Where Do They Go?
©️2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean
Where do people who have no-one go?
** No-one? What do you mean?
Someone is always there for someone else.
No. No. No. That is a lie. Homeless people are everywhere. That means they have no-one.
** I can see that you see it that way.
I don’t believe all those people that are homeless have no-one.
Someone has likely sat by the telephone waiting for the phone to ring because the husband, son or brother they remember chooses to sleep in the cold instead of accepting a hand out of it.
Someone likely cried themself to sleep tonight because on the way to bed they passed a family photo that hangs in the hallway. A photo of a time when everyone came together for the same thing. Now one is missing. Maybe two. They can’t seem to make it back home and possibly now never will.
What do people who don’t want to live do when they have no-one they can talk to?
** No-one? What do you mean? Someone is always there for someone else.
No. No. No. That is a lie. Depression is a silent killer. It takes good people away from us everyday because they don’t have anyone to talk to about it.
** I can see how you see it that way. I don’t believe all those people who choose death actually intend to die. I believe they have a deeper meaning in the act of death. That meaning being LOVE. They want it. They don’t feel it. They can’t survive without it. Something has disconnected and they can’t put it back together. They grew so weary and in the moment made a choice. The choice happened to not involve anyone else. It couldn’t. It’s hard to see through fog. You have to move very slowly. Like wearing a blindfold. Praying what lies ahead of you won’t be even more heartbreaking.
Fog? What do you mean fog?
** Depression is fog. Trauma is fog. Guilt is fog.
Loss is fog. Alcohol, and addiction are fog. Divorce is fog. Child custody is fog. Unemployment is fog. Abuse is fog. Mental illness is fog. Death is fog.
Mental health is very foggy. Loss of loved ones, loss of life in general, and tragedy, may be the foggiest of them all. Practically paralyzing.
It’s easy for us to sit back and ask why when our life seems to make sense.
The thing is, we’re all so quick to pass out judgement bucks.
Instinctively we know our life is good so another person should be able to do and have that same thinking. Possess the same abilities to keep their heads up and move forward through tough times.
If only that was how it worked.
Less mom’s would bury children, and less children would bury parent’s gone too soon. Less families would get torn apart and fought for in front of a judge and less people would turn to drugs and/or alcohol. Less children would cry themselves to sleep and less daddies would wonder where it all went wrong. Less grandparents would be the ones raising their children’s children and less children would be forced to be the adult.
I can go on and on about that topic but I won’t. I understand that today we make choices. Addiction is a demon. If your loved one’s didn’t make it back, that is why. There was a time I didn’t understand that. So best I don’t over speak right now because it’s an entire entry in itself.
** When do people ever get to go back home when they have no-one waiting on them or no where left to go?
No where left to go? No-one waiting on them? That’s a big question now isn’t it? So big I can’t begin to fill it with answers you would want to hear. At least not the kind of answers that will satisfy your heart full of hope. Your heart full of compassion. Your heart that always sees the good and the potential in everyone.
I will try to sum it up for you though.
Give me just………just a moment to rewind my life.
I can speak from experience and from all the pieces of me that had to be put back together.
I just need to feel them briefly. So I can make sure the words come out right.
I…………I………I don’t know why I got second chances. I don’t know what I did that got me back on track when I was so obviously and obliviously derailed. I don’t know where the things I chose to do became more important than my family. My babies. Me. I don’t know what my brain and my body were doing as they worked together and against each other.
I……….I………I wanted it to all go away. To not torture myself anymore. To not be misunderstood. To not hurt anyone anymore with my unsatisfactory choices. To not continue such confusing, painful, bitter behavior. To not keep re-living painful images every time I closed my eyes. To not keep hurting those that love me.
I….I knew within me that somethings may never be the same again. Could I live with that? I also had to lay there, in my misery and make a choice. For whatever reason I got another chance to do that. To decide. Life or death. Drunk or sober. Warm bed or cold concrete floor. Home or homeless. Ultimately I made choices that got me there. Was I willing and capable of making a choice to get me out? Honestly, I don’t have the answer. I don’t think I could answer in such a way it would satisfy your question.
I will tell you this though.
I am not sure where my hope came from. But I had some. Little. But still some, nonetheless.
Did it come from the bible? Probably more than it did the bottle. Yes.
Did other people offer it to me? Hope. Yes. Had those same people quit praying and having a shred of faith for me I would likely not be hear to answer your questions.
Why you? Why do you think you got to have a good life again while others roam aimlessly seeking shelter from the cold? Why aren’t you dead? Why did you get a do-over?
** I can easily answer that one for you.
It wasn’t my time to go.
That’s the only thing that kept me here. That’s the only reason I cry myself to sleep at night praying for those I love to come back home. I did. Why can’t they? Why didn’t he?
I believe I have a purpose.
I’m still here because I’m supposed to share how painful it is to keep being kicked when you’re down. I’m still here to tell someone not to give up. To remember loving from a distance is hard but ultimately that gigantic sacrifice is worth it. I’m still here to hold a hand, pay for a goodnight sleep for you and answer the phone when you need someone to talk to because no one else will answer. That’s why I’m still here. That is why so many of us are still here.
That’s the legacy I want to leave behind. That’s the real life story I intend to tell you when you call and ask me when, where, why or how.
That is what I want my children to never forget. In fact, that’s what I love seeing in my children in this very moment of our lives. They love and see potential first. They hate to see a man down. To a fault sometimes.
In my heart and soul I believe they will carry a powerful message with them for the rest of their lives. A message of hope. A message of forgiveness. A message of endurance and strength. It will often feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders. They will tell you without a grandmother who loved them unconditionally they wouldn’t be the men they are today. They will also tell you that you have a heart of gold and not to give up. They will tell you that you will have deep seeded anger towards people you feel let you down, your parents, family members, friends etc. but that you can move through all of that. They will tell you that no, maybe they weren’t in your shoes but the shoes they wore still hurt bad sometimes. They will always offer you a hand up. Probably more than another person would’ve. They will also love you harder and more strongly than anyone has ever loved you, and they will mean it with every fiber they are made of. I didn’t necessarily want to pass down that trait to them because often it can be a heavy quality. But I would much rather have raised children that love so much it hurts than to raise a child that isn’t allowed to have feelings of their own.
How did these questions all end in you talking about your children?
** My children are my legacy. My children are the grandchildren to beautiful people. The nephews to some amazing men, the cousins to a soldier, the husband to a wife, father to a child and the brothers to each other. If I leave them with anything I want them to know about the times that will get tough. The inner strength they have as they may have to face a mad dog more than once. That mad dog may even be them staring back in the mirror. That’s the thing. They have to be able to face that image. Those images that may haunt them someday.
No one prepared me for those times. I didn’t hear thing’s like I put them into words today for someone to read. Brutal and un-sugar coated.
I want to leave a note behind that can last lifetimes across my family tree. Sure. It is in the DNA. I get that. But ultimately I make a choice. You make a choice. Choose wisely. Before it can’t be undone. You may face a no come back zone. That zone is almost always detrimental if you cross into it. I’ve witnessed it. Family, friends, loved ones dear to my heart. In non fiction books and movies based on true stories.
So often we put a mad dog down quickly. Take it to the pound and wish it away. Like it hasn’t a heart beat.
There’s evil and there is lost. Those are two different things.
What once was lost can be found. Like the song sings.
Like a mad dog sitting in a shelter rescued by someone willing to try to love and nurture it against all odds. Some make it. Unfortunately some do not.
I’ve often wondered where they go too.
I often repeat the serenity prayer. Both out loud and in silence.
The hardest part for me is and has always been the last part.
The wisdom to know the difference.
I believe in God. I also believe in choices. I believe that God is love and that love works miracles.
I believe our stories are already written in the stars above when we are born, and that what we choose to believe is where we are able to find and have inner peace.
If I didn’t believe like that, then once upon a time when a supposedly earthly, heavenly preacher gave my mother some advice regarding my alcoholic father, I’d be living and believing that my father was burning in hell. There is nothing peaceful about a thought like that.
I believe in the good first. I have to. Forced with having to make those same decisions as my mother did once, I would go back and do it differently. I believe that. I believe that on purpose. I believe that is my purpose.
It’s not my purpose to let the elder ones tame me. It’s not my purpose to let the ones who walked before me make my decisions. It’s not my purpose to do anything other than love you where you are at. If I can make you smile that’s just an added bonus. Sit with you through what you are feeling. Through the good times and the bad times. Plenty of other people will close the door on you so you can hit a bottom. Learn a lesson. I get that. They have to. I did that. I had to.
Today, I don’t.
Today I can sit there until you can laugh again.
Today I’ll take your hand. Today I’ll see you through. Tomorrow is another day and I’ll be there for that one too.
Where Do They Go?
©️2020 Smith, Lynn Rilean
Reference below about homelessness numbers.