Monday, February 25

Taking Stock

Have probably used that title before, but it fits today and this is my blog so here we go.

We found out a couple of days ago that we live roughly one and a half blocks from what is referred to as a "rescue mission" (read: homeless shelter.) Four months has not softened the images or memories of Rick and I leaving the shelter in San Jose, often looking at the apartments and hotels in the neighborhood and feeling a combination of anger, jealousy and envy that others had a life that we so desperately were seeking. This revelation is sobering because I now live in that place: the place where good people who had jobs and made money live. I have heat, a bed, blankets, a refrigerator with food I want to eat, and most important: a job that pulls me out of bed each morning so I can continue to provide for myself.

I don't know that I'm doing this thought justice right now, but it feels like I have to get it out, so continue with me.

We've been acquiring things lately. First there were cell phones, which with my current health condition were really considered a necessity. Then came another paycheck (what a realization -- we are going to have money. Again!). More food was acquired, rent was paid (on time), we bought some additional dishes, some cooking things, a belt, a shirt here and there. We now are the proud owners of a pawn shop stereo. I bought a bathroom rug. I'll be paying back some personal loans (in full) soon. I haven't felt this way in a while. We really are settling in here and to this new life. Things are working out -- though we do still hit some life speed bumps now and then. This may just work.

When you've dug a hole for yourself and you know you are in deep, there are times you question if you'll ever see the sun again. I know I was there and think Rick was too. For whatever reason, things seem to be working out right now. We are both optimistic. After many years we both are beginning to believe we can make positive changes in our lives.

We both know, however, just how delicate the balance is. Every time we look down the street and see the men queued in line for a free dinner, to receive clothes, to attend a meeting, we remember it wasn't too long ago we were in the same que, just 200 miles west. We also know just how easy it could be to be back in that place, to eat what we were given rather than what we wanted. To search for used clothing that fits. To shore up hope that tomorrow would bring an end to it all. Those memories keep us going and keep us thankful.

And that's enough for right now.