Friday, September 6, 2013


Recently I was in Rochester, N.H. at the Home Depot. Several of my projects required some supplies and Home Depot is readily available. (I prefer Lowes but meh) While I was shopping I ran into a very beautiful young lady who knew my name. She knew me well enough to approach with warm greetings. I had to ask, "How do we know each other?" Her answer brought back to me many memories... and a few disappointments. That is what this post is all about, those disappointments and (more importantly) the cause(s).

This list is going to be talking about two organizations who suffer from the title. Not just suffering, unintentionally victimizing along it's way, but at the same time being victimized from the same condition. It is like being so afraid of the "stove" that not only do you not want to ever own one again, to avoid getting burned, but if one is available you push people into it just to prove your point.

These two very worthwhile organizations are South Eastern Habit for Humanity and the Krempels Center.

S.E.N.H. (Which they claim ownership of the name but don't own the copyright!) is a fine example of flailing about trying to not lose ground on the "funding" support while not being consumed by the effort that "funding" gathering requires of it's participants.

I used to be the Assistant Director for Faith Relations. I was tapped as the replacement however making sudden changes was not prudent given the sluggishness of the organization. However that did not slow me down. Every Sunday I would go to service at a local, vibrant, church to create interest. Some Sunday's I would target a specific church to say thank you. It that church made a donation, of effort or money, I would go to their sermon just as a way to say thank you. The irony of that practice was that it led me to find my home church. I still practiced my duties, whenever I could, however I side benefitted with a worthwhile home church.

To shorten this up I will share with you my last email to the S.E.N.H. Restore (such a funding source that the organization feels the need to NOT reach out).

-------- Message --------
Date:     Sun, 04 Aug 2013 20:46:41
From:     [Censored] <>
To:     Restore Manager <>

Subject:     Some Clarity...

What I know of your concerns is extremely valid. The Aphasia does demonstrate that my injury can directly interfere with my thought process. Added to which I would not be aware, at all, of the mistake I had just made. So your concerns are reasonable... ... or at least by my standards (which can be strict when self-applied).

Of course that being said, my linguistic ability is greatly enhanced (and stabilized) via e-mail and other texting methods. When it comes down to verbal dialogue, and instruction, I ... how do my Doctors suggest I say it? Ah, yes.... I am the youngest Alzheimer patient you may ever meet. Verbal communication can be too easily forgotten but I do remember what I read. This was very true before my accident and critically true since my accident. I would appreciate a simple definition describing my position(s) vis a vis the Restore.

With this simple definition I can remember what my place is when I drive by the Restore. Whenever I drive by Newington I see the Restore and I feel the impulsive urge to swing on in and help around the house. Since our communication was via verbal dialogue it has been drifting away from memory already. In fact typing this e-mail is probably going to help me remember events however I am, honestly, unclear as to my position and as to the concerns you actually have.

Sadly our interaction, between us, has been limited to a few greetings. I think I can remember your voice but, truth be told, it has been so rarely active within my presence I can not be sure. However, that is unimportant. If I can get clear guidance as to your concerns and to my acceptable position here in e-mail... well voices don't enter e-mails. Added to which, if I read it I will remember it, clearly and distinctly.

I would like to express gratitude for your reading of this e-mail. Also I would like to express my remorse that you felt any negativity with my name attached to it. I not only want what is best for the Restore but I also want would be best for me. I have learned that sometimes I think that I am no different but that is very not true. I can only work with what people tell me or I drift back to thinking I can still do pre-accident things.

Thank you.

John "Q" Censored, F. & A.M.

-------- Message --------
Date:     Wed, 07 Aug 2013 17:40:42
From:     [Censored] <>
To:, Restore Manager <>,

Subject:     Re: Hello from an Old Hand

On 19-Jun-2013 09:36, wrote:
> Nirvana Krist
> ReStore Assistant Manager
I am sorry I called you, it must have been by surprise. Again, my deepest apologies. Apparently my visiting just as a "customer" rang someone else's bell. I got someone from Habitat, from an Albany number, calling me and talking to me quite viciously about my inappropriate behaviors. Very profession in language, yes, but she was not talking to me, she was telling me how life is going to go regardless of the fact that I pulled over onto the side of the road to take the call.

Yes, I am upset by this but what has me the most upset was this woman's barking at me no matter how I tried to get her to stop and just talk to me. Emotional distress, being barked at so viciously has been the number 1 cause of seizures. So, I would like to thank the lady for her efforts. Now I know just how much grief and harassment I can endure all at one time. After Traumatic Brain Injury, you don't know or trust how much verbal and emotional abuse you can take.

I was then able to breathe, relax, and go into AAA in Somersworth and ask for a driver's assessment test. After all, I am an inappropriate trouble maker who may suddenly become mentally unstable. Add to which I am a member of Mensa, St John's Outreach Committee (I was voted in as Chairman!), a Freemason of Moses Paul Lodge #96, a volunteer (active) at the Dover Children's Home & End 68 Hours of Hunger (one of the timber rafters on their new building? A used a hammer and square to get someone else to nailgun it into place!).  If all of the above did not matter in the least, I am a combat veteran (of Desert Storm) who served in 101st Airborne.

Perhaps that might, at the end, explain why I am enjoying cosplay of Fallout 3. After all, the main hero in that game was born and raised in Vault "101". But that only makes sense if you don't consider me mentally unstable.

PS: I am quite mentally alert! I only verbalize myself slowly so my Aphasia doesn't pop out. But just because I talk with extreme care means nothing to the mind that is exercising extreme care. Or, as I have learned by working IT with ESL professionals, "broken English does not mean broken mind". Only the shallow and the mean spirited of heart assumes that.

CC: Sophie (who did not even say hi before this all banged out at me), Jonathan T.M. Reckford CEO of Habitat International, Jeremiah Turner (Community Desk Reporter of Foster's Daily Democrat)

John "Q" Censored, F. & A.M.

-------- Message --------
Date:     Thu, 8 Aug 2013 10:19:52 -0400
From:     Sophie Aikman <>
To:     [Censored] <>, <>
Subject:     RE: Hello from an Old Hand

Dear John:

Our sincerest apologies for any misunderstandings as no one told you that you were not allowed to come into  the ReStore and shop. The concern was that you have business cards with the Southeast New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity logo on them that misrepresent you as a volunteer for Faith Relations. While you may have sat on this committee previously, you are no longer a member of this committee, and we ask that you please destroy the cards immediately.

We will see you later today when you come to pick up the items you purchased yesterday.

Kind regards,

Sophie Aikman
ReStore Manager
SENH Habitat for Humanity
29 Fox Run Road
Newington, NH  03801
603-750-3200 / 603-427-8150
Tuesday - Saturday 9 to 5

-------- Message --------

On 08-Aug-2013 10:19, Sophie Aikman wrote:
> Our sincerest apologies for any misunderstandings as no one told you that you were not allowed to come into  the ReStore and shop. The concern was that you have business cards with the Southeast New Hampshire Habitat for Humanity logo on them that misrepresent you as a volunteer for Faith Relations. While you may have sat on this committee previously, you are no longer a member of this committee, and we ask that you please destroy the cards immediately.

The irony of the situation was that was my last card. I left one of my new cards with it as well. The reason for the new card? As my wife works heavily with the FDA, she's a molecular biologist for Lonza, having her take my last name would create a mountain of paperwork. The man named LaVelle was never in my life so I'm not attached to that either (one of the reasons why I answer to "Q"). So I finally convinced my wife to let me take her name as her spouse.

I have never used my old Habitat cards for any business purpose of any kind. In fact, I readily (even still) recommend the Restore to any interested parties. However my nickname for the Restore, which I use after I properly name it, is "The Christmas Present"! I tell people that it is a toy store for adults to find a toy however, if you see something you like get your receipt on it fast as when you come back it probably will be gone.

The reason for putting my card on the item I purchased? In the past Mr. Willey would express his feelings towards me by removing my receipt and selling my purchases to someone else. Yes, that is after I paid for them - in full. That behavior of his might explain the distance, and skepticism, I maintain towards the Restore. However I always felt that was a personal matter and never ever let it enter my recommendation of the Restore.

As to the card itself, since I was accused of fabricating the card, was issued to me by SENH Executive Officer Jonathon Miller. My position was not just "volunteer", it was Assistant Director for Faith Relations. I asked Mr. Miller to not put my full title but to instead put "volunteer". I thought that a humble approach was best when dealing with Ministers and Pastors. How you enter a room can fully dictate the expectations you meet. Irony being what it is: As a "volunteer" I accepted for SENH several donation checks from the Church that eventually became my home.

In that Church I have found a peaceful Christian atmosphere. I've breathed that atmosphere in and tried to share it wherever I could. Even to the point of having a Church outing to help finish the Pare home in Farmington. I would have spent more time on the house(s) that were built on Silver St. in Rochester but my accident, and injury, got in the way of such desires. I will confess, that notice and news of the dedication of that property without anyone (at all) calling me was a bit disheartening.

I accept your apology that my banning was not expressed to me. Last Wednesday, when I showed up for my first volunteer shift and was dismissed I did come back to the store asking for guidance. Specifically asking for it, from you or Nirvana, it did not matter. Just that I felt it would have been important for someone like me, with Brain Injury, to know what is what.

I have only one important question left. It is more of a "what" question totally divorced of "whys" and assorted issues that can clutter the air. Where, oh please, where can I find religiousness at the Restore or involving SENH? I feel nothing but the mission of being a hand up, not a hand out - but equally I feel no community spirit within the staff. Not the lower guys, they are egregious and put forth a good face in every facet of their job. However from you, from SENH, and from that executive woman with an Albany phone number - I have received little spirit, little help, and I would love to have received less hostility.

Don't worry, you don't even have to try to answer that question. I don't want you to put yourself out anymore on my behalf, over me. Sadly, I know that if I want to find Christianity - go to Church where they shouldn't have budgets and egos laying out messing things up.

Thank you for your time and your first email to me (ever).

John "Q" Censored, F. & A.M.

-------- DONE --------

As an interesting side note: The woman from Habitat in Albany never called me again, even to say sorry. The last email was, in fact, the last email interaction I have had of any kind. I am sure it was not the last email on the topic but I doubt the messages included anything nice in my direction.

And not a single inquiry was made (that I know of) by Foster Daily Democrat. Perhaps S.E.N.H. Habitat (who complained to Facebook and shut down my group with a remotely similar name) got a phone call but I am not privy to such details or material.

The reason this is on my mind? Well with the massive media cover former President Jimmy Carter got when explaining the nature of charity to the U.S. Congress I can't help but think that maybe, perhaps, he was facing the wrong way when he shared those wholesome Christian thoughts.

Maybe? Perhaps? Should we ask a PR Manager from Habitat about that?

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