BABE MURO.? Babe Muro’s 19-year-old stepdaughter, Lori Singer, died in an automobile accident on March 30, 1998.? Lori was excited about being in the U.S. Navy and was to leave for Guam in a matter of days.? Lori is survived by her brother Keith who continues to live with Babe and his mother Michelle.? Michele is the co-leader of the Staten Island Chapter of The Compassionate Friends, and Babe is what he likes to call the “Shadow Leader” always willing to help behind the scenes.? Babe has led stepparent support groups at The Compassionate Friends National Conference.?

Babe Muro:? So I learned right away, there’s a lot of different situations with stepparents.? A lot of them don’t like to be called stepparents.?

Babe Muro:? I felt really terrible when this happened to Lori but I really think, and I say it sometimes at the meeting, I really can’t feel what these other parents feel, but my main, my whole thing was with Michele.? I was worried about her.? I didn’t know if she was going to go nuts on me or.? It’s just the hole in her heart was so – I look at her and I feel her pain.

Babe Muro:? The first thing I did, I just knew instinctively that I had to get her a support group somehow.? I kind of feel I was pushed towards this woman who I didn’t even know.? I had lost a daughter and she gave me a contact number for The Compassionate Friends and we went and we didn’t like it.? We didn’t want to be there in the beginning but I know today it really helped the both of us, you know….? And then we really got active in the group and it’s really been good medicine, you know.

Babe Muro:? I don’t think anything really special.? Just being myself.? I had to learn how to love Keith.? I really didn’t know him until he started to live with us really, you know.? He’s completely different than what I was used to.? But I knew he was hurting the same thing like Michele, losing his sister.? You just try to love these people, you know, and try to do the right thing.? Try not to let them get away with too much but just be there for him when he did need me.? Like I said, he kind of keeps to himself.

Babe Muro:? It was just something that I picked up along the way.? God please keep one hand on my shoulder and the other one over my mouth.? A lot of times you want to say something and you just – I shouldn’t have said that, you know.

Babe Muro:? It’s good to get away every now and then because the men do have different issues.? Basically the same but they have things they like to talk about with the men, yelling and screaming and cursing, whatever.

Babe Muro:? God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.? There’s a couple of other lines in that but they usually don’t say it.? Those are the lines they say.

Babe Muro:? I’d like to thank my group because they helped us a lot.? I just hope that whoever’s out there listening tries to really find The Compassionate Friends because that’s the only place to go.? We have people come to our group after six years, seven years sometimes.? They think they’re going nuts.? At Compassionate Friends there’s so much to identify with there.? You’ve just got to come to a meeting and give it a chance.

Babe Muro:? Just tell them to hang in there.? It’s a tough time of the year, but like they say, this too shall pass.? You’ll get through it.? Sometimes thinking about the holiday and anticipating what’s going to happen, this is worse than the actual days.? Before you know it, you’re past it and sometimes you worry for nothing.



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