Shortly after launching the gofundme campaign, I fell off the face of the earth. And have been unusually quiet since.
On August 15th, while working on a new banner image, my Grandma called to say she hadn't heard from my mom all day, and was going over to check in. Not long after, she called again, and although she didn't say so over the phone, I knew.
The fire department and the police were outside her apartment. And my mom was gone. And with her, everything I'd promised her we would do. The coast trip, the pallet planter, the golf cart I was going to get her when I opened the shop...she lived just around the corner. Growing her nutritious food once I figured out what the hell I was doing. The craft days with my girlfriend and her daughter. Traveling the world.
I've done a lot of dreaming over the years, imagining what the bigger start of Ssussdriad would be like. I never thought it would include the death of my mom.
My mom, Marlene Fuller or, as she preferred, "Mardi", was 50 years old, and though the disease that attacked her body and her mind also, in recent years, attacked her spirit, she was a beautiful human being, a goofy and compassionate treasure of a woman. And I took her for granted, too often rushing away because she was sometimes difficult to deal with.
She ran away to the coast with my dad at 18. She had me at 20. I was planned lol. At 2, I came to live with my grandparents. For most of my life, I thought that was because I was too much to handle, after all, I got us evicted from our apartment in Tulare because I lit the couch on fire. But as it turned out, it was because she'd found out she had polycystic kidney disease, and was told she wouldn't live past 25. Believing that, she decided I would have more stability living with my grandparents, and that losing her would be easier if I grew up with them instead of her.
She partied pretty hard after that lol, but still managed to make it to every single major event in my life. By the time she realized the doctors were wrong about how long she had to live, I was comfortable in my life at my grandparents, at a good school and had close friends, and my grandparents were financially stable. Later she would invite me to live with her, but I would refuse, for those same reasons.
She lived a lot of life in the next couple decades. She married, had my sister, raised my step sister, and brought joy to everyone she met. Her husband ended up being a shit when she got sicker. She did pretty well in her own apartment until her health lost her her license. With the loss of her independence, her health declined even more.
2 years ago we moved her into an apartment in Hanford, and though I saw her a couple times a week, I’m ashamed to say Wish and Netflix were there for her more than I was. I stayed and talked when I would visit, and I drove her to her appointments up north, but I didn’t give her the time she deserved, and the love she needed. And now she’s gone.
I finished the banner image the next morning, and even began to conceptualize a new plan for launching, knowing I didn’t have the spirit to devote to the active campaign. Between funeral arrangements, cleaning out her apartment, and desperately looking for photographs and memories to cling to, I’ve struggled more than usual to focus on my dream. But I have done so enough to bring you a new introduction.
The property I set out to save hasn’t sold yet, and It’s important to me that I get to farm near my grandparents. They both have diabetes. My Grandpa has had 4 strokes and a triple-bypass. My grandma has stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver. And I have the same disease as my mom. This project is going to demand a lot from me, and I’m attempting it for a healthier world for all. I ask that you take it seriously.
You can find the event and subsequent video here. I created it during the hardest two weeks of my life. Please give it a few minutes of your time.