Today I had to finally tell my youngest daughter’s teacher the truth about us. I directed her to change.org’s website to read about my situation. Before they go trying to refer to me resources that don’t exist, they need to see what the reality is for those who are homeless. This is a small town, Enumclaw is. There are no community service programs here. The next towns over are Bonney Lake, Auburn or Tacoma. Bonney Lake isn’t that much bigger than Enumclaw so if I have to leave here, I’d be heading to Auburn, Federal Way or Kent.
The teacher sounded stunned that homeless people were here, why should that surprise me? I hope she does read my story and every story I post on here. There is a new brand of poverty out here. One marked by individuals finding their way to the internet via social websites to stay connected, to make that human contact with others in the same situation so that they know they aren’t alone in hell.
I had my misgivings about coming out here because it’s so far out and because public transportation to and from here is extremely limited. I couldn’t leave Caly stranded and without help though, especially while going through surgeries. We do the best we can for now but I am gearing up for the winter. The mini-van needs a tune up and new tabs at the end of this month. The roof needs to be sealed as I found a big leak near the window on the driver’s side. My plan is to get us all new sleeping bags that can insulate to -0 degrees. Everything else I can figure out as I go. If it becomes too difficult here, I will leave.
Tomorrow should prove to be an interesting day since I don’t know what the impact will be once the school principal gets word or our situation. I appreciate their concern as it appears to be genuine but the reality is, I am doubtful there’s much they can do.
While everything is a day-to-day “adventure” for us, more people are sending me friend requests on Facebook or following me around on Twitter. I am always amazed that they WANT to read what I write and for that I am thankful. I will admit it feels a little odd to me because I don’t like being in the spotlight, never have but if this is the path I’m on, I must follow it. I’ve got to see what’s at the end of it.
Just as I was signing off of other websites, I got a call from Rab, the 85-year old street performer I wrote about. He told me how this was the hardest time in his life because of the loneliness he endures every day. Because of this, he feels tired of life and prays to God to end his. In that one sentence, that one painfully honest admission, everything I’ve been stressing about went away. That old familiar sting came to my eyes because I can’t stand to see another human being in pain, not this kind. This kind of pain could be avoided if people in his family took the time to visit him regularly. I asked him if he checked his mail box lately because some “surprises” were sent to him on Friday. He said he hadn’t checked his mail box since then but he would tomorrow. “Well, I got an idea then. Why don’t you talk to my youngest since she is fighting me in going to sleep?” Rab’s voice took on a different sound, it was …..delighted! I handed the phone to her and away she went! Asking him who he was, where he lived, how old he was, 85?! That’s old as Jesus! Yep, that’s what the kid said to him! Even my teenager took time to talk to him for a bit!
Rab doesn’t know that I’ve been out looking for pen pals for him so he can still feel connected to the rest of the world. I want each letter to be a surprise for him because he needs to know he is not a life forgotten simply because of his age and circumstances. He will not be around much longer and if I can make his remaining years more livable simply by offering to be a friend, well….even I can afford that.