Every now and then reality hits me dab smack in the middle of my face, and I feel assaulted and anxious, like I can’t possibly continue to live in my comfortable little world when there is so much suffering. The most recent assault came when I ended up across town for over six hours in the home of an acquaintance who is unemployed with no money and staying with a friend, who is severely depressed, although she nor my acquaintance seem to understand this. There was S%&@ everywhere. Bags, clothes, garbage, and dishes. Stuff, stuff, stuff! There was absolutely no order!
My acquaintance’s friend's kids, ages 10, 11, and 12, came home after school and remained home while I was there for at least 6 hours without anyone offering them something to eat or dinner. So they moved aimlessly around us, the two boys sometimes exploding with uncontrollable, negative energy. No one talked about getting ready for school the next day, doing homework, or cleaning up some of the garbage or stuff lying around on the floor and everywhere else. I’ve asked my friend who is a psychologist and lives near to this family to check on them and provide resources so this mother can get some help, clean up that house, and be there for her adorable kids. My only other option is to call children services.
When I ask how she’s doing, she always responds, “Just fine.” When I saw her last, I was out for a stroll to get stamps and a few things at the store, and I only had a 100 dollar bill. I apologized for not having any change and told her that I couldn’t give her anything. We chatted for a while, and then I continued on my way to the store. But she’s no fool. When I came out of the store, there she was again. And since I now had bought something and had change, I was able to give her twenty five bucks. This made me feel a little better.
Now that it’s been 10 years I actually look forward to meeting up with Joann and am emotionally prepared for our meetings. At first, I would cry and become emotional after each encounter, always thinking but for the grace of God go I: We’re the same height, same skin color, and she likes to wear pretty dresses, just like me, or, at least, she used to. Recently, she told me that she now dresses like a bag lady so that she doesn’t get unwanted attention.
But I was not prepared for a reality check when I came out of the 24 hour fitness the other day, and there stood two homeless women whom I had prayed for and talked with at a local shelter a few weeks before. What and the heck were they doing there, I wondered. But there they were and there I was, so we chatted and I shared with them that I have a non-profit, and it would be so wonderful if I could figure out a way to raise some money and purchase a home for homeless women. They agreed, and then one of them, whom I had given my email (homeless people have email now) sent me an email after our chat to remind me of what I said I would do. I have a little more paper work to complete to renew my non-profit so that I can see if I can make good on what I said. Wish me luck!I’m always prepared for the emotional assault I receive when I turn on the news and am reminded that there are child molesters who prey on kids among us – these stories show up often -- and violent people who kill and assault others. It’s all very, very sad and makes me feel anxious in my nice, little comfortable world. Sometimes I wish I no longer had thoughts of my pink room with the canopy bed. I always pray for all those who suffer in this world. Life is so short, and I absolute hate that some people have to endure such pain during their brief time on this earth!