You know you're really tired when....

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Innkeep's picture
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You find yourself carrying a load of personal laundry upstairs to the guest area.

I have had a very remarkable few weeks.  One of my dear cousins was quite ill for a week, then when he was expected to recover, he died in his sleep.  Thus ensued lots of extra "family time" as well as the arrival of my brother and SIL from afar.  They interspersed themselves with the regular guests, and as opposed to some of you with families who you sort of hide from or ban from staying, these siblings always seem to get along with other guests, converse, have a good time, and learn more about some of my frequent guests than I have learned from them on multiple visits.  Of course, having these two particular bodies in the mix for whatever reason breaks down my usual rhythm and although happy to see them, I am also happy to see them go.

In the midst of this crisis, the condo I vacated 6 years ago finally sold, so I had the last of the cleaning up of the condo to do, moving my piano over here (no real great place for it, but it seems I now have a music room instead of a library), then the closing (not scheduled mid-day like I requested, but mid check-in hours. Arrive at closing to find my realtor's husband had had a heart attack the night before, so a pinch-hitter there with me.  

Having time to spend with my widowed cousin, who fills up my car with bounty from her garden, which must be cleaned frozen, distributed amongst my friends, seemingly getting back to normal...

Then Sunday arrives.  When I got home from church I noticed a young woman sitting on my porch steps, crying her eyes out.  Please note, she did not ring the bell, she did not ask for help or even expect to find anyone home.  I walked out and asked her what her problem was.  Turns out she's 19 and pregnant.  She was having some stomach pains and was worried, so asked her boyfriend to drive her to the hospital.  They said some cross words to each other, so he pulled the car over and she got out.  She stopped on my front steps when she got too hot and tired, she called a cousin to come pick her up, and was waiting for her cousin to come when I arrived on the scene.  I gave her a 7-up and we chatted waiting for the cousin to arrive.  She told me she had been in foster care until age 18, then on her 18th birthday she was thrown out into the big wide world without even a legal form of identification.  She was very well-spoken, polite, and when her cousin's car showed up I hoped that was the last I'd ever see of her.

Fast forward 3 hours.  The doorbell rings.  There she is again.  Turns out her cousin just "dumped" her at the ER and when she tried to use her cell phone it was out of juice.  So all she wanted was to borrow my phone (I'm about a mile from the hospital and about another mile from where she was trying to go to).  She "made up" with her boyfriend, asked him to come and get her, but in the mean time, while he was still upset with her he ended up locking his car keys in the car.  Turns out they had been living in the car for the past week when his mother's house burned down.  Insurance only provided one motel room  and there were too many younger kids for them to stay with his mother.  So, while keys were locked in the car they no longer had shelter or transportation.  He had already called the police, but they do not help stranded motorists unlock their car doors.

Turns out that the boyfriend had gotten his first "good" factory job 6 weeks before in a city 20 miles away, working 8pm to 8am.  Much of his salary goes for gas and car payments.  She was due to start her first ever job the next day.  He walked over from the hotel parking lot. They both apologized for getting themselves in this predicament, but said tempers sometimes flare when you're sleeping in a car.  She had already called all the places I could think of that provide emergency shelter and had been told that there was no room.  So, I figured by paying the wrecker service I could provide a young couple with both transportation and housing. So I did.  It really blew me away when they returned with the receipt so I could know that that's actually what they spent the money on.

I shared the story with some of my friends who suggested some community resources I might try.  Turns out that by using some of my "community capital" there was suddenly a vacancy at the YWCA that hadn't been there when she called.  So, the last hurdle she has is getting to her job.  Turns out that she is working at a call center and needs 2 weeks training given at 6pm to 11pm before starting her day shift.  Boyfriend will be at work for 11pm pick-up.  So I'm picking her up on the nights he works.  Won't be a problem when she goes to day shift.  The buses run and he should be around.

Still waiting to get back to normal around here, but thankfully I have time for a nap today, and I think I'll go take it right now.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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BLESS YOU INNKEEP!  So many people would have walked away, but your heart and compassion is amazing.

My deepest condolences about your cousin.

Arks's picture
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Breakfast Nemo wrote:

BLESS YOU INNKEEP!  So many people would have walked away...

[Arkansawyer raises his hand, for instance.]

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gillumhouse's picture
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Arkansawyer wrote:

Breakfast Nemo wrote:

BLESS YOU INNKEEP!  So many people would have walked away...

[Arkansawyer raises his hand, for instance.]

For YOU that would have been the sensible thing to do. No MAN could have done what Innkeep did. You would have opened yourself to WAY too many possibilities - and none of them good. It would not have been for lack of caring, just self-preservation.

Arks's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

It would not have been for lack of caring, just self-preservation.

While I could write it off as just being the jerk that I am, I've thought about this carefully and concluded that you're absolutely right! I could have/would have never done what Innkeep did. I'd have walked around the block and gone in the back door to avoid it. Not because I don't care, but because I am selfish.

In The Da Vinci Code the guy whips himself with barbed wire as self-punishment. In Harry Potter the elf irons his hand in self-punishment. In the same vein, I'd have another glass of Merlot and hope the poor girl finds a caring fellow woman next door!

Ice
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Sorry about your cousin.  But what you did (for the girl) was just awesome!!!

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What a touching story...

I'm so sorry to hear about your cousin...he was a lovely man and I'm grateful that I got to meet him. 

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Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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When is this young lady's baby due? Wouldn't it be super cool if we had a 'virtual' baby shower for her? Maybe send gift cards for WalMart or Babies R Us instead of actual baby items (easier to mail and they won't have to worry about storing them before they're needed). Just and idea from across the miles. cheeky

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Innkeep's picture
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Aussie Innkeeper wrote:

When is this young lady's baby due? Wouldn't it be super cool if we had a 'virtual' baby shower for her? Maybe send gift cards for WalMart or Babies R Us instead of actual baby items (easier to mail and they won't have to worry about storing them before they're needed). Just and idea from across the miles. cheeky

Let's wait just a bit on the baby shower.  She's due mid December.  I took her to a crisis pregnancy center where they have a shop.  Instead of money, the clients are given "baby bucks" for keeping appointments, bringing the father along, and other things.  The program is a good one and I'd like to see how she and they work out for now.

It's a great idea.  If they can follow through and get some permanent housing for both of them and the baby, then we'll talk more

yes

Joey Camb's picture
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this is the trouble at 18 - cos frankly most kids at 18 aren't fit to be let out, we are campaigning in the UK that they get to stay with their foster parents for a reduced care amount to encourage them to keep them on (many foster parents do it professionally so can't afford to keep them otherwise) would mean some support for them to go to university - ie some turn 18 before they finish school so could be chucked out on the eve of their final exams

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Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Yes, remarkable few weeks, and not in a good way.

Regarding the girlfriend boyfriend cousin thing, are you sure you don't live in Arkansas?

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06/24/2008

heart, well my heart grew 3x's the size reading this!  I the years to come they will remember this good deed and pay it forward.  Glad to know you Innkeep & look forward to seeing you later this year.

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BLESS YOU!  They were lucky to find you.  I along with a group of other women just met on Sunday to come up with plans to help raise more funds for our Women's Shelter. I have worked with them for over a year and am amazed at what good they do but they need so much. I am also amazed at the numbers of domestic and sexual abuse stories that came from alot of women in the group. We were all in tears by the end of our meeting..but then..someone suggested something wonderful and it was AMAZING how we all perked up and jumped right in to do something!!!!

I just got back from dropping off supplies to our shelter and am working on new brochures for them at this very minute.

THANK YOU!

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Wow!!! Amazing story.  You are a good woman to help those kids out.  Sounds like they will make it someday. 

You deserve a nap.  Hope you get it soon.  xxoo

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Wow. I first can't get over your wordiness. I saw your last post as wordy (for you), but this one ups the ante! Your words are jam packed with nutritional bits of goodness. Thank you for sharing your eventful time with us.

I always say "Still water runs deep" when I think of you. The Hoosier outlook filled to the brim full of interesting things each and every day. heart

Just think there is a vacation coming soon...where anything can and will happen. 

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gillumhouse's picture
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YOU are a blessing and are returning some of the blessings you have received along the way. What we do when others are in need shows the true measure of a person. Always knew you were a good, compassionate person - I am blessed to know you.

 

Please accept our condolences on your loss of your cousin. 

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wow. I'm speechless. surprise

Madeleine's picture
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Holy cow there is an express line in Heaven for you...

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Flower's picture
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06/19/2011

 What a lovely wonderful thing to do. You brought tears to my eyes.

I am going to pass this on to my daughter as she is an out reach worker. Times are hard at her end. This may just give her the boost she needs to hear. Funding at her job is very very tight right now. Kids are getting lost through the cracks . People like you are a god sent. Thank you for being so kind and caring.

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