Ten. [and Project SOS]

November 15, 2012·

Let me start quickly by saying – this is not going to be a sad post. Just hear me out.

Today marks 10 years since the passing of my mom.

10 years.

That’s really hard for me to wrap my mind around. It just doesn’t feel like 10 years. But then at the same time, it does.

I thought about not even sharing this, but then I knew anything else would feel weird. Like, I couldn’t do an outfit post today. Or something. You know what I mean.

So, I thought, what better way to remember her than by sharing one of my favorite memories of her? A hilarious story, if you will.

For your mental image, the photo below (taken on spring break my junior year of high school) is pretty much the most recent photo I have of her before she died. And this story takes place that same year. My mom (obviously on the left) and me, on the right, but closest to my mom.

I loved NSYNC. No, for real. I was a huge NSYNC fan girl. I had seen them in concert a few times, but they were coming to do another concert that summer at the MCI center in DC – which is now the Verizon Center, I believe.

Anywho. My mom wanted to go with me and my friends to see NSYNC. What?! Moms can’t go see NSYNC, that’s not cool. Right? Wrong.

Well, my mother, being the determined woman that she was, was determined to take us. But, she insisted she take us in style.

Next thing I know, my mom is making me get in the car with her to go to the mall and go shopping. Now, long story short – my mom was sick for a very long time, and part of that was she suffered some physical disabilities – SO, she used one of those Amigo scooter things and/or crutches to get around. But if she was doing any extended walking, she used the Amigo.

Now, my mom loveeeeed to put that Amigo on the fastest speed setting and seriously BARREL through the mall. I would chase after her as she would laugh and laugh and laugh. I, however, did not find it funny.

Well, we stopped in DEB, you know – the store in the mall for juniors where all the clothes eventually made you itch. My mom was determined to get her outfit for the *NSYNC concert from Deb.

As she barreled through the racks of DEB (the Amigo scooter more often than not getting caught on the rack and taking the rack with her) – she stopped at the back section, found a few pieces and went to try them on.

Next thing I know, my 54-year-old mother is standing outside the dressing room in faux snake-skin pleather pants and a blue glitter tank top. I was immediately mortified. She immediately felt like a rockstar.

She was hooting and hollering in DEB like no one before. I could not hide quick enough.

“Whaaaat?! You don’t like it?” – she asked

“It’s, a little young for you.” -I said

“Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional! I’m getting it!!” -she retorted without hesitation.

And sure enough, two weeks later it was time for the concert and the next thing I knew my mom was riding down the stairs (we had one of those stair lifts for her to get up and down the stairs) in those pleather snake skin pants and that glitter top and she looked beautiful. Totally weird, but beautiful. And she probably had more fun at that *NSYNC concert than me and my friends did.

photo courtesy of Project SOS

Now, on a more serious note – some of you may or may not know that my mother was a Vietnam Veteran. Well, my dad talked with me about a project that he is currently working with down in Florida where he lives – and it’s something that, if my mom were still here, she would be doing everything she could to help out.

In brief, my dad is coordinating a humanitarian project in conjunction with Project SOS-Support Our Soldiers to collect and distribute much needed living supplies to our homeless Veterans and their families living within the Ocala National Forest.

They’re working with the founder of Project-SOS, a Vietnam Veteran and minister.  They have identified approximately 430 families, including over 200 school age children who are homeless and living in the forest. They are in need of everything on the list below and so much more.  Several churches in the Ocala area are supplying food on a regular basis, as well as drinking water, but items on the list below, as well as warm clothing items, are sparse.

You can view a video about Project SOS here.

So, I’m just putting this out there to the amazing blog community. These homeless veterans need our help. If you are interested and/or willing – would you consider gathering, shipping, offering, honestly whatever items in plastic bags (perhaps 1 gal zip lock type bag) containing such things as:

  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Medicated skin cream
  • Medicated shampoo
  • Medicated soap
  • Medicated foot powder
  • Over the counter medications (Aspirin, Tylenol, Children’s aspirin, Children’s Tylenol, Neosporin, Insect repellant)
  • Band aids
  • First Aid kits
  • Vitamins – Adult and Children
  • Shaving cream/razors/men and women
  • Toilet paper
  • Diapers
  • Toothpaste
  • Tooth brushes
  • Hair brushes
  • Combs
  • Water jugs (plastic – 1gal/5 gal.)
  • Backpacks
  • Sleeping bags
  • Tents
  • Blankets
  • Towels
  • Socks
  • Lanterns
  • Boots
  • Stoves
  • Nylon rope
  • Tent stakes
  • Tarps
  • Pots, Pans, Utensils (large – for volume use)
  • Board games
  • Toys
  • Stuffed animals

You can mail / ship any donations to:

Project SOS – Support Our Soldiers
c/o Tom Buckley
2932 Manor Downs
The Villages, Florida 32162

Project SOS is a 501(C)3.

If you have ANY questions whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me. I would be HAPPY to answer them!

And if you aren’t able to send anything, that’s totally fine. But would you pray for our homeless vets? They need it.

In 2013, my dad and the people he’s working with (along with the help of me and my sister) are going to be launching a long-term project called “The Lynda Van Devanter Project” collecting these items on a regular basis for the homeless vets in honor of my mom.

Because that’s the way she’d want it.