La-Z-Boy? More like Ea-Z-Boy!

Dear Mr. Mauldin, Mr. Darrow, and Ms. Popp-Hellebuyck

My name is Heather Ross and my husband is Lt. Colonel Gary Ross. We are an active duty military family temporarily staying at the Residence Inn in Denver while my husband receives cancer treatment at the Colorado Blood Cancer Institute. When we got here and met with the Oncologist he said that we would be here for a minimum of 6 months or longer; pending the outcome of his chemo treatment. So naturally we wanGary Reclinerted to get a comfortable La-Z-Boy recliner to provide comfort to him while he recovers from his surgery and upcoming treatments. When we arrived at your store #216 (with our service dog Lucy in tow) we met your associate, Kate and she knew exactly what we wanted. The prices were so good, we ended up purchasing TWO of your recliners!

We explained to Kate that Gary would be having surgery early Wednesday morning (Sept 5th) and that’s why we would like to have the chairs in place prior to that procedure. She said she couldn’t make any promises but would see what she could do.

Tuesday afternoon Kate called and said that due to the Labor Day holiday she couldn’t get a driver to deliver until Wednesday. We explained that we wouldn’t be home all day on Wednesday because of Gary’s surgery but that evening would be okay. She asked if she could call us back after looking at the schedule. We said absolutely and then never heard back from her.

We were sitting in our hotel room having dinner when there was a knock at the door. There standing with recliner #1 was Kate. She had a huge smile on her face and she said that she was delivering our two recliners. We stood there in shock as she rolled the recliner right into the room, put it all together and explained how it worked. My husband is very limited in moving items but we offered to help and she said absolutely not. She went downstairs and in a few minutes she was back at the door with recliner #2.

Again, she rolled it right in and set it up for us. I couldn’t fully express my gratitude because I didn’t want to start “ugly” crying. Cause let’s be honest, once the “ugly” cry happens it’s a hot mess for a solid two hours.

We were floored by Kate’s KINDNESS and her amazing CUSTOMER SERVICE. Amazing customer service and kindness are not often highlighted or appreciated as it should be. In a world of constant bickering and people being mean, when we have something GOOD happen it NEEDS to be celebrated and acknowledged. So please know as a caregiver, Kate is truly a hero and as a military spouse I don’t use that word lightly.

Thank you Kate and La-Z-Boy for allowing my husband the opportunity to come home from surgery and relax comfortably. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making this incredibly difficult time a lot less stressful.

Customers for life and HUGE fans of Kate! ūüôā

Gary and Heather Ross
(The picture attached is Gary in his Ted2 outfit in his new recliner. Hey-whatever makes him happy, right?)


No More Crying Over Cracker Jacks!

Cracker Jacks 2By now you have probably guessed that my weight loss journey has taken a back seat.

Why you ask?


I could list a million reasons why I haven’t “hit my goal weight” or ran a flippin’ marathon and slapped one of those pretentious 26.2 stickers on the back of my car to show everyone: Look at me, I got my fat ass up off the couch and ran a marathon.

Truth is… I don’t give two shits about running marathons or hitting my goal weight. I’m just trying to survive.

While there are fabulous “Soccer Mom’s” out there… I have to admit that I am one badass “Chemo Mom”.¬† Okay, so I’m driving my husband to and from his chemo appointments, but to be fair he does act like an overgrown teenager all the time at times. (Sorry, honey)

After my husband’s recent diagnosis with Waldenstrom Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma all he wanted was Cracker Jacks. So I was off to find some Cracker Jacks for him and an extremely large bottle of wine for me. The first grocery store was fresh out of CJ’s, so I paid for my groceries and went to the CVS down the street.

As I walked up and down each aisle I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I wasn’t going to cry. I’m an Army wife and by God I am going to find the damn Cracker Jacks!

I found the peanuts and popcorn section right next to the big red “OUT OF STOCK” sticker under the empty shelf where the Cracker Jacks should have been.

Cue the water works. I sobbed and sobbed over the fact that my husband was going to be dealing with this cancer. I sobbed because I couldn’t find the one thing he wanted at that moment. So I drove to every damn grocery store in Seal Beach until I found the Cracker effing Jacks at Ralph’s. I bought all of them on the rack. Every…single…package.

So we adjust our crowns, take stock of all of the POSITIVE things in our life — like having an amazing medical team at Chao Cancer Center at UC Irvine and we move on with life like a boss. A boss with a shit ton of Cracker Jacks and an oversized empty bottle of wine.

Note: To all the people out there who actually raise little humans, work jobs and maintain your sanity…I bow down to you!

“Little Ditty About Emely & Sam…

Two American kids, doing the best that they can.”

I guess it only seems natural that this story took place yesterday on the 10th Anniversary of the Iraq war. I was going about my day and for about the hundredth time I checked my Facebook news feed. As I was scrolling through the random posts something caught my eye that read: “Army Soldier and Fiance Need Your Help.” After all that Gary and I have been through, I didn’t think twice about clicking on the link.

The post took me to a website dedicated to “Emely Ramlo and Sam.”

I didn’t know Emely or Sam and I have never met the friend who had created the post on their behalf. I read the following information on the site:

“Sam was struck by an IED in Afghanistan.Since he was on foot Sam suffered many injuries.This fund is to help get Emely to her soldier.

As some of you know, one of our favorite friends Emely Ramlo and her fiance Sam are in serious need of our help. While Staff Sergeant Sam was over¬†in Afghanistan serving our country his convoy¬†was struck by an IED.¬†He lost¬†one¬†leg above the knee and the other right below it.¬†It also¬†took¬†three fingers on his left hand and blew his eardrum. He is on his way to Germany and as you can imagine Emely needs to be with him.¬†Since they weren’t married yet, the Army does not have the same resources for fiances as they do for spouses. Let’s show them that they are not alone by helping¬†get Emely to¬†Germany as well as cover¬†the bills she will have to pay not working¬†to be with him.¬† Once he¬†does get back to US soil, he will not be in Washington for the recovery process, so she isn’t sure how long it will be until she is home. If we can all pitch in and help Emely so she can be with Sam, I know she would appreciate it more than words can explain.”

Even though my eyes were starting to tear up, I am the first to admit that I am skeptical with all things internet. In the past week alone I had received several e-mails from friends who have been hacked and had a link embedded within the body of their e-mail. So I started researching and reading the Facebook pages of the fiance, the sister to Sam and of course his many friends. I found Sam’s Facebook page and slowly scrolled through the pictures he had on there.EmelySam

My heart sank deeper and deeper into my chest and the tears started to fall down my cheek. I guess in a way I was hoping to find out that this was just another scam and that this adorable couple weren’t really facing such an enormous challenge so early on in their relationship.

As word started to spread from other postings, I couldn’t help but watch the amount of money on the website grow. First $2,000, then $5,200. I had friend requested Emely and waited for status updates every hour on the hour. I don’t know if it’s because of my affiliation with the Army as a spouse or for the simple fact that strangers much like myself were coming together to help, whatever it was — I couldn’t stop watching.

It seems like every day we read or hear about how awful people are. The news is so focused on the sad and often times gory details. But today, right now, even in the most horrible of scenarios, people are coming together and showing that there are decent people in the world who do care. They have put their political and religious affiliations aside to do whatever it takes to help this couple.

This morning as the sun came up, I reached over on my night stand and grabbed my iPhone. I scrolled to the Facebook app and found Emely’s page. She had just updated her status to this:

EmelySam has already started to help people all around the world and he doesn’t even know it yet.

Because of Emely and Sam, we’re all feeling a little bit better today.