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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Who Will Tuck Her In Tonight?

As I sit here writing, I have Gracing Mae to my left curled up asleep, which is hardly noticeable, she weighs 'bout 3lb, but, I also have Sweetie Pie who is a fat heifer (a mutt who weighs probably 80lbs) who is asleep at my feet on the Ottoman. I get up early so I can write before the children are awake, and not be distracted and I still find myself  with 2 dogs basically in my lap. But, as I see their eyes gaze up at me, and I feel the warmth of them, I think of the person I spoke to yesterday who has such immense loneliness in their voice, it cut through to my heart like a knife. I think about just the contact of these 2 dogs, the companionship, but, to have no human relationships in your life, ones of substance, has got to be like death. This person is in their 50s and as they spoke of the young years, the golden years, and all their expectations for what lied ahead, I knew it was, most certainly,  not what they got.  Somehow, even with a degree, a Masters I believe, a job just never seemed to quite work out. One of those cases was this person, they are not a bully or a taker but, is a kind, hard worker, one you could overlook or even take advantage of, which is, what it seems to me, has happened. It is even sadder when you see them reconnect with old friends from the past and they are not transparent or real, they act as though their lives are perfect and make this person feel even more alone. They don't even try to see that their friend is broken and desperate, they just need someone to take their hand and say, "I understand, your not alone, I am not judging you, I am your Friend, nothing can change that." So as they sit in a room full of people they know, and  have looked forward to seeing, they feel more alone than when they got there. And I'm not saying make your life something it's not, I am quick to share the wonderful gifts in my life, but I am also open and honest about the failures and brokenness in my life also. People relate to the good and the bad, what they don't relate to, what NOBODY needs, is fraud, being fake, being something we're not. It is sad because it seems our media, our music, everything around us has driven us to this mentality. But it such a sad, sad way to live your life. I have never had such freedom, or such wonderful friendship, as I have had since I have given totally of myself and our situation. Not everyone has been gracious and welcomed my "method" I guess you could call it, they have said, "Angie, you need to keep these things personal, why would you want to expose your family like this, what about your kids"..... and in the beginning alot of my anxiety was because of my family, but, when I felt called to love people and help them it wasn't with the stipulation "well God only if it doesn't cost me anything", I will do what you ask me. It was simply, yes. Even now, looking back, our family has gained so much more then what we have lost by sharing our story with others. Every where I turn I meet a devastated family needing someone to say a kind word to them, to say they understand, to offer them some hope that they will make it through losing their home, or their husband losing his job. A man so broken he thinks of suicide because he can't provide for his family. It's not even about  money, it's so far beyond that now, it's about hope. When someone loses hope, they lose the ability to live. When I drove away from 6th Ave I had lost all hope of ever setting up home again. My heart and spirit was broken. I had lost hope. Had it not been for my children I would have laid down and died. The house in North Carolin began a healing in me, that brought back a promise of hope, that one day, I could have my own place to call home. There's a security that comes with having a home, somewhere to gather your children, to laugh and eat together, lay down at night safe from the world, but what I have realized is home is a shell that can be made up of a thousand different types materials. From an RV to a million dollar board and batton dream cottage on St. George Island. "Home" is what you put inside that shell. As I was talking to my old friend, I said to him, your value is not in your mortgage, or your job, but in that boy that you have invested your entire life in, in the Wednesday boys' program you have been faithful to for 20 years week after week, that is what is of value, the care you give your bed ridden mother, those are the things which define your life. Times are hard, and I am afraid they are going to get alot harder. I was at Walmart today and I have to say for the first time I felt a sense of fear, an unsettleness when I passed two  different people, they just seemed so desperate and almost had a wild look in their eyes, like there was nothing there-an emptiness. I felt fearful. When people feel hopeless, they can be dangerous. They looked like caged animals. They just looked so poor and helpless, and alone. I had a sense that to numb the pain they both were using some kind of substance. There children broke my heart, they looked so lost as well, running to keep up with the adults, but the adults not even noticing they were there. As I thought of my friend and how he was feeling abandoned and alone, like his life had some how made a detour and how he felt as though his life was the only one that had disappointment, and I thought of those people I had seen in Walmart, the one which I have heard referred to as the "ghetto" Walmart, I had to think, God, where do all these lost people go to at night, where is that little girl at tonight? Who is making her safe, who is having dinner with her, laughing with her, reassuring her everything is gonna be alright, Mommy and Daddy is here. There cart was full of microwave dinners, is she fixing her own dinner, as I make my own children a homemade dinner, maybe she won't even have dinner. Loneliness is far worse than losing a house. Being alone is far worse than losing a new car. I can guarantee you that little girl would trade anything, to have her daddy tuck  her in bed at night and know she is safe, even if it is a one room apartment. Security comes not from what we have but from who we love and who loves us. Were the hippies right? Is there such a thing
as "free" love-Well, Yes and No! Love, defined by empathy, always cost the one doing the loving, it may cost them everything, it may cost them their life, but it Does Cost!  That is why empathy should make us more than willing to lose our "dignity", lose our "status", lose our sanctimoniousness, and step beyond ourselves.

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