rd-no-limits-chapter-1-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Two:https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/03/03/march-3rd-no-limits-

Chapter Three: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/03/april-3rd-no-limits-chapt-3-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Four: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/05/03/no-limits-chapter-4-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Five: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/06/03/june-3rd-no-limits-chapter-5-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Six: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/07/03/july-3rd-no-limits-chapter-6-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Seven: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/08/03/august-3rd-no-limits-chapter7-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Eight: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/09/03/sept-3rd-no-limits-chapter-8-chris-ritchey/

Double Cell Transplant:

We went to  see  Dr. Brad Pohlman  who  had been involved through  South Pointe with Chris’ initial treatment.

:Brad Pohlman, MD, is Vice Chair of Operations at Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute. DrPohlman is a member of the American Society of Hematology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sngT_dShxsw

 

So  much  for the 95% cure rate  re Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Chris was  now diagnosed with   Refractory  Hodgkin’s Lymphoma , the cancer came back very  quickly https://www.webmd.com/cancer/lymphoma/qa/what-is-refractory-or-recurrent-hodgkins-lymphoma

The day, Chris and Angela and I  went to   we went to the Cleveland Clinic and saw the Lymphoma specialist Dr. Brad Pohlman, once again we rode the rails of hope. My son wanted to  do  whatever it took to

get this “crap” out of me, cut it, burn it, kill it, I want to  reach  the age of 50″.

I looked at his face as he said those words and my heart ached for him.

It was suggested that Chris undergo  a Double Stem Cell transplant ,  good results had been seen in a study  out of California . A tandem (double autologous) transplant is a process in which you have two stem cell transplants with your own cells — done about three to six months apart — to increase chances of success.

Basically  this involved removing stem cells  from Chris  through  his blood. The need a certain amount and they  did manage to  get all they  needed in one  removal

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stem-cell-transplant/what-happens/

The most common way to harvest stem cells involves temporarily removing blood from the body, separating out the stem cells, and then returning the blood to the body.

To boost the number of stem cells in the blood, medication that stimulates their production will be given for about 4 days beforehand. On the fifth day, a blood test will be carried out to check there are enough circulating stem cells.

If there are enough cells, veins in each arm will be connected by tubes to a cell-separator machine. Blood is removed from one arm and passed through a filter, before being returned to the body through the other arm.

This procedure isn’t painful and is done while you’re awake. It takes around 3 hours and may need to be repeated the next day if not enough cells are removed the first time.”

He then, after harvesting, went through more Chemo therapy  and  in one year from his first chemo  was back in the Cleveland Clinic isolation  etc. to be chemically  killed . There is no  other word for it. We prepared as best we could because of the high risk of infection he was initially  behind a glass window. The side effects of the first transplant  were given to  us :

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hair loss
  • Mouth sores or ulcers
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Infertility or sterility
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Cataracts
  • Organ complications, such as heart, liver or lung failure

As he went through the  first of the stem cell transplants I would go to the hospital every day, he hated the food, refused to eat it. Apparently  the smell of the plastic covers covering the food  and the steam coming off of them  nauseated him. I would cook him lunch and supper, trying to devise a menu which would appeal to the lack of appetite, high calorie content that slipped down easily, dishes he liked from childhood. Then I  would take the dishes to  him. The nutritionist had to  OK what I  cooked, but they  were more nutritious than what they  were trying to  give him so  I was allowed.

Finally  the glass screen came down, he was supposed to  be the hospital that first time around for at least 4 weeks. He experienced most of the side effects.  I still suffer from that place and  that transplant. The nurse warned me they  would be putting his own irradiated and treated cells back into  his body  and the preservative  used would smell like creamed corn and it did. The smell permeated the very  air  for hours. I can no longer smell  creamed corn cooking  or dished out  without being violently  ill both  in mind and body.

I would arrived at 11:30 am, most of the time he would be in the chair by the time I arrived, hooked up to poisons and fluids. I would get clean sheets from the nurse every day and make up his bed.  This was my only way of trying to make him comfortable, with clean sheets and freshly made bed. I would stay whilst he slept, or watched TV. Most of the time I read. I can’t remember one book or title of any book during that time.

I would stay with him in that “cell” because that is what it became for both of us a cancerous prison but with hope the door would be unlocked to a future.  I would heat his supper in the hospital’s “family room” microwave – clean up and come home at 7 to get dishes etc. for the next day and start all over again.

My daughter was at the end of her pregnancy, when Chris was admitted for the first stem cell procedure.  She wasn’t due until at least two  weeks after Chris was due to  be released from the first stem cell transplant ( Autologous) , but once again, somehow I  KNEW  (yet another premonition) , I was going to  be torn would   between hospitals –  I would be travelling between hospitals and the needs of my  two  children.   I was right, Chris was at the end of the first procedure when Nikki went into labor two  weeks early .

I had just crawled, exhausted,  into  bed when my  son in law called to  say  Nikki’s water had broken and to  meet them at the hospital as Nikki  wanted me  with  her when she gave birth.  Even though Chris had been in one hospital being chemically killed he was on the phone to Nikki the whole time talking her through the pain of birth, making her laugh, easing her mind. They were miles apart and yet Chris was there for her as I knew he would be. Chris talked to  her through  the hours of labor, making her laugh, getting her through. They  were always there for each  other

Chris and his sister, Nikki – on the happiest night of her life

Chris said:

hey  at least you  will get out of there in a couple of days  even when I  get out I  will have to  come back….. hang in there … you  can do  this….

 

 

He said to  Nikki  after he heard  it was a baby  boy. let me tell Nana and Dad and he did .  I didn’t see him for 4 days after the birth  as I  was with  Nikki, but his counts came back quickly , quicker than expected and he was released/

Chris came home on April 3rd and met his nephew for the first time, he was amazed at how tiny  Gavin was. Nikki’s house was the first place he came straight from the hospital . Nikki, with  Gavin in her arms   and Chris and held onto  each  other that afternoon ….

To be continued

October 3, 2020 at 12:00 pm 1 comment

July 3rd- NO LIMITS- Chapter 6 – Chris Ritchey

No Limits- The book

Forward: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/01/02/jan-3rd-no-limits-the-forward-chris-ritchey/

Chapter One :https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/feb-3rd-no-limits-chapter-1-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Two:https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/03/03/march-3rd-no-limits-

Chapter Three: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/03/april-3rd-no-limits-chapt-3-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Four: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/05/03/no-limits-chapter-4-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Five: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/06/03/june-3rd-no-limits-chapter-5-chris-ritchey/

If the night before at the Rehearsal Dinner was hot , the day  of the wedding dawned  humid and hotter. I  don’t handle heat and no  sleep at the best of times, and this definitely  wasn’t a good time. For the sake of my  children  and family  I  tried so  hard  to  act cheerful and excited, all the while with  this great lump  of concrete in my gut and a  dread of things to come. I can only  liken this feeling to  having the overwhelming feeling /intuition by  getting on to  a plane and knowing it will crash.  I knew the prognosis for Chris form of cancer Hodgkin’s Lymphoma was excellent, 95 percent cure rate, ” if  you  had to  have cancer this is the one you  would want” a few rounds of chemo  and a couple of treatments of radiation and you  will be fine.

BUT then why  did everything in my  mind scream at me there is a  world of hurt coming  our way ……?

artwork Chris Ritchey

THE WEDDING

I knew that Chris would be putting on a brave face, he had a round of chemo on the Thursday  and it usually  caught up  with  him by  the Saturday, and here he was having to  go  through  a horrendously  busy  morning, afternoon and evening. I knew he would not let on how he was dealing and feeling with  all the poisons  coursing through  his body.  He was so  particular when it came to  Nikki’s wedding  in regard to  his tuxedo, having to  make a special trip  to the tailor to  have it adjusted  the day  before.  Nana and Chris at Nikki’s Wedding

Chris had lost weight with  the cancer and chemo  and his tux was too big, but he didn’t seem to  care, not at all like Chris, but then he had more on his plate to  worry  about.

The wedding at St. Mary’s  Catholic Church  officiated by  Father Daniel Divis , Chris had refused the usual Catholic protocol  to  get married in the church  , and he was allowed to  do  so   probably  due to  the cancer diagnosis and the  Father Divis “relationship” he had with  the Lombardis.

I  sat in that church  , not being very  enamored with  organized religion  as a bit of a hypocrite, but it was  Chris and Angela’s day , it was her faith  and she was very  in touch  with  her faith.   My  husband and mother  and I  sat there  “together but alone”  .

The ceremony  over , and I  couldn’t hear a word, but then Angela always made me feel like I was deaf, so soft spoken was she. I had spent the morning putting together a small  cooler bag  for Chris  and  the wedding party  ( mainly  for Chris)   to  take in the limo. It had  cold water ,  some snacks he could eat after chemo , and some cool cloths  as his body  temps rose after chemo  set in.

Wedding over I  came home  showered and cried until it was time to  put on the “face” again for the reception. No  matter how I  tried I  just  could not get out of this terrible feeling  like some darkness was going to  envelop me.

Oh !  this happy  day  could only  get worse heat wise when the air-conditioning at the Holiday  Inn  failed. However, as bad as that was as I  went to  the gifts table to  put our check in for the Bride and Groom  , not a “wishing well” or a cute little decorated  box but a “casket ” with  flowers on the top courtesy  of Sue Lombardi ‘WHAT WAS THE WOMAN THINKING – WAS THIS APPROPRIATE”  Was I  being overly  sensitive?  although  the comments from my  friends they  too were shocked and my  mother was furious.

” I knew as soon as I  saw that  coffin on the table it would hurt you  Loraine”

 

The  wedding although  apparently  enjoyed by  others left me flat especially  when Father Divis  reacted to  the best man’s speech, I wrote about it afterward , (at the time I  did not mention his name BUT  of course now in that blog post he is mentioned )as I  was shocked , although  this man of God would shock me later after the death  of my  son   to  my  core  !

“This was brought home over the weekend ( and I can take a joke better that a lot of people) . A speech that bordered on not only the insulting ( for me )cultural racism  by a priest  (Daniel O. Divis – Office of the Secretariat)who insulted every English person and non catholic at a function. He spoke of Ulster and Northern Ireland in a way that for those of us who lived through the bombings and were directly effected by the IRA and the terrorism  THEY inflicted upon a population both Irish and English , that was  financed  primarily   from this side of the Atlantic  was akin to making jokes about 911. Would you tolerate jokes about 911?

 

So what makes it OK for a pseudo “Irish” priest of Lorain to make the jokes and insult a group of people because they are “English”? A fellow diner said it is just ignorance of the situation– I beg to differ any Catholic Priest who claims Irish lineage KNEW exactly what he was saying, which to me makes it all the more disgraceful – am I wrong??????

You tell me when is it ok for terrorism to be lauded and applauded and when is it abhorred – is it OK to make derogatory remarks as long as it is based on culture and then only one certain segment of the population’s culture – Is it Ok to do this based on culture and not colour???

Although I did have a “word” with the man- I am sure it fell on deaf ears…… So when is it OK – tell me???? because I find this grey area very confusing ?

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/06/08/when-is-it-ok/

AND THIS SPEECH  WAS AT A “wedding” 

We got through  the wedding and reception,. The Mother/ Son dance was one of the toughest things  I  knew I had very  little control left  and as  we danced ( and I  told Chris  ( who  was always my  confidant)   I may  need Nikki and his dad to  help  me through. He understood , he knew me so  well and we were always upfront with  one another. So  when I was becoming “emotionally  incontinent”  halfway through  the dance he signaled to  Nikki  and his dad to  join us on the floor  as a group. ( that did not go  down too well with  the Lombardi  clan)  .

My  husband , mother and I   left at a reasonable time  just after the first guests were leaving. I  told Chris Nana was tired but he knew and he by  this time was physically  showing the effects of a very  long day  and the poisonous chemo. I wanted to  gather my  child  up  and  make him  well , but all this was now out of my  hands , he was a married man now!

The next day  was “come over ( to  the Lombardis) and look at the presents” day , we had company  so  I stayed with  them . The next thing I  remember was Chris coming round the corner with  the casket under his arm with  his Best Man. I  said

what are you  doing here?

He said:

Sue Lombardi  and her mother were anxious to  open up  the “box” to  see how much  money  they  received

and he said

No! he and Angela would do  that later ..  I  don’t want them knowing our business and who  gave what so  I  have brought it here  to  stop  their prying . . Turns out there was no  check from the Lombardis in that casket,

Angela said : ” they  paid for the wedding”

HA! thanks to  their “bar arrangements”  we paid more to  the Holiday Inn for the drinks etc. than they  paid for the wedding, and I  know that how ? The wedding planner lady  was so   frustrated with them and their way  of ordering her about  she  told me and actually  gave me a  discount on the total bar bill. 

And so  the next  weeks  came and went all too quickly.

To  be continued …..

 

 

July 3, 2020 at 12:41 pm 6 comments

June 3rd- No Limits- Chapter 5- Chris Ritchey

No Limits- The book

Forward: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/01/02/jan-3rd-no-limits-the-forward-chris-ritchey/

Chapter One :https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/feb-3rd-no-limits-chapter-1-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Two:https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/03/03/march-3rd-no-limits-

Chapter Three: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/03/april-3rd-no-limits-chapt-3-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Four: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/05/03/no-limits-chapter-4-chris-ritchey/

The wedding plans went on. I  excused myself from most  of them by feigning migraines leaving my  mother, daughter and husband to  do  the duty.

I was stretched thin on patience and discretion and retreat was for the me the better part of valor.  I  know my  limits  and I knew I  could not  deal  with  the Lombardi  women (  at least not quietly).

The kick off  came re the bridesmaid dresses , the drama- because my  daughter (  who  was, in my  opinion, added to  the group because of Chris’ insistence) DARED to  have her dress altered to  better fit. The phone call from the irate Sue Lombardi after they  saw Nikki’s dress hanging at the seamstress ( without their permission) . I  was curious as to  WHY they  apparently  were at that same  seamstress with  their garments  was never explained.

It was then after the ensuing  chastising phone call from Sue,   Chris who  was irate, as he listened, as I  dealt with  his future mother in law , not angry   with  me but with  Angela and Sue and the upset such  a pettiness caused  – I  decided to politely    back  away  from all things concerning the wedding, apart from paying. Truth  be known they  really  didn’t want my  input and obviously  Chris was becoming caught in the middle of the women of his life at the same time as dealing with  cancer.

 

We managed to  get through  the wedding shower all smiles and  faking  for the guests.

There was no  way  I  could go  to  the “hen night”, aptly  named in my opinion, so  the dreaded migraine reappeared although  I  know I didn’t fool Chris , but he understood, he understood me better than anyone.That duty was left to  Nikki  and my  mother .

My  mother , bless her, got a bit inebriated   ( thanks to  Nikki) and since they  were not made the most welcome by  the “clan”, barely  speaking to  them I  am told. My  mother joined people at another table , after a few of the beverages my  daughter ordered for her  became the  hit of the night with  the other tables.

A dear friend, Mark, was eating at the same venue , he took some photos  called me  and said

” Your mum is such  a character, she is entertaining the whole restaurant  by  grabbing a blow up  man from another  hen night group and dancing around the place, cheered on by  the onlookers.

Not bad for a 90  year old woman.

Chris, who  turned up  with  his friends to  drive people home, laughed and said

Mum , Nana is just wonderful

I don’t think  she went down too well with  the Lombardi’s though.

 a smile from Sue would have cracked her face in two

said Chris.

 

The Friday, of the rehearsal dinner on the 6th  dawned so very hot and airless, totally out of keeping for early June. The wedding date  was based on Angela wanting 06.07.08  numerical sequence. The dinner was planned at a facility overlooking Lake Erie in Lakeview Park. I had booked the place before it was even finished being built.

There was (of course)  issues as to  my  choice of  menu, I had decided on heavy, hot and cold  hors d’oeuvres. I  worked with  a local  caterer, who  actually  had been a family  friend, well respected for his establishment and catering abilities. He told me that when the Lombardi  women  came to his establishment to  check out its viability  for the reception, they  left him feeling insulted  by  their attitude . He was quite annoyed, and went above and beyond in  all I  asked from him.

The menu  included  mini  Beef Wellingtons, meatballs, pasta, mini  quiches,   a carvery ( turkey, beef  and ham)  for sandwiches, salads of all kinds, crab claws  and shrimp in ice, underneath an ice vase sculpture topped with  flowers. Beer and wine (  no hard liquor  allowed at that time) . cakes , cookies and deserts, strawberries and fresh  fruit.  The table fared groaned with  food. However, when Angela  was shown the menu, prior to the  dinner ( as a courtesy  I  might add) , she went into  the den with  Chris and sent him out  and he said to  me….

Angela feels this needs to  be adjusted , people will be coming in from out of town ( the event was set of 50) they  will be hungry  and she doesn’t think hors d’oeuvres will be appropriate  , she suggests chicken , red skin  potatoes ,  green beans and cheese and macaroni.

I said:

NO! Chris –  this is my  contribution to your wedding .  I  have put a great deal of thought, along with  Nikki, and Nana  on this  from entertainment  , decor  and giving you  something from me!

I realized Angela had not been at any  of my  “party  planning” previously but I  looked at Chris and said

when have I  ever not had enough  food at anything I  have planned?

I called my  caterer and told him what had been said  and I  asked him to   add something  along the line of chicken wings  and a macaroni dish. He sighed and said  “Typical”

The morning of the rehersal  dinner  I drove to  Lakeview Park  to  check on final arrangement the food, tables ,  decorations etc. I looked out as I got into my car over to the lighthouse where Chris and Angela had become engaged.

Lorain Lighthouse – Lorain 365 ( L. Miller)

Nikki and I had helped Chris plan that July day of engagement, 11 months prior, the “asking Angela to marry me “place”. Christopher saying:

“You helped Jim to make Nikki’s engagement special you have to help me make this special too mum!

And Nikki and I did help- organizing champagne, roses, a table holding silver goblets and a boat trip to the Lorain Lighthouse on a beautiful day. Anticipating celebration Nikki and I, dad and others sat on the patio of the Jacalope restaurant looking out at the lighthouse happy for the young couple on this very special day.

So why, as I sat in the car looking out at the same scene- the same lighthouse shimmering in the heat of the day the afternoon before the wedding, albeit from a different perspective – why did, I feel such panic and the “knowing” this wedding should not take place?

I looked out on a shining blue lake, sunshine kissing the waves and argued with myself:

“What the hell is wrong with you, why aren’t you happy you should be happy –
Yes, Chris has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s but the prognosis is good, why aren’t you wanting to celebrate?

Angela has stood by him through this diagnosis, she has helped him – she has stuck by him- this has to be such a difficult time for her – (I admired her and was grateful to her for that)

He is getting married, starting a life so what is it with you? Why are you sitting here at Lakeview looking out at the lighthouse and feeling such a dreadful feeling?

I went home in a mood so dark, I couldn’t shake the feeling this wedding should not take place. My husband called my daughter I was in such a foul temper!

“you  had better come talk to  your mother she is having a melt down”

It was as if every fiber of my being was pulling at me NO! this wedding must not happen it will bring pain and sorrow to those I love. What was making me think this way? I  have always trusted my  “gut feelings” and this time I  couldn’t and wouldn’t.

My daughter duly arrived and told me off in such a fashion as to make my own guilt and selfishness of feeling take place of the dreadful fear or premonition I was experiencing – Nikki did not hold back  in her telling me like it was:

This is Chris’ wedding- the happiest day of his life- You have to stop this you have to think of Chris, he will be fine he will come out the other side of this, you can’t let him see you like this.

Of course , I thought she is right, once again I  was being selfish, Chris has to come first and so you have to suck it up.

The rehearsal  dinner for which  I  was responsible was lovely   and everything  went well I  thought. I put on a brave face and tried to  be a good hostess , but that feeling of dread  did not leave – it was there with  every  smile every  word uttered.

Chapter 6 the Wedding…….

 

June 3, 2020 at 11:19 am 2 comments

No LIMITS – Chapter 4- Chris Ritchey

No Limits- The book

Forward: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/01/02/jan-3rd-no-limits-the-forward-chris-ritchey/

Chapter One :https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/feb-3rd-no-limits-chapter-1-chris-ritchey/

Chapter Two:https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/03/03/march-3rd-no-limits-

Chapter  Three: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/03/april-3rd-no-limits-chapt-3-chris-ritchey/

I watched out the window as my son’s car drew up outside and he walked slowly to the house. He no longer had that bounce of youth, he walked like an old man with the weight of the world crashing down on him. He had started out that day on a journey of hope, love and a wedding and returned with a diagnosis of obscenity.

He just reached the living room when Nikki flew in the door, her face full of confusion and pain, mirroring her brothers. Jim, her husband standing there not knowing what to say or do, my husband sitting in the chair in shock. Chris trying to reassure us that it could be wrong

“they said his blood counts were all in the normal range so maybe it wasn’t as bad as we were told- they were going to have to do more tests”.

 

Angela was on her way to the house. I put my faith in the fact she was a going to be a doctor, maybe she could make sense out of what we were being told. Maybe she could find out more than we could.

Angela and Chris went into the den, not to discuss a bright wedding and future but “cancer”. I sat on the couch Nikki and my husband looking to me to sort this out” because that is what I do – I fix things , I have a plan, I see a way through only this time my brain was numb , I was at a loss. Chris came out of the den and sat on the bottom landing of the stairs, Angela beside him. No one said anything, no way forward, no plans just this terrible pall that enveloped us.

Then some small talk which ensued about Chris’ dog, Misty, those that loved Chris trying to erase the obscenity with normalcy. I just couldn’t be “brave” any longer pretending this was just another afternoon sitting there in this surreal world. I knew I would crumble and I had to leave the living room and escape from the “living” room of horror it had become.

I lay on my bed, the silence from below deafening, trying to sort through all the fear, the uncertainty , trying to figure out what I needed to do. Nothing was penetrating except the word CANCER in my brain. Cancer became my world in that moment, it threw up its own walls around me. Then , Chris was there – he put his hand on my shoulder and said

“Mum it will be OK”

I remember saying Oh Chris I am so scared. As soon as I said it I realized I was being selfish. This was not about me , this was about my beautiful son, who just had the worst news in the world and he was , as he had done so many times before, putting his family before himself. I

felt guilty because whatever I was feeling he was the one who would have to fight this obscenity. I must put aside and cover my own terror , to be there no matter what for my son, he needed to be first and foremost , I couldn’t do anything about what treatments were needed and what he would have to go through but I would do whatever was needed to see he got whatever it was he needed to survive. I could be his mother and put my son first. I felt relief, his bride- to- be seemed as if she would be supportive and with her knowledge of the medical options. He had his sister, who would move heaven and earth for him, he would have a support group of love to see him through. I would wait for the results of the tests and once more my brain started to function.

The tests, the diagnosis, doctors’ visits and the treatment began as did the days of hope and horror as the “curable cancer Hodgkin’s Lymphoma invaded my son’s body and our world. Initially the obscenity was treated as “Oh if you have to have cancer this is the one you want” 4 to 6 chemo treatment spot radiation and you will be fine – 95% cure rate. The prognosis was excellent, just a small bump in the road of life.

I walked into the “chemo “ room that first day- March 13th 2008 , I had driven Chris and Angela to South Pointe Hospital ( an hour’s drive from home) to start his treatment after meeting with Dr.Abraksia who was chosen by his bride- to -be , Angela.

The decision made sense at the time, Angela would be doing her residency at South Pointe, and the hospital was in the Cleveland Clinic System. When Chis and Angela married in a couple of months’ time they would be living in the vicinity. I convinced myself this was a good idea. I, at the time, admired this young woman, Angela, she would be supportive and seemed to take the diagnosis in stride, she seemed calm and cool whereas I was being consumed by fear, panic and doubt. Perhaps it was her faith, as well as her medical knowledge, that enabled her to be so cool. I know that was one of things my son admired in her was her “coolness” and quiet voice.

Close up of Intravenous drip

As I crossed the room, where half a dozen “elderly people” were hooked up to IV’s ,I saw my son- poison’s flowing into his body to kill the invader. I wanted to pull the needles from him, gather him up and run away from this place, he shouldn’t be here my mind screamed at me. Instead I sat with him for a little time. The first chemo was going to take all afternoon, I couldn’t bear watching the slow drip of poisons, so I drove the hour home, had Angela call me when they were about an hour from finishing and drove back to pick them up to drive home again. I had to do something I just couldn’t sit by watching destruction being pumped into my son, for chemo destroys the bad and the good.

That night, as I worried about my son, listening for his every move as he tried to sleep in the room across the landing from me. I remembered how many nights I had spent when he was a baby, getting up three or four times just to make sure he was breathing , alert even in sleep to hear the faint whimper or cry of your new born. Yet not daring to disturb him, I had had to be a positive for his sake. Finally sleep came.

Angela , Sue and Tim Lombardi

I did not know Angela’s family well, although Chris and Angela had dated for a few years, both were in college, and living away from home. We, as families, did not have much of an occasion to socialize. However, at the engagement celebration I realized the mother, Sue Lombardi , was not a person that I would embrace and that my son would have a “mother in law” who controlled and was self-promoting . Well his problem I thought, little did I know she would end up my problem.

I awoke in the early morning hours of that first night after chemo, shaking, gasping for breath. I had a dream; it was so real.

I was in a room, in the middle of the room was an open casket in which lay my son and around this casket was Angela, her mother and father and family. I was drenched in sweat and tears, the realization it was a nightmare slowly came to the front of my mind.

I crept, as quietly as I could, into my son’s room to check on him – he was awake.

“You alright mum?”

I said:

yes just wondering if I can get you anything?

Some cold water would be nice, this stuff is warm

a smile and the beginning of a pretense way of dealing- I would check on his “water needs” I would be reassured he was alright and the game of pretending began, both of us knowing “ I was awake – do you need some water/ juice?” was not the real reason for my “checking in”.

The next day , I opened up my terror to my good friend Barb, I broke down when she called to check on how we were, Christopher was her godson I tried the small talk but blurted out

“ Barb I am going to watch my son die”
A very definite Barbara firmly stated:

Pull yourself together, the prognosis is great, don’t be silly, you have to put those thoughts from you for Chris’s sake – he will be fine.

And so I tried, all through those weeks of chemo, to push aside the negative thoughts that would creep into my head; but still the dream came back to haunt of Angela and her family standing around the casket.

E. Munch- 1895

The wedding plans continued and I tried to be normal, but the doubt and dream tore at m. I wear my heart on my sleeve, always have done, I am not good at hiding my emotions and thoughts…..

To be continued

May 3, 2020 at 5:00 pm 3 comments

Morning Journal- Punishing Press-Part 4

Chris Ritchey

 

Part One : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/13/morning-journal-lorain-the-punishing-press/

Part Two : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/14/morning-journal-lorain-the-punishing-press-part-two/

Part Three: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/15/morning-journal-the-punishing-press-part-3/

Part Three cont. https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/16/morning-journal-the-punishing-press-pt-3-cont/

I have spent hours going through  old writings and blogs. Unfortunately, as I  have said a lot of the links are missing and in fact blogs have disappeared from the WWW. I can only go  by  the hard copy  I have. I can only  assure you  the reader  the information is true and I  have those documents in hard copy or in my  files electronically.

Here were go:

Front Page News .. a tale of a super woman, well maybe not 😉

WoM Logo by Scott Baklar

Jon Veard & word of mouth scott bakalar on 22 Nov 2006

SO  SAYETH  THE NAYSAYERS:

““I’m going to extricate myself from downtown Lorain,” Veard said.
[…]
“I don’t have to do business in Lorain, especially if I’m not wanted,” he said. Veard, 65, who has run his United Properties development company in downtown Lorain for the last 44 years, said it will be “easier to do business elsewhere.”
Why?
“Admittedly, council has taken Jon to task a few times, but council has approved projects with him involved, such as the restoration of the Duane Building,” Foltin said.
Veard said he hasn’t faced opposition only from council, but criticism from citizen activists, such as downtown resident Loraine Ritchie. Veard said Ritchie has been a critic of his developments.

NOTE: THE ONLY  CRITICISM I  GAVE was his plans to  build condos in the historic park”

What is she attacking me for?” Veard said. “Let her develop downtown Lorain.”
Ritchie declined to speak to The Morning Journal.
But Veard said he’s tired of the criticism.
“I lost money on the Duane Building. I lost money on the Antlers Building. I haven’t made a dime yet on City Center. … Let them throw darts at someone else.”

The  quote came from the article in the Morning Journal- Kate Giammarise November 2006

HOWEVER A DAY  LATER… Mr. Veard  stated to  Joe Medici of the Chronicle

“Despite having three buildings up for sale downtown, local developer Jon Veard said Tuesday he has no intention of leaving the city…..“My roots are here. All my business and banking relationships are here. It would be a nightmare to move all that,” Veard said. “These people know me and when I ask for something it’s a done deal because they trust me.”
“I’m not selling because I’m mad about the park. Maybe (City Council) did me a favor when they shot it down. Building condos in downtown Lorain is risky business,” Veard said.

Which  publication printed the correct information? Remember media moguls you  are only  as good as your sources ( biased or not)? This knee jerk reaction maybe to  Cole and Co caused  Cole to  jump  once more into  the Editorial mode and chastise me  a “history  bonehead.. sorry  can’t link  to  it  BUT here is my  response :

As I  decided to  BOYCOTT the Morning Journal…. You  can find that WoM post here TUDOR Boycott

Who got it wrong John Cole? I think I know – tch tch tch – how much egg is on the face of your publication on this one? And poor Mr. Veard – he came across in your article as a whiney, sorry, pouting, juvenile, it seems I have more respect for Mr. Veard than his ”friends”. You did him no favor – believe me – in your portrayal of this Lorain Developer. What my international readers (and I have a “barrelful”) must think of this community, I shudder to imagine.
NOTE – Oh! and one more thing, it has been remarked that Mr. Veard is upset that he didn’t get the chance to show City Council his “plans” for our park  ( that other editorial  chastising Lorain City  Council….before they voted No! the first time. Check the minutes, I think you will find that Mayor Craig Foltin ”called for the vote” that night – that is right Mayor Craig Foltin.

And then YOUR “Love letter to Veard” Oh! come on now – hearts and flowers begging him – Don’t go-Please stay – when he apparently had NO intention of leaving. I ask you who is the “blow-hard and crank and short sighted” individual whose “long winded” piece sent the negative message of Lorain’s developer diva -great publicity for Lorain? Shoe fits – wear it JC!

But all is not lost – Cole and Company you can – by a change in editorial policy, adhering to unbiased news reporting and an apology to all who ”dare to suffer the editorial wrath” by stepping up to the plate and to those “long winded politicians” who do the best they can to represent THEIR constituents on City Council stop this ”Old-Boy Cott” Up to YOU!!!!!!!!

2007  was the Lorain Bicentennial  we had a city  wide celebration focused in on the little park. Now don’t go  looking for coverage- John Cole  denied any  coverage , that is until  so  many  organizations involved  took issue there was a small blurb in the Saturday section.

Link to  a number of photos of the event :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/12219598@N06/with/1249174028/

However, the opening ceremonies were taped and one participant  berated the Morning Journal  for their stance and lack of coverage for the event. Problem was it was ME who  was spearheading the whole shebang.. Oh  well happened without him or the Morning Journal….

.

Tom Skoch

John Cole retired in February  2008 and a new editor Tom Skoch took over the editorial seat. Mr. Skoch reached out to  me and we came to  a friendly  truce. He was really  kind and instrumental in getting Charleston Village  projects publicity  etc. for the Admiral King Tribute Space, Eric Barnes Heroes Walk and Settlers’ Watch . He may  not have been overly  fond of yours truly  but  he could see past the tree to  the forest.

Although  I  have been known to  come out fingers flying  when I felt the Morning Journal and others   and its staff needed a different perspective : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/media-as-the-word-turns-or-rolls-lorain/

 

You see at the same time all this bruhaha was going on  with  me  the news media were all over Councilman Dan Given and others with  the Community  Reinvestment Areas. This too had its birthing in politics and the blame game ensued.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/03/15/sigh-cra-p-p-stands-for-politics/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/11/10/here-it-comes-crappppp/

Before I get pilloried once more let me tell you  I  was involved in the CRA situation before any  of the media.I  did my  homework and I  have files two  inches thick, Courts, the players and their agendas, articles  comments  and documentation up  the ying yang.   Anyone wants to  see them -only  too  willing… Oh  and the politics  are mind boggling.

However Dan Given became the scapegoat  even though  the Plain dealer article OCTOBER 2007  used  in the court case had 11 inaccuracies  (  I wrote to  the Editor pointing out the journalists biased leanings  – no  reply) 

 NOTE: Article is no  longer on line but I  have the hard copy. There was a  friendly  relationship  between  the county’s attorney  and the journalist….. I  have the article

Later on I  took Tom and the MJ to  task  over an article in 2009I  had just 6 days earlier lost my  son to  cancer – but it was still important to  me that truth  and the whole truth  should be explored.

Dan Given was also pilloried in the article of December 10th 2009 but the readership of the Morning Journal has been denied the “rest of the story ” and denied so far as they  would not print Mr. Given’s rebuttal  leading their readership and those of the community in a direction that is less than accurate.  I  published his letter to  the MJ because they  wouldn’t- I  would suggest a read of that letter found in the link  below: 

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/12/13/two-sides-one-published-one-denied/

When you  go  to  the comments of that post  you  will find Mr. Skoch  had his say .. but since the claim by  the editors stated they  had reached out to  Mr. Given originally they  apparently  missed the part in all the bru haha that the Law Director had told Council members ( because of litigation they  couldn’t comment ) although  at least two  did …

Does ANY of this matter NOW? You  tell me as  recently  as March  12th  2020 Dan Given was accused of public corruption in a letter chastising    now Mayor Bradley  from the Lorain FOP for  supporting a political candidate they  have issues with. Click on jpg for a clearer picture.

Although  letters  and legal stating  no  wrongdoing 15 YEARS LATER DAN GIVEN IS STILL BEING ACCUSED. 10 YEARS  cleared of any  wrongdoing AND YET STILL IN 2020  THE FOP  ACCUSATION OF public corruption..

MAYBE THEY MISSED THE ARTICLE FROM 10 YEARS AGO!!!!!

GIVEN CLEARED – CHRONICLE – BRAD DICKEN  DECEMBER 10TH  2010

Given Cleared 2010

 

WHY ? If anyone had really  done ALL the homework and evidence complied and not just dwelled on the surface of the CRA situation  the story  would be  different, believe me I  looked at that CRA situation until I  was sick of it and the ones that should be held responsible  weren’t.

AND NOW!!! We have Mary  Springowski feeling the wrath  of imho  of a up-jumped egotistical  32 year old reporter  Kevin Martin / Morning Journal  trying the name and shame game  because Mary , in order to  reach out and provide information  to  her constituents with  information and participation. by  pasting  an article  on her facebook page ! Horrors she apparently  single handedly  has brought down the print media local by  publishing the article

Facebook post by  Mary :

THE REST OF THE STORY!!!!

( Mary) “What is happening with this money? Who should benefit from this? Who CAN benefit from this? There must be some regulations. If this is CDBG then it is geared towards low to moderate income areas. What are your thoughts? Remember, if you want them to be part of the permanent record, post your comments and thoughts on the city’s official Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/CityofLorainOH/

( Morning Journal)Lorain, Elyria to get stimulus money in coronavirus response By Richard Payerchin rpayerchin@morningjournal.com @MJ_JournalRick on Twitter Apr 1, 2020

The cities of Lorain and Elyria will receive money from the first allocations in the federal government’s economic stimulus bill due to the novel coronavirus.

The city of Lorain will receive $725,720, while Elyria will receive $439,110 in Community Development Block Grant money, according to an announcement from Sen. Sherrod Brown.……..

Innocent enough  one would have thought HOWEVER Mr. Martin thought otherwise  and  through  Twitter started on April 9th  to chastise Mary  for an  article written NOT by  Mr Martin but by  Rick Payerchin……..although  Martin  states he is speaking for himself ( that didn’t last long ) Click on the jpg for a clearer picture

 

 

Has Mr. Payerchin , the journalist  and writer  of the piece,  contacted Mary  with  his displeasure? NO!  according to  Mary.  Has Daryl Tucker the Editor  contacted Mary?  No! apparently  not BUT 13 days after Mary  posted the article on face book Kevin Martin  of Muck Rack  fame  and membership https://muckrack.com/ complained to  the Facebook Police for copy  right infringement –

APRIL 13th

If you believe that this content should not have been removed from Facebook, you can contact the complaining party directly to resolve your issue:

Report #: 253706562467430
Rights Owner: MediaNews Group Inc.
Email: kmartin@morningjournal.com
Copyrighted Work: Other 

NOTE Martin does not use a personal email account in filing his complaint  but that of the Morning Journal .

This should never have  gone this far…. I  wouldn’t have had to spend five days  writing and reliving the punishing press… and maybe  “raking the muck” because I  was angry at the “punishment not fitting the crime”

All it would’ve taken was a phone call to  Mary  to  take down the post, explain why  there was a concern but No  the crusading journalist  jumped on his high  horse and banner of punishing the politician of the people……

WHY? what is his agenda …. when obviously  the writer  of the offending piece and the Editor didn’t complain…..  but because of Mr. Martin  -Mrs. Springowski  will no longer share , be interviewed  or subscribe to  the Morning Journal, and Mary  is always newsworthy  so  who  suffers by  this petulant posturing? NOT Mary ..  maybe Martin should be taught the old adage :

“Cutting off the nose to spite the face” is an expression to describe a needlessly self-destructive over-reaction to a problem: “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face” is a warning against acting out of pique, or against pursuing revenge in a way that would damage oneself more than the object of one’s anger

 

THE END then again maybe NOT!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 17, 2020 at 12:22 pm Leave a comment

Morning Journal – The Punishing Press- Pt.3 cont.

Part One : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/13/morning-journal-lorain-the-punishing-press/

Part Two : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/14/morning-journal-lorain-the-punishing-press-part-two/

Part Three: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/15/morning-journal-the-punishing-press-part-3/

 

Regugitating( in more ways than one) this week has woken up  this poor old brain.  I started out wanting to  show that this particular  local paper the Morning Journal had indeed used tactics in the past in order to retaliate and by  all accounts a journalist working for them today ( Kevin Martin)  had  seemingly no  compunction about going to  the “over the top” reaction when    reporting   one of Lorain’s “popular with the people”  councilwoman. Mary  Springowski.  You  see, my  belief, knowing  Mary –  had  Martin or his boss Tucker  contacted Mary  personally and requested  she take down their article from facebook  and refrain from sharing in depth  again – Mrs. Springowki  would have acquiesced.

That “would have been the smart move” in my  opinion but that is not what happened . Instead a ” I was reminded of the quote in Maxwell Anderson’s play  ” Mary  of Scotland”

 

 

“We must look to  it….. has a woman’s  face( and principles 😉 stirred such  a confluence of air and waters to  beat against the bastions….”

 

Other thoughts have also  been running amok as I go cross- eyed reading the files, news article and editorials and I am thinking my  hindsight is telling me  there was more going on in that period from 2004- 2007.

Whilst I and others,  were in middle of the waters swirling around us  and we were fighting for our very  homes , way  of life and yes opinions  we were  fighting on more than one front. I can’t believe all these “plans were not part of a bigger picture” but I  suppose now I  will never know for sure

Shawnee( John Cole, Foltin and secrecy- selling off of lakefront land to   the tribe.. being lambasted…. as greedy  gobblers saw visions of casino  chips dancing in their eyes. Why  did it take  a small group to  point out the folly  of  having a reservation on the lakefront and the problems that would occur. Did Foltin , Cole Prudoff etc really  believe that was going to  happen as they  spent our money? Thousands upon thousands for what ????? ( as seat at the table with  the big boys?? https://clevelandmagazine.com/in-the-cle/the-read/articles/cashing-in . We , and me mainly , certainly  incurred the wrath when speaking out, but you  see this was going to be “here” in our neighborhood, all the plans swirling around and the bandwagons rolling … COLE and Foltin were NOT happy  with  me !!!!

Blight –  Before we in this Lorain’s oldest  neighborhood  could even get a handle on the Shawnee  during those same weeks and months another plan quietly  slipped into  place .

The Administration paying yet MORE thousands upon thousands  to  go  through  the process of blighting the whole neighborhood on the lakefront  where a casino entranceway, bus parking you  name it would go  .( for private development) .. can you  say  land banking??? And once again we were thrust into  those swirling waters and coming up against  media, politics. We were being stretched very  thin. Land banking  was what it looked like to  me BUT FOR WHAT PURPOSE

From my  testimony  re Blight  maybe ( in hindsight) I  wasn’t too far from the mark.…”Eminent Lorain V

“Interestingly enough the land banking- that I believe is going on – happens to correspond to the entranceways to that same lake front property. Our City officials in planning, administration and that same newspaper editor making the decision the sell the 200 year old green space that was the birthplace of this community without informing the public or even our representatives on City Council. City council and myself were politely told to keep our place until the decision and plans were made for that park

Veterans Park ..AND THEN  at the other end of the neighborhood  “planned  Blight of a historic little park .. Oh the wheeling and dealing pitting “history  boneheads ” ( Coles words not mine ) against  developers, and the administration – Foltin , Cole and Prudoff .. The proposed senior citizens condos in the Park.. we had to  take on the Veterans who  at one point had received hundreds of thousands for improvement for that park..”WHO TURNED NEARLY $500,000 DOLLARS INTO A BOONDOGGLE, BAD NEWS AND DEAD PARK?https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/veterans-memorial-park-thanks-for-the-memories/

Oh! we were taking a beating by  Cole and Co. Letters sent to  Veterans groups and meeting berating the history  boneheads, ridicule and downright untruths and nastiness followed us who  tried to  save  a tangible and imho  important part of Lorain’s history  from the earliest times..

http://www.morningjournal.com/articles/2006/02/22/opinion/16173705.txt
Lorain’s City Council shouldn’t be so quick to reject downtown condos (John Cole)

Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2006
But how can city leaders trumpet the need to save the park, when they have stood by and let it become such a vandalized dump? Lorain’s veterans barely use it anymore because it’s so seedy and because all the ceremonial action in Lorain these days is at Black River Landing.

You  see  the plans ( although NOT shared with  anyone in City  Council or even employees of Community  Development   came to  light  over a lunch… and I made some phone calls

You  can read the entire situation here  

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/veterans-memorial-park-fini/

and  an except of a letter sent to  the city administration and in particular  Prudoff….  and there they  are  again

Cole,

Foltin

Prudoff

( if I  was a betting person I  would say  there was  some sort of collusion)  BUT that would only  be my  cynical  “OPINION” ( lawyers take NOTE!!!) 

 

….[Veard}  mention to two representatives of Charleston Village Executive Board on Jan 6th his “plan” as we were eating lunch in a very public place. There was no mention of the need for discretion, if anything the impression given was one of the plans for the park being a “done deal” and that all obstacles such as the Gilmore family restriction was and I quote “not a problem, I have been assured that isn’t an issue any more”.
I believe he was truly shocked when his plan did not meet with favor in our eyes. According to Mr. Veard, “you are the first ones that don’t like it” we were then informed, during that conversation, that other public officials, and non profits had been made aware of the plan to put condos in the “Veterans Park”, such as some members of the Lorain Port Authority, “ the veterans are on board”, the city, including Mayor Foltin and yourself (Sandy Prudoff), as well as the editor of the Morning Journal, John Cole.

At the same time Compass House was setting up  as an independent housing and bringing in 10 Registered Sex Offenders a night  .. and kicking them out into  the neighborhoods a so  many  days  –  worrying since the city  no  longer had a jail and the funding for the Shawnee bond was apparently  rolled over into  that bond which  went on ”

Jail–  Lorain City  Councilwoman Anne Molnar ( deceased) started to  look into the funding and where the money  had gone earmarked for a new Jail . Anne wrote to  Wom and we put up  the minutes of the meeting for her . Anne bless her “fighting for Lorain” heart  wrote to  WoM  at the time

Dear Loraine,
Thank you for posting the minutes of the police and fire committee meeting on WOM. You can sure work miracles on the computer, did a great job posting it on WOM. I believe when most people read them, they can easily see how the Mayor has twisted his words and lied .
There is a lot more to be told, that I found out later regarding the jail, and it is all to late now. Money wasted and spend, many lies told, and not all from the Mayor.[Foltin}  Anne

NOTE:  The minutes of that meeting and the unbelievable amount of money and spin here   Minutes of Feb 2003 No Jail

It seems you  couldn’t pick up  a paper without my  name being “used” . I  did seem to  be on some vicious treadmill…..me against the media and city  government.

Why? Yes I  was involved but a free press believes in free speech , at least I  always  thought so . Initially  I  was confused by  Coles’ comment in his editorials (problem is I  can no  longer link  to  them)  and then I  got angry.  I  started answering back.

 

The Shawnee  excitement came down to  earth  with  a bang when finally  City  Council  etc after receiving much  detailed information decided not to  renew the option for the land at Black  River .  I testified at length before members of city  council  and with  a plethora of documentation for the record. ( Was not well received by  the Foltin Administration)

Phot by Dan Brady

It was the selling of the little park that really  upset Cole and the Morning Journal – you  see  we along with  our sister organization of (Charleston Village Society) Black  River Historical Society  and Anne Molnar  and various residents  fought for that park to  remain a park.  We were gathering our arguments together when Frank  Sipkovsky, President of the then Black  River Historical Society  walked over to  City  Hall and put in each  councilpersons mail box a letter  detailing their concerns as to  what was going on with the park.   Councilman Dan Given  called for a vote  then and there  that evening to  settle this situation : and King Cole really  went off on them….

March 3rd, 2006:  Editorial by  John Cole in response to  Lorain City Council’s unanimous vote NOT to  sell the historic little Park…..

“You can’t make us believe that some council members didn’t cook up Monday’s vote in an illegal backroom meeting. That kind of government stinks as bad as those flooded basements. The state attorney general’s office should give these guys a wake-up call. Their vote could be invalid.

Every one of these zeros is up for re-election next year. Remember how they embarrassed you and your city with their rude and juvenile no-show act………
 ………

Lorain has too many short-sighted, long-winded politicians, cranks and blowhards and not enough people who can look past all that and push forward with positive accomplishments that can make Lorain strong and attractive again.”

 

To be continued …

April 16, 2020 at 12:56 pm 1 comment

Morning Journal- The Punishing Press- Part 3

Part One : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/13/morning-journal-lorain-the-punishing-press/

Part Two : https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2020/04/14/morning-journal-lorain-the-punishing-press-part-two/

 

ED NOTE As I  revisit the situations in the early  part of this century  I  am amazed at the amount of time, energy  and money  wasted. The 2004- through  2007  wheeling and dealing. Most of it centered around this old neighborhood, which  of course is why  I  became involved and why  I  came up  against the press and politics. Naïve is the word I would describe myself.  Reading the harsh  words today  as I  went through  articles  and posts  of an Editor and a Mayor of that time.

I couldn’t help  but think  today

  “ I  was not a politician, I  did not hold a job of work with  the city  or county  or with  anyone else.”

 

I  suppose I  was visible in the public eye due to  all the volunteer situations and events from producing Lorain Community  Music Theatre productions of Brigadoon and King and I , saving the Palace – Palace Players, one of the founders of Charleston Village Society  and a great many  other hats all of which  did not bring me in a penny and cost me personally. Looking back  and with  hindsight I  should have walked away  years ago.

However, I  was pilloried in the press and  by local government administration  as a “VOLUNTEER”- if this can happen to  me it can happen and probably  did  to others.  This is the reason I believe  this  regurgitating of “old news” is warranted.

Winston Churchill said,

“The further back you can look, the farther forward you can see…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apart from selling us ( Lorain’s oldest neighborhood) down the river – or on it  by  Foltin , Cole and the Shawnee , the gathering storm  of the Foltin Follies hit  Lorain Portside  with   not one but two  blight studies and to  hell with  this old neighborhood and its people .

( Planned Blight ) was also  on the agenda for the dismantling of the oldest greenspace in the county – now known as Veterans Park. Once again Cole , Foltin and Prudoff gathered together in the tower of power to  make this happen for the developer Jon Veard.  The paper calling that little slice of Lorain’s tangible history  a “piss park”

 

Unfortunately  I  cannot link directly  to  those editorials they  have disappeared , as has most of the Wom Blog articles at the time . I did however, manage to  save  some although  the links embedded originally are “broken” through  accident or design. A lot of revisionist history  happens in Lorain.

Let us start with Blight. As a founding member and co  chair of Charleston Village Society  ( 1986 to  present and a 501C3. )

http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/feature.shtml?f=375llage

I received phone calls from the neighbors over on the Portside section of our neighborhood

A Mr. Gould would be coming into  their homes to  start a blight study.”

This was also  around  the time Eminent Domain for  private  development was  being used  see Kelo case https://ij.org/issues/private-property/eminent-domain/

We (CVSI)  did some research  and informed the neighbors NOT to  let Mr. Gould onto  or into  their property  and homes.  We fought with  what little resources we had and travelled to  Washington D.C to  meet with  the Institute of Justice , became  “friends of court for the Norwood Case” .

The Norwood, Ohio Eminent Domain Trial

 

With  the help of the Institute of Justice  – Gould and Associates could not meet the required percentage  to  “blight the neighborhood”- the first step  in eminent domain .

On April 10th 2006 I  testified before the State Task Force on Eminent Domain ( Ex  Lorain Mayor Joseph Kozuira was a member of that Task Force.  part of the testimony was as follows:

We believe the citizens and taxpayers are the last to know. In the Portside case it is the taxpayer that is paying the $125,000 for the study- $50,000 from our Utilities Dept -$25,000 from the Lorain Port Authority and $50,000 from the city- ALL dependent upon the tax payer and yet we were not informed of the ordinance or the fact that our money would be used. Every time a toilet is flushed in Portside they are paying for their homes to be under the tool of eminent domain. This evening (April 10th) they are asking the City to remove them from the study.

The designation of Blight in Lorain gives the following options to the city: the tool of Eminent Domain, TIF funding, and zoning changes and readies the area “in case a casino” or another concept comes across the board. Blight designation HAS worked well in Lorain with Harbor Walk but that development was different in the fact that the city and the developer (who owned the property) took a disused shipyard and turned it into housing and a marina. It is a wonderful asset. The difference being that there was financing in place, architectural drawings and “real plan” not concepts or visions. The community was aware of the project, it was no secret.

The city of Lorain has contributed to the housing infrastructure problems; the city of Lorain has NOT enforced building codes,

brokehomes

therefore contributing to the deterioration of our homes and infrastructure and NOW say-“oh the area should blighted!!”

ED NOTE:You  can access the whole testimony  here Eminent Lorain V

Are you  adding up  these costs to  the taxpayer for the Shawnee, the Blight ? can you  see why  I  was an irritant in the underwear of Foltin and Cole.  Who  the hell was I  to  point out the “waste” and meddle in their plans?

And then came the Park TAKE OVER-  Lorain’s Oldest continuing green space from which  the City  of Lorain was platted and born :

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/the-history-park-1812-201-hundred-years-a-recorded-city-park-veterans-park-lorain-ohio/

“In the closing months of 2005 the Foltin Administration along with Community Development Director Sandy Prudoff, Jon Veard and Morning Journal editor – John Cole, in their infinite wisdom, decided the historic park should be condos. Foltin and Co started the wheels in motion to make this little park unworthy of its heritage .
Mayor Foltin quietly stopped work and maintenance on the park so that after a period of months the park and its infrastructure started to rapidly deteriorate. The fountain no longer was turned on, said to have major problems ( which turned out later to be a false statement)- graffiti wasn’t removed – only the grass was cut – the vagrants were allowed to use it as John Cole’s editorial stated as a “piss park”. In truth Craig Miller the Safety Service Director told me the park would be “blighted”. Events happened when Jon Veard let the plans out of the bag prematurely and I, along with others, started fighting to stop this fiasco of finance.

And John Cole really  had a field day  with  me and his editorials :  However, I  do  have to  thank  him because it was “HE”  who  gave me the moniker “that woman” hence the name of this blog ….. Of course I  was also  named a crank, blowhard and history bonehead…..Nice

To  be continued………

 

 

April 15, 2020 at 12:18 pm 1 comment

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