The last two times, it was easier to come back.
In 2018, mom got very sick, but she got better, and when she recovered, I returned from a blogging hiatus.
In 2019, mom got really sick, but she eventually got better, and when she recovered, I returned from a blogging hiatus.
Last summer, after mom got better, I covered the draft, I went to the summer development camp, I went on vacation, came back, and went to the prospect tournament and main training camp.
I came back, and mom got very sick again, and I let you know that I would be off for a bit, again.
My mom didn’t get better. Five days after I returned home from training camp, she died.
I didn’t come back.
Instead, I preoccupied myself with the matters of resolving her estate. That took a couple of months.
Then, Aunt Annie and I worked on getting her qualified for Medicaid. That fight took four months, and it was exhausting, but we got her signed up.
I finally took that part-time job that all of you have been suggesting I get to help support the blog–the State of Michigan appointed me Aunt Annie’s paid caregiver–but the pay was a good thousand dollars short of what we expected.
Combine that with the lack of mom’s income, and we’ve been battling to get by over the past eleven months, but we’ve gotten by.
Along the way, I’ve been grieving, fighting to get out of bed some days, some weeks, some months, despite swimming in a sea of supportive friends and family.
I lost my dad when I was 14, and he, like mom, died suddenly and unexpectedly. I expected that there would be some damn redundancy in losing mom suddenly and unexpectedly.
That was hopeful bullshit. There’s been little to no redundancy to losing a 44-year-old father in middle school to losing a 69-year-old mother in middle age.
Add in a pandemic, and, for Red Wings fans, the season from hell came to a merciful end in mid-March. We’re all hoping and praying that there’s a draft in early October, followed by an abbreviated off-season, a mid-November training camp at Little Caesars Arena, and a December (?) 2020-2021 season start.
When August came, Bluehost let me know that the bill for a year’s worth of empty blog would be coming due at the end of the month (a.k.a. August 31st, or Monday). I negotiated it down to $221, which is still a lot of money when three earners become two. Jetpack then let me know that a $99 bill would come due on September 1st, and Dlvr.it followed with another $99, due September 1st.
That’s not all I pay for the blog–there are subscriptions to The Athletic, the Free Press and News (those are new), ESPN and Soundcloud.
My now two-person household doesn’t have the discretionary income to pay for those things.
So I have to get another part-time job, and that’s where you and I come into the picture.
TL;DR: I was my mother’s caregiver for the better part of two-and-a-half years, and this blog has suffered for it, but I always came back.
That changed when mom died, and I became Aunt Annie’s full-time caregiver.
But as things have stabilized on our end, and as the pandemic hit, I’ve still been trying to keep up as mental and physical health allow, and between getting the Meals on Wheels meal in the morning, making sure Aunt Annie eats something in the evening, and setting out her pills, there’s time I have to myself.
And there’s been a nagging hollow in my heart without hockey to blog about and talk about with people like you.
So I’d like to start again.
I’d like to change some things, too.
That means opinion pieces instead of those frustrating-to-write game previews, that means learning how to record podcasts, and asking my readers (if there are any left) to come to the table and help rebuild and reshape this blog as it embarks upon its third chapter, its third restart.
Because, of course, none of this can happen for free, and I know that because I’m typing on an eight-year-old laptop that whines, wheezes, and throws temper tantrums.
So I want to come back. I want to blog. And I want to earn my keep while doing so.
Can that happen? Will it happen?
I want to believe that it can and will happen. I’m willing to give blogging one more try, as an outsider, as a seasoned voice who still has a lot to say about our pandemic-interrupted Red Wings.
The question is, do you still want to read The Malik Report? And are you willing to help me pay for providing a service to an audience?
The question is: do you still want to believe in this blog, or has its time passed us by?
Hockey talk. Red Wings. Prospects. Information, opinions, nonsense and maybe a lot more irony, opinion, and even humor (Lord knows we’ll need gallows humor for our rebuilding Wings…)?
You in? One more time?
If you can lend a hand with the blog’s expenses, I’d be quite grateful if you head over to https://paypal.me/TheMalikReport or Giftly.com (sent to my email address, firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’re not so keen on Bank of eBay having your information.
As always, thanks for your time, your readership and your support. I know that the last six months are unlike anything any of us have ever experienced, but I hope that you’re doing okay during this bizarre pandemic timeline.