Friday, November 12, 2010

Homeless for the Holidays...

The other day my brother and I were driving down the road, I was talking about getting some things together for the homeless shelters I know of in that city we go to so often...I like to put little packages together and not bring them to the shelter, that seems so sterile and not in the true spirit of giving, I like to bring the gifts down to the streets inhabited by these wandering souls...

Another one of my brilliant career choices included during my late teen years about three years of homelessness. This was brought on by some faulty choices and failed attempts at "living free." Homelessness didn't make me sad, but during the holidays, I would see people's lights going up on their homes and in some neighborhoods as I walked through I could smell the scent of cookies being baked as it wafted through the comfy looking homes out into the street. I lived in an area (in the city) near a bakery, my dwelling was next to a bridge piling and was constructed from boxes and a big rain poncho I found somewhere. The smell of bread baking each Wednesday night comforted me and I would sleep well knowing that SOMEWHERE someone was getting freshly baked bread. My homey little soul would pick up small holiday decorations dropped and left by others in sundry places and I would put these around my "home." I would be cheered (the human spirit is RESILIENT) by some semis as they roared down the freeway with brightly light trailers. I knew I was homeless, I knew it was the "holidays" and I felt a sense of longing like no other when I could see the merriment on faces walking by in utter disregard of my plight.

All of this came back to me when I had mentioned to my brother what I wanted to do with my Christmas money and he responded "oh they don't know what season it is out there, they chose to live in that life and they don't care about the holidays..." so I shared with him about my different holidays in the streets and he was very thoughtful about that and he commented afterwards "well you'd never know that they might feel like that unless you heard if from someone who had been there!"

Not everyone you see in the streets chose to be there...they can't all "just go and get a job" and they often are ashamed of their plight rather than reveling in their "freedom," I'm so thankful for what I have today...I'm thankful for my family and friends...I'm thankful to be able to sit and write this small token of recognition for the forgotten world out there and I hope that as they say by writing it, I'll remember it more closely.

2 comments:

BB said...

And i´m also thankful to you for sharing this story with us.
Believe me when i tell you that this made me cry but also warmed up my heart.
Thank you so much Shawna,God bless you.

Mary said...

What a potent reminder to all of us. You told your story beautifully. May you and those you love have a wonderful holiday. Blessings...Mary