Greetings! My name is Shirl, and I am starting this campaign for my beautiful , life-long friend Sherry.
Sherry and I have been "Besties" for over 30 years now We stopped being friends, and became family many years ago.I call hermy "Sister from another Mister". We have seen each other through broken hearts, broken homes, (and some broken bones). We have shared each other's victories, and carried each other through some of life's tougher lessons. We've shared the joys, and angst of motherhood, raised our children together, and have been strong for each other when faced with the loss of loved ones in our lives. The past few years have been difficult times at best. The area in which we live (Galveston County, Texas), has been hit by two major hurricanes within the past 10 years. The first one being Hurricane Ike, in which Sherry's mother Jan's home was directly hit. Jan did not evacuate, and was swept into the coastal waters. Her remains we never recovered. The loss of a mother is devastating. The loss of your mother without closure, much more so.
We were all struggling to rebuild our lives and our homes, and cope with our losses. Randy, Sherry's younger brother was striken with severe depression after losing his mother, and a painful breakup with his wife, and took his own life only two short years later. We scraped together all the money we could for his cremation, and the family had a small memorial service for he and Jan, and released his ashes into the same Waters where his mother was. I was living in Houston at the time, but moved to the Dickinson / San Leon area in order to be closer to Sherry, and Laurie our baby sister, through these hard times. We 3 basically became inseparable, and for a while it seemed as though things were getting back to normal, but that was not to last.
In July of 2016, we lost our baby sister Laurie Lynette very suddenly and without warning. She had been involved in a motorcycle accident about a month before, and had an injured spleen. She became ill with flu-like symptoms in the weeks to come, and died suddenly due to re-injury of her spleen. Although close to her brothers, there is a special bond between sisters, and the loss of her baby sister has hit harder than any other loss. Our community pulled together once again, and held a benefit to raise money for her medical bills, and funeral costs. We buried her in our local Cemetery, but after all was said and done there was no money left for a headstone.
On Sherry's birthday, October 13th of that year she was terribly depressed and feeling hopeless and lost. My Son, in an effort to cheer her up and give her something to look forward to went out and found Sherry's dream car, and old Mustang in need of restoring. This touched her heart, and gave her a bit of Hope and happiness, and she was looking forward to working on restoring, and driving her dream car within the next years time, but money was tight, and the restoration was coming along slowly.
Before she could get her car up and running ,hurricane Harvey, the first category 4 hurricane since 2005 directly hit our area. Although we both were fortunate enough that our homes were not rendered unlivable and we're only flooded, and we had made it through the storm alive, we lost most of our belongings, our jobs, and her dream car was flooded in her backyard. There was no getting out if you were flooded in, and no coming in if you had not been evacuated for almost a month's time. We relied on food trucks, the Salvation Army and other charities for our food and water, clothes and household needs. Sherry's 49th birthday in October came and went overshadowed by the catastrophic losses our community was facing at the time.
This year, her 50th birthday, Sherry and her Aunt Margaret who lives in a different state had made plans 2 take a 2 week all inclusive trip to the islands to celebrate and finally have a wonderful and well-deserved birthday celebration. Sherry saved her money throughout the year, and was so looking forward to this excursion. We are a very small Coastal Community which relies heavily upon tourists that come in the spring and summer months for Revenue. Due to heavy rains in our area throughout the past months we have had several small floods, and almost no tourist to our area in the past year. Slowly but surely Sherry has had to spend for savings to pay bills and survive, and found herself with no funds to take her birthday trip this year. I tried my best to throw together a small birthday party for her on a short notice, but she ended up spending her birthday night drinking margaritas at home with me.
I cannot stand to see her going through such pain and disappointment over and over. She and I go to the grave site usually at least once a month to visit Laurie, and I can see how much it upsets her that there is no headstone on the grave, and she feels as though she is letting her little sister down and leaving her in an unmarked grave. She has also expressed that she would like to have some sort of memorial to her brother and mother there.
I would like to raise enough money to buy the parts she needs to restore her dream car, buy a headstone for Laurie's grave site, and a bench to set beside her grave, in memory of her brother Randy, and her mother Jan. I would also like to raise enough money to throw Sherry a surprise birthday party no matter what month we reach the amount needed to meet these goals, at which time I would like to present her with a basket full of the parts needed to paint, and restore her dream car so that she can actually drive it, and if there are enough funds left to purchase them, two paid in full boarding passes for and all inclusive Cruise to the Bahamas leaving out of the Galveston Port next October on her birthday, placed inside a giant birthday card I will make her on which I will write the names of all donors who have come together to make these dreams come true for her. Then, the day after her surprise birthday party, I would like to take her at sunset to Laurie's grave site, where she will finally see The Headstone that has been missing for years, and we can sit on the bench memorializing her mother and brother, and watch the sunset.
I thank you all for taking the time to read about my cause, and should you find it in your heart to want to make a donation, please leave your full name upon donation so that I may share with her how many loving, and caring people came together to make her dreams come true. God bless you all,