Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Saturday, July 19, 2014


I need a sticky postie thing to keep track.

a couple of dried apricots

1/2 cup of potato salad

1 cup of my own trail mix (roasted and salted cashews, dried apricots, raw slivered almonds)
10 cherries

So sad.  Just plain sad.  First of all I forgot that I am avoiding potatoes and some of the stuff that goes in it.  Like commercial mayonnaise, sweet pickles, something else that I cannot remember right now.  That lapse might be worth it because even though it was on the sweet side and I prefer a less saucy and more savory potato salad, it was delicious.  And, I was glad to have it, not having anticipated how long my day would be.

Today was also a long day at the shelter.  Well, I guess since it is almost 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, that would be yesterday.  Anyway, lots of drama, a family conflict (resident and her sister), the sons of another resident going missing.  I found them and they were safe, but, crap, what a mess, especially as the mother did not go looking for them and I had them sitting in the office for more than a half hour, just waiting to see if she would at least start trying to find where the hell they were.  So many challenging circumstances for our women.  More than we have had in a long time, which, in shelter years, is not all that long.  Yep.

However, two women, one of whom as two really nice sons, pitched in and worked their asses off today.  I do not swear at work, so I have to make up for it here.  The woman with the sons cleaned better, more thoroughly than anyone else in the house.  Like ever.  The last time I witnessed that level of cleaning was when I lived there and the person who did that high quality of a job was me.  Yes.  Yes, it was.

Then, we had our fresh food delivery today; we have them every two weeks, and it costs right around $500.00 each time.  It also costs a good hour of really intense and heavy work, getting everything sorted, frozen, refrigerated and put into the dry pantry, as well as stocking two big places in the office.  Those four folk just stepping right up and helped me get that stuff done is short order, well, that short hour. 

I like to reward that kind of effort, especially when it is accompanied by the happiness some people have in being helpful for the good of all of the house.  So, I asked each of them, independently, what they missed from their other life now that they are at our shelter.

The mom knew exactly what she missed.  Eye liner.  Is that not insane, that the one thing that could make her life nicer is a measly eye liner. 

The younger son would not tell me what he missed, but I see him drawing on the blackboard in the children's room, and I asked if he liked art.  Mom said yes, that he did and I asked him what he liked to do.  Draw.  Paint.  Stuff like that.

The older son would not say, either, so I finally told him, shy guy that he is, that if he did not tell me I was still going to get him something and that it might as well be something he would like.  Shyly, he told me earrings.  I asked what kind and he said little ones.  Studs?  I guess.  I corralled his mom later and she was feeling weird about all of this and we talked about how part of my mission there was not only doing the job, but making sure that I was able to be personal when it was appropriate to do so.  Then she told me that he likes a certain kind of square earring.  O.K., baby, more info.  I had to pry every bit of this out of her, but eventually she told me where to go and to say, "I wanted those square earrings that all the boys are wearing."  I went, it worked and the cost was so minor and I bought him a pair of the good Sony ear buds at the pharmacy where I got the stuff for his mom.

Younger son got a really nice and big art bin that was on sale and within my budget.  Older son got the earrings and ear buds.  He was so surprised that I found what he likes, so I had to share that his mother helped me.  He later came down to model them for me.  I cannot remember when I did something like this and it gave me such pleasure.  Little things can mean more than anyone can express.  Their family had to leave without anything and this little thing worked for him.  I feel blessed and humbled by the whole thing.

I found the best ever eyeliner for mom and at the check-out there were the most wonderful nail polishes and she likes nail polish (I am not sure that I really get the whole nail polish thing) and I found two colors that I know she likes and a bottle of top coat. 

The fourth person, another woman, finally told me that she missed her jewelry.  Another simple thing.  I am taking a bunch of the jewelry I have made and she can choose what she likes.  But, she has to wait until tomorrow because I had gone shopping for the other things, realized that I had left my phones at the shelter and since I had to return there, gave out the other stuff.

And, when I came back then, the 2nd shift advocate was not feeling well and I sent her home and stayed until about an hour ago.  So, I had no opportunity to go home for my home-made stuff.

I work again tomorrow, 2nd shift this time, so scheduled so that I can go to church in the morning, but it is kind of clear that I will not be getting up for the service.  Off to wash my face, scrub my teeth and read myself to sleep.  A shower will have to wait until morning...or early afternoon...depending on when I wake up.

Today was not a good eating day, but in my defense, I did not have access to the kind of food I needed.  I have some guac and celery left over for tomorrow and I have a nice tomato and bag of salad to take, and maybe a can of that mushy tuna that I love.  I have meat for breakfast/brunch/whatever.

I am still full of wonder that I am so happy now.  It hardly seems possible, and at the same time it feels so right and like the kind of life I have now is manageable and enduring.  It also hardly seems possible that I made it through to happiness.  Just wonderful.  I know that I have earned this now-new life and it is equally nice that I have earned the right and means to live it as fully, interestingly, carefully and abundantly as I am doing. 

I work next week and then have another week off, except for my shelter job.  Nice. 

1 comment:

  1. Glad you are feeling happy, J! You deserve it.