UPS works volunteer labor for Lake Orion widow, mom
When Orion Township resident Tammy Harriman’s son, Joseph, was 1 month old, her husband, Roger, died of brain cancer.
“He was diagnosed in December last year when I was expecting the baby. Jan. 23 is when my baby was born, and the week after I got home from the hospital, Roger had a biopsy done, and then he never came home from the hospital,” said Harriman, 42. “It’s called butterfly glioblastoma. It’s a butterfly shape and grows into the brain, which is why they couldn’t remove it. It affects your memory first. Within a month, he forgot how to go to the bathroom, and on Feb. 25, he died.”
On Friday, five employees of the Great Lakes District UPS volunteered their time to help Harriman, now a single mother of four sons, around her house by mowing the lawn, raking leaves and painting the inside of her home on their annual Day of Caring.
UPS Account Manager Carrie Matzke said, “I think we all get caught up in what we do on a daily basis. It’s nice to take a step back and do something good.”
Roger was Harriman’s second spouse to pass away suddenly. Harriman’s first husband Randy Holder died when he was 26 after a car accident. They were living in Tennessee at the time, and she was visiting her mom in Michigan when she received the call that Randy had hydroplaned into oncoming traffic.
“(Roger) was my first husband’s best man. I was pregnant with my 17-year-old at the time,” said Harriman. “(Roger) started driving down to Tennessee every weekend to see us. After everything happened, he wanted to take care of us. He was like the hero.”
Harriman was married to Roger for 13 years. She said when she first married him, she tried to hold herself back from loving him too much.
“I was scared because Roger was a heavy smoker that he wouldn’t be around. Because I lost my first husband, I thought it was going to happen again. I thought I would hold a little bit of myself back and not love him as much as my first husband. But I was so wrong. I loved him more. He was my best friend. You don’t realize it until they’re gone how much you appreciate them,” said Harriman.
UPS selected Harriman through the Yatooma Foundation, a nonprofit organization supporting widows and their children.
“There’s stuff outside I can’t get to, especially yardwork and painting. My husband did all that,” said Harriman. “I’ve tried to get out there and paint the fence while my son is sleeping, but there’s never enough time. It helps me greatly just to get this stuff done before winter.” Continued…
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UPS Manager of Corporate Sales Mike Maceroni is on Yatooma’s advisory board, which is why he chose to help someone within the organization.
“I have two boys of my own. I can’t imagine my wife having to go home one day and tell my boys that dad’s not coming home for dinner tonight. That’s not a conversation I can even fathom,” said Maceroni.
Contact Monica Drake at 248-745-4687 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find her on Twitter at monica_adele