Tuesday, April 9, 2013

sweep

I take the interstate everyday to work. I drive by interesting places. Noticing the detail on my route.  There are homes along the way, with their backyards butting up to the highway. A cat that often can be spotted close to these backyards, looking for field mice to prey upon.

Among the many business' new and old, there is the Marion County Jails. Within the tiny windows, I often wonder about the inmates inside. I am one of those that have mixed feelings about the "system".  Inside these walls, we care for those that have broken the law.  From petty crimes to severe crimes and being held here temporary till moved to a State Prison. These folks are clothed, fed, and given a bleak but warm place to sleep. Our taxes pay heavily for their mistakes.

I also pass an area close by that truly touches the heart.
You have to look closely to see what I am talking about.
In fact, I didn't even notice for some time.
But it's there.
This is how many homeless live.
The tents sometimes change... new ones come, old ones go. Some nights with the cold rain and snow... I am overwhelmed with guilt that I have a warm bed waiting for me at the end of my drive.  I have food, I have so much.
 
The most upsetting thing about seeing these tent towns.... is when the Sweep comes through. Law officials come through and make them pack up, and move along.
 
One of the jails I mentioned is just a few blocks from this area the homeless camp.  While these homeless people suffer through the cold, hunger, and often illness'... we are busy making sure the criminals down the street are fed, warm and comfy.
 
Just doesn't make a lot of sense, does it?
 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

50 years ago... my world changed

Half a century ago, an event took place that changed my family's life forever.

My young parents, had dreams of prosper and visions of a great life. My sister not yet 3 years old and I at 10 months, completed our family. They had recently decided they would soon move us from Indiana to Texas. My Mom was from San Antonio, and with jobs declining, and the threat of my Dad's job on the line, they had hopes of moving our family south so we could prosper and my Mom would be closer to her family.

My Dad had a friend named Bud, that often talked of his Harley Davidson, offering to Dad to take it for a spin any time. One beautiful day, April 6th, 1963...my Dad took him up on the offer, wanting to show my Mom how safe motorcycles were and wanted my Mom to see that it would be a good investment for them. My Dad felt with the warmer climate of Texas, and the small amount of fuel they took, this would be idea transportation for him once they moved to Texas.


My parents left my Sister and I in our Godparents care, and went for a spring ride on a 1948 Harley Davidson. I can assure you, my Dad was driving careful.  He was an experienced rider, his lovely wife was on the Bike with him, and he was trying to prove how safe they were, so she would be in agreement that he would buy one.

While driving along 42nd Street, in Indianapolis, they hit a rather large chuckhole, throwing them from the Harley. My Mom, skinned, broken arm and a good 50 feet from my Dad, couldn't get over to my Dad. He was badly injured with a massive head injury, among other things.

My Dad's vitals were slight. He was brought into the hospital as DOA... Dead On Arrival. A Resident was performing a check for all vitals and told his training Doctor he was certain he was hearing some gurgling in the heart... My Father, was indeed alive. Barely, but alive.

Across the city, his younger cousin, Pam, sat with her family watching television. The phone rang.   Her Mom, (whom not only very close to my Dad, but was a nurse as well), answered....Pam remembers her Mom saying over and ever again "Oh My God! Oh My God!.....
After that she left to go to the hospital. Pam will never forget the utter fear and helplessness in her voice.
 
Meanwhile, my Dad is hanging onto a thread of life. My Mom at 22 years, is watching a priest give last rights to husband, a shell of a 27 year old man... His discolored head cracked open, his body badly broken and torn apart from the pavement and impact. When her friend brings my Sister to see her, Julie is frightened of my mothers appearance, and does not recognize her. My scared Mom feels so alone. She looks at her husband...his  head is as round and large as a basketball. It is purple. He is not recognizable at all. The rest of his body is wrapped in cast and bandages. He does not look human.
 
My Dad survives the night.
In fact, although in a coma for 13 days, he is considered a miracle and many Doctors are amazed that he not only survied, but starts to show improvement. After a lengthy stay in the hospital and several months in rehabilitation, he leaves them... capable of walking out, speaking, and functioning... He has re-learned the most simple task that are extremely difficult to him. He has to learn to feed himself, master coordination skills, thought process, using his young yet damaged body the best he can. My Dad becomes a study case, and enjos the opportunity to assist the many Doctors and medical students in clinicals and interviews.  My Dad received an award from Crossroads Rehabilitation Center for his acheivements.
Over the course of a year, my Dad is back to work and trying to get his life back.
My Mom... she is thrilled to have him back....Alive... and having much of his functions back.  However they are not back to normal, and never will be.  My Dad's handicaps have put a huge unspoken burden on my Mom, who now has two small daughters as well as a handicap husband to care for.
Think for just a moment.
Look around and see all we have that is handicap accessable today. Now imagine 1963. We have none of it.  Nothing.
 
My Mom, kicks into gear, taking care of us all, never second guessing or complaining. She just jumps in and gets it done.  The dream to go back to Texas is gone. She does not get the pleasure of her family to help her, although Dad's family steps in.
 
Over the years, one thing after another, from the impact of "The Accident" as this has been named, has come upon them.  One day, my Dad's boss, (he was working in a manufacturing plant) approached him and told him that he is too slow now. His producting is not near what they need and they "don't want a retard working here". My devastated Dad can't find a job. We do not have laws in place to protect the Handicapped Employee back then. No Americans with Disabilities Act.
 
My parents go through a lengthy lawsuit against the City of Indianapolis, due to the road condition that caused the accident.  My sister and I are placed in separate homes. I am placed with friends, but I am far from my family. Day after day I sit at the window crying for my Mom. I miss her. I am scared and confused. I am around 4 years old. My sister stayed with a neighbor as she had school to attend. I don't understand why I am not with her. Or my Grandparents...Or cousins... I want my Mommy. My parents win. Which all I understand is I get to live with my family again, so I am happy. We move and I think all is going to be okay.
It's not.
Over the next 40 years... my depressed Dad tries to take his life several times. My Mom as well suffers much depression. My Sis & I survive a dysfunctional childhood and learn to take life for what it is. We learn coping skills, yet we also suffer the consequences of things that happened throughout our childhood.
 
You know, I often wonder what might have been had that event had not taken place. What kind of life would my parents have had. Who would Julie & I become if situations were different? Even though I wonder, and I certainly wish things were somewhat better for my parents all these years, I do believe that things happen in life and it's what we do with what we are given that matters. I don't think it was God's will that they were hurt in that accident, but I do think it was His will that they survived. What would have happened if they had died then? Who would have taken Sis & I? And would we have been able to stay together? I am so grateful that we did have our parents to raise us and I am grateful for the person I have become. Far from perfect... and still learning... even at 50, but I am who I am because of what I have been through, who has been a part of me, and for what I have learned through Faith.
 
It has been an eventful life.  A very eventful year.
 
Yet we continue to move forward.
 
My Dad is a survivor.
And so am I.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Scary Roommate Search

I know I have been MIA for a while but I am just going to jump in with post rather than explain it all...
I'm fine.
More than anything, dealing with LIFE and not feeling I can express openly in my Blog it all.

Anyway...

So one of the things going on in my neck of the woods is the Baby is getting ready to graduate from Ball State University with her Graphic Design Journalism degree.  She is more than cool... she is pretty amazing.

Not only is she graduating on time, she is doing so with something she is passionate about. Instead of sticking her toes in the water deciding what to do, she has decided to say the heck with it and dive straight in... into a town far away, where she knows not a soul, with an internship that has no promises of a future with them after this 10 week of working her tushie off for pennies.
She is heading to an upscale area that has no student housing... no cheap rents.  This is a cream of the crop area where the richy rich go to their summer homes and enjoy the gander of a beautiful seaside town that rarely does one find someone "on a budget".
So... how does one go about finding housing in an area where the going rate for a week is more than her 10 week pay? 
Good question.
I think the answer is all about resources.
  • First we look through google.... nope. can't afford anything for rent and most do not want to rent for 10 weeks anyway.
  • Second we reach out to peeps we know that may know somebody... my old colleague that worked with me @ Roman Ink has a couple of beautiful homes there... maybe she would know someone or even be interested in hosting an intern? nope.  she doesn't but will let me know if she finds out of anyone. My daughter checks with a friend that happened to intern there before... their might be a hint of hope here... we will see.
  • Third, I lean on Realtors out there.  Most are not interested, but a couple show some support and give some advice  to my daughter & start making some calls to some possibilities...
  • Fourth, we check with the employer.  They have several interns coming.. Maybe they can pool together & find a place? Maybe the employer (especially since they are a newspaper and are in the know..) can give some advice? nope. they will get back with her on that, however, time is ticking away...
  • Fifth, we start looking at the possibility of renting a room... not an apartment but just a room of someones private home.
hello Craigslist.
... let's see, there is the single mom with a teenage son... interesting photo with the uhm Phoenix? on the ceiling...
... cat lady is looking for someone to rent a room. she talks about her cats and it is a must that you love cats. well... Annie likes cats. Grew up with them.  Has Asthma though so we need to watch the cat dander. How many cats is cat lady talking about?  & will they be in  Annie's room?  Do we have cat smell at this place?
... and then there is this little dandy...

here... let me help you see what this says...

$400 Need an awesome roommate? I do (Dennis)

Iv had a lot of responses, But I have yet to nail it down. So here goes another.
I found a great little two bedroom beach house in Dennis.
But I need a roommate to cover the rent.
Let me tell you a little about myself.
-Definitely not a rapist.
I'm an amazing roommate. I can fight fires and regularly help the elderly. One time I saved a pregnant lady from drowning and her husband rewarded me with an 18pack of bud heavy, we're now best friends and I go to classy dinners at their house on the reg. Ally Raisman asked me for my phone number, I gave her a fake. Iv sailed across the Atlantic ocean 6 times. I took Spanish for 3 years and cant speak a word. When I play Jamanji no one gets sucked into the forest. I volunteer at meals of wheels, the soup kitchen, the food pantry, the red cross, all the churches, and the peace corps. Children love me. I make babies smile and stop crying. Everything I cook smells and tastes delicious. I bathe regularly. I always know when there's an open bar somewhere. I tip well, always more then 20%.
 Roommate qualifications.
 Must be 21-29 m/f
No socks with sandals.
No fat annoying chicks.
Gotta drink.
No junkies.
Cant watch survivor or American idol.
420 friendly.
-Eddie M.

Oh my Gosh... This is serious.  WTH?  And thank God my Annie wears socks with sandals! lol... seriously... is that about the scariest ad you've ever read? For a parent anyway. Thankfully my daughter is smart and not the least bit interested in "Eddie's advertisement". yeah... good luck Eddie.

As of today, looks like my daughter's friend's host family has gotten back with Annie and thankfully they seem to be a good fit (and thankfully this is not some wacko family and at least I know that Annie's friend survived living with this family!)

Annie & I have tentative plans to road trip out east to this coastal town, get her settled and I will fly home, leaving my Baby, her car & few possessions with strangers.

...and I could not be more proud♥