Gratitude

We are approximately half way thru my holiday weekend flying solo while my co-pilot H is home for the holiday! It was an interesting weekend for sure.

Friday was a wonderful date with Flexy and Bloody Mary, who had never met before. Flexy asked me to make a baby set of hats and booties for some triplets, and wanted to go yarn shopping with me. Ironically, I had been called earlier that day by a family friend who wanted me to knit two pairs of boot socks and I needed to make a run to the Yarn Shop anyway. Bloody Mary and I already had a date to go down there, so Flexy got to tag along and see what all the fuss is about!

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These will be the colors for the boot socks, which will technically be long boot-legwarmers. Having tall socks over skinny jeans just isn’t comfortable, so I’m going with the leg warmer option. It took me forever to find a pattern I liked, and eventually I decided to design my own, (!!!!!).

We got back to town, dropped Bloody Mary off at home because she wasn’t feeling well, Flexy and I did a little shopping and had a lovely Indian dinner, and I got my birthday/graduation present: Witty books about knitting from a lady named Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I love them already!

And then I came home to this:

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I have freaking jury duty. On the bright side, I may get to sit in on something interesting! So I’m texting the head Advocate about it, and he asks if I’m going to the residents Christmas party tomorrow. I originally wasn’t, but figured I’d stop by. I called work to check on H to see how crazy her night was, and she said she would go if I would.

Saturday morning did not get off to a good start. As I’m trying to curl my hair, my vision blurs for a moment, and then I go deaf: This is my body telling me I’m about to pass out. I manage to get to the kitchen and start eating a banana and I am fighting it the entire time. Mom finally realized what was going on and got me a washcloth. My chest started burning. By the time it was all over, I was covered in sweat. The whole thing lasted about 5 minutes, but it was rough. My blood pressure was low, as it has been for the past year, but my pulse was only 56bpm.

I decided to go to the party anyway, but I was exhausted. I mingled with a few past and present residents, but it was great to hang out with my co-workers off the clock.

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That’s me and H. She was still limping after twisting her ankle, but we had a good time.

I had to pick up a gift after the party and go see my dad about some issues with my car, so I didn’t get a chance to take a nap and sleep off whatever made me faint before. So I went to work and I kid you not, I hadn’t even clocked in yet and I had to march a resident to her room to stay. That basically set the tone that I was not to be trifled with that night. H stopped by because the cook had boasted about making Chines food from scratch, (which sadly was the only terrible thing this lady has ever made). She also brought me a present

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A lovely little decoration for my new apartment!

The rest of the night passed without much incident, and I came home and slept for a solid 10 hours. Tonight was full of ups and downs. There are some residents who have never been taught to make good decisions in their life, and all I can say is that they make my job a challenge. Despite all that, several residents surprised me tonight.

The first one is a sweet, very vulnerable lady who had me cracking up over her story of attending a catholic Mass for the first time today, where she had to take the cup of wine all the way up to the priest, “like the lame man going before The Lord”. We were dying with laughter. Seeing where she has come after not even a month of fleeing her abuser and coming in to shelter to now really amazes me. Later, another resident who is just as sweet but twice as vulnerable as the first, brought me some home made fried chicken and potato chips

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And the potatoes were COVERED IN SUGAR. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever had, and it was delicious!!!

This resident gets made fun of a lot for her since of style and her speech impediment, but she is the most giving person I’ve ever met. I always look forward to seeing her when I go in, and both of these ladies are the first ones I check on when I come in from my days off.

There was a third resident who brought me a present tonight

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She brought me a lovely little tray, a stuffed snowman, some yummy lotion, lip balm, and an ornament she made with my name on it! I told her over and over she shouldn’t have gotten me anything, and she finally just told me “Stop. You have sat with me, and helped me so much, and this little thing is the least that I can do”. I tried to reassure her that this wasn’t necessary, but she wouldn’t hear it. This resident was the second of the ladies who sat with me in my post Confessional last week, and I know she works her butt off at her job to get by, but she brought me something anyway.

There are a few residents who dont appreciate the Shelter, it’s unavoidable. To get to know the residents who let you in to their world, from the nightmares to living the dream, is worth more than any anything. So many of them leave me lost for words, and in the end they still thank me just for listening. In a since, I don’t feel like I help them as much as I could. I really feel like for certain residents that really NEED our services, our advocacy, and our resources, I feel like I can’t help them enough. I don’t mean help them to the point where I enable them from learning to take care of themselves, I just mean I don’t feel like in my hours from 3-11pm are enough hours in the day to get done what I want to get done with these women. I have a lot to be thankful for.

Rach

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