Throw away kids.....
The other day I had a couple hour break in-between clients, so the dad came into town to meet me for coffee. While we visited a young woman stood near by.....obviously homeless, covered in dirt, hair matted in dreadlocks, very drunk, an almost empty vodka bottle visible from her backpack. When I smiled at her she smiled back and said, "Hi." She had a little guitar with her, not a ukulele, but a miniature guitar. Another homeless man came by and saw her and stopped and played his harmonica and she pulled out her guitar and together they serenaded the dad and I. As quickly as it had begun, it was over and they walked their separate ways.
I stopped the girl and told her about our local "soup kitchen" right up the street.
"Honey, are you hungry? Do you know about The Dining Room?"
"The Dining Room? No, Im not from here."
And big tears began to roll down her dirt streaked cheeks. I wanted to jump over the railing that was between us and hug her and take her home and let her shower and wash her clothes and spend a few nights!
Instead I said, "Ohhhh, your not from here. Well sweetie if you keep walking about a half mile you will see The Dining Room and they will serve you dinner, right up the street on the right."
She thanked me, turned, and walked away.
I wanted to go after her. I finished coffee with the dad and once he left to go back home, I headed off to find her. I came across her sleeping under a tree, on the edge of a parking space, in the bank parking lot. I was worried she was going to be hit by a car pulling in, so I woke her up, had her meet me back at the Starbucks, and got us both something to eat and a big ice water.
She cried and cried through the whole conversation. She told me her story, she had had a fight with her dad and she left. She was a train hopper and had been all over the United States. I asked her if she wanted to call her parents who had just moved to my little town. She said yes she wanted to call her mom.
The phone was on speaker so she could hear....
"Mom, its me Renee-ann."
"Heyyyy! Oh my gosh! Where are you? Do you want to come home? Dad will be ok with it. Its ok....come home."
"Yeah, that would be great Mom."
Then the conversation turned......
"Dad's really mad at me today because I got really hammered and drove his car and got a flat tire. A fucking flat tire?! Can you believe that Renee?! So where are you?
"At a Starbucks on Mission St. Can you come get me? Im using this ladies phone so I can't talk for long."
I assured her there was no rush....
"Renee, I can't believe I got a fucking flat tire! Yeah...I will come and get you. Oh wait! I have a fucking flat tire! Ok ok ok ok wait wait wait...hmmmmm, let me think. I can send Courtney! Let me see if I can find her and send her to get you. Wait there, ok."
"Ok mom, Im going to wait here. Come soon ok."
Then the mom hung up. Renee shrugged her shoulders, "We will see if they come. That was my mom. She drinks A LOT. When I started drinking and using my dad wasn't happy which is what caused that big fight. He is the only one who doesn't do anything."
I said, I understood. "He is probably very co-dependent and very angry." I explained some of my own history and she said, "That is it exactly!"
I left her with my number and how to reach me on FB messenger, and the invitation to call if they didn't come.
I drove by an hour or so later on my way to my next client and she was still there, waiting.
A couple hours later I drove by again, after my last client of the day and she wasn't there. I asked a couple of my homeless people if they had seen her. No.
I will be honest....I had to work at not judging that mom. I thought of all of the mom's, the thousands of mom's in my "mom's groups" who are just waiting and hoping to hear from their child, hoping that they never get "that" phone call, but hoping that the phone will ring letting them know their son or daughter is ok.
I finally sent a text to the number Renee had called and asked if she had made it home....yes. Home safe and sound. I am praying that this family can find their own recovery. That all can begin to heal and put the pieces back together. Its not mine to judge. I don't know their story....but its not an accident that our paths crossed. I will keep them held gently in my thoughts and my prayers and hope for healing and restoration of what has been lost....and let that be enough for now.