It seems like ages since I posted but it was only Sunday. My week of having lots of employees has finished. And what a week it has been, not just about work. I have felt better this week than I have in months. Sunday night I went to meet a man for a walk. I have been dabbling in my spare time on a free dating website. He was one of a few contacts I'd made although I was getting a bit turned off to him I decided to give him one last shot. We met on the riverfront and I kept thinking of my homeless brother. I always think of him because I know he stays around that park most days. I know he loves to go to the free concerts there and I could hear a band playing in the distance. It was a lovely evening to be there. The guy was a dud really and I kept picking up on little judgemental comments, not towards me but towards other stuff. I knew if I ran into my brother it would be awkward. It was already dull and he kept walking ahead of me and stuff. Miracle of Miracles his daughter called. He said she borrowed his car and he was worried so maybe that's why he seemed distant. I heard him talking to her and it was obvious there was trouble with the car. I strongly encouraged him to go help her. He did, I was elated when he left.
I went towards the bandstand thinking I'd see my brother. I did. He told me he had been talking to a woman who had seen him walking to work each day. She was a woman who refused to rent to him when he had plenty of money last year saved up from staying with me. She had been leery of him. She had a big change of heart. She had realized he was now homeless but still working and taking care of himself (I talked to her at length later) and she wanted to give him a chance. She had approached him about needing a place because she has several inexpensive units. She was prorating the rent and he had the rent money but was short on the deposit. She was encouraging him to get some assistance from local churches. I called her right there from my cell phone. I chipped in the rest and wrote a check for him to give her. My other brother and sister are chipping in, too. The place is a small one room efficiency with a small bathroom/shower. One price for utilities and rent. It is perfect and in the perfect location. It could not be more perfect. He makes enough for the rent. He just needs a little help getting started.
He moved in the next day. He basically had nothing but a change of clothes, a supply of underwear and sox and the travel bag of toiletries he carried with him. But we were overjoyed with the little room - furnished with all he needs. He'd been sleeping on a bench a church let him use which was under a roof and out of the rain. And he'd been getting a hotel room once a week. I called the church the next day to thank them for being kind to him and asked if they knew of any charities to help get household supplies like a broom, a few dishes, cleaning supplies, etc. Not much, just necessities. The new landlady had given him bedding. I gave him a few things, too. The church called me back and they said people are bringing things Sunday and I can pick them up Monday. I also found a place to get free clothes tomorrow. I am being careful not to run out and buy stuff. I have to be frugal myself and remember that I am losing my job in the not so distant future. So his needs are being met and I am not taking responsibility for him.
I stopped by today to drop off a few items he had at my house. The landlady had brought a wonderful supply of bagels, bakery goods and bread from a bakery. Yummy things. And he'd been to a food pantry and had some other food. It was so good to see him cozy in his room, out of the harsh heat. So wonderful I have been happy all week about this. A great weight has lifted. He says he is glad to be back "in the system" and we were so tickled to see he had a mailbox with his name on it. The things we take for granted are such joys to those who have done without. I e-mailed his address to my Mom and other brother and he'd already gotten a card and a letter from them.
I can stop by and see him now sometimes on evenings when I am on my way home from work. He is in the area he loves. He is working and he is dedicated to paying his rent on time. We are going to help him work things out. I can't describe how happy this makes me.
And on top of that joyous event, I think I may have found a walking buddy. One of my other suitors from the dating site turned out to be pleasant and more in tune with me. We met for an evening walk Tuesday and walked for an hour and a half, then had lattes at a coffee house. It was nice. I could talk to him about anything, my sons in prison, my homeless brother, my interesting past. He even offered to take me to a thrift store to shop for brother. We are meeting next Tuesday for another walk at a different spot. I think it's nice. I will continue to meet others if I feel a possible connection. I am learning how to date. For some reason my photos and profile have attracted a steady stream of mail.
I'd love to tell stories of the job but that will have to wait. All I can say is I worked really hard all week, mentally and physically and it feels good. I am reminded of Rosa Parks who said after walking instead of taking the bus (in protest of discrimination) that her feet were tired but her soul was rested. Well, my entire body is tired, but my soul is rested. In fact my heart is singing!
Oh one more miracle -- when I was leaving for work this morning my teenage daughter was scrubbing pots and pans in an apron and rubber gloves. It was not a hallucination. I came home to a sparkling kitchen, my life long dream has been realized... I am the luckiest woman on the planet
More will be revealed....