A few days ago I posted a story that got a bit of attention from my friends. They were worried. The blog was titled Reality Check.
First I want to say thank you for all those who are out there worrying and praying for me. It gives me great comfort knowing you ARE out there. Second, I assure you I am fine. There is a certain amount of discomfort involved and yes my feet are always swollen these days, but the story was written as a fictitious character.
My life is far from being a nightmare. Come the end of august I get to go back to family and friends who care enough to never allow me to be homeless. 99% of the folks out on the streets don't have that luxury.
I have cried many times on this trip but mostly I have cried because I am so overwhelmed by how the homeless are treating us. They are so grateful that someone is out there fighting for them that these people who have nothing are giving us their last nickels and dimes, and are not taking no for an answer.
I cried when I saw the art therapy room at the Nativity House. There is so much wasted talent in those art pieces. Wasted in the sense that we as a society don't see the value in these beautiful but hurting individuals.
Last night however, I cried because I was, for the first time on this trip, reminded VERY clearly what it was like to be shunned as a human being because of their own misperception. We do have a mini van filled with blankets, camping equipment, etc. so it is rather evident that we are living out of it.
Up until now, when we have stayed at a rest stop, we have not been the only ones sleeping there. some people have stayed there several nights in a row. Last night was different. The other rest stops were in more populated areas. The one we are currently at is not. We were the only ones staying overnight. This particular stop had six tiny sinks and no counters. I did our dishes by washing them in one sink, rinsing them in another, and drying them on a towel I had placed on the floor.
The first women who came through the door were mother and daughter. They were laughing and having a good time until they saw me. They instantly went silent and the mom steered her daughter as far away from me as she could. The second was a woman who just looked, rolled her eyes in disgust and thought better of using this rest stop. The third incident happened with two young women may twenty or so. They smiled, did what they came in there to do, washed their hands and as soon as they left I herd one of them say, 'OMG did you see that? How pathetic.' The last person was an elderly woman who patted my hand, told me things would get better and placed a dollar in one of the now clean cups.
Now that folks is a reality check.