Meet Joe & Rita, the inspiration for this entire JORHEALING endeavor. Sadly I do not have their contact info so although their story below is 100% true, I have no way of contacting them if donations were made. I won’t make that mistake again!
I met Joe & Rita at Francis Beach Campground in Half Moon Bay, California.
An absolutely delightful couple who reached out to me first to comment on an (insane in our opinion) man who jumped into the ocean at sunset, swam what seemed like several hundred yards straight out in freezing cold water without a wetsuit, then swam north for another couple hundred yards. We all sat in amazement enjoying this amazing setting and feat of the human heart.
Over the next couple of days, we continued to run into each other and conversation came easy with them. I know I was privileged to hear only a few of their hardships in life, and what I heard was heart-wrenching.
For one, they lost their 17-year-old daughter tragically many years ago. Joe has never truly gotten over the loss of his angel girl and has for decades visited her gravesite every Saturday without fail.
Rita, formerly a nurse, was injured on the job by a flailing patient and is now out of work and disabled.
Joe, in his late 60’s, is working at the job he’s been at for over 20 years doing back-breaking labor up to 18 hours a day, 70 hours or more per week and sometimes going weeks without a day off.
This was the first vacation they have had in years, and it was delayed due to Rita’s health which wasn’t worth “wasting on vacation” as she put it. Gratefully she felt better to travel the week I was there.
What is truly heartbreaking about this story is that Joe can’t slow down because he is the sole income earner, and Rita can’t slow down because she is the sole caretaker for her ailing 82-year-old mother who has cancer and dementia who lives with them.
In addition, they regularly take homeless people into their home to give them a chance to get cleaned up and fed for a week or a month, whatever it takes before they head back out on the street.
This couple truly defines the word selfless, and there is no system, family or method in place to let them have even a moments rest from their outpouring of support to those around them at the expense of their own health and well-being.
On top of all that, Rita needs expensive medicine that is not covered by insurance and her mom needs expensive medical treatments, both of which they have to forgo many months because Joe’s backbreaking work only pays the basic household bills.
I know there are many in our country who seem to be the forgotten, they pour out their entire lives only to be left alone in the struggle in the twilight years.
WONDERING HOW YOU CAN HELP?
Visit their GoFundMe page at http://www.gofundme.com/jor-joe-and-rita
Special Note: The GoFundMe page is active to showcase how this works, however, no donations can be made as I, unfortunately, have no way of contacting them