Saturday, January 21, 2006

Just Say No, or, How Do People Come To This?

I've gone through one of my dry spells lately. Aside form posting photos of some fun stuff, I really haven't felt like writing lately. My life has been quite busy, but also quite mundane, dealing with the everyday problems and issues that come up in life.

Helping my parents. Driving the kids and their friends around. Work. Nothing out of the ordinary, really, therefore nothing worth commenting on.

Yesterday, however, I got a call from my sister. She's been staying with my parents for the last couple of years, since her divorce, fulfilling (in my opinion) a childhood promise to "live at home and take care of" our parents.

She's a spitfire, though, my sister. I would hate to go up against her in any sort of confrontation. Well, verbally anyway. I'd kick her butt mano-a-mano, but you guys know what I mean.

She called me last night quite concerned that my older brother's x-wife and her daughter were at my parent's house.

See, by brother's ex-wife IS an ex-wife for a very good reason: drugs and gambling. Since the divorce she's blown through quite a lot of money, and has wound up essentially homeless and destitute, along with her very sweet but co-dependent daughter, and HER little 4 year old boy. Yeah, quite a sad situation all over.

My mom, being the kind, loving, nurturing and controlling person she is, she has lent/loaned/given/lost a fair amount of money helping this lady and her kids, since this lady essentially had no one else to turn to (her own doing, but that's another matter). It's money my parents have not missed, so there's no issue with my parents being shorted by my mom's generosity. It's just the issue: the woman has lied to my mom, cajoled, begged, and done everything else she could to get money to survive. Often my mom would take groceries out to them, take the woman to welfare appointments, etc, etc, mainly for the sake of the 4-year boy in the picture.

My mom would give the shirt off her back if it helps a child. She's just that way.

So, my sister calls me, rightfully concerned that my brother's ex and her daughter are at the house, talking to my mom. My sister is just certain mom is going to give away the farm, or something close to it, to a couple of druggie drifters who don't deserve a dime (her opinion). So she asks me to call mom in a bit, check on her, and see if she will talk to me about what's going on, because by now mom has had enough of my sister, and isn't telling her anymore about what's going on!

I talk to mom. She's gonna buy them a bus ticket to Utah so the ex can go stay with her brother. Fair enough. The bus leaves at 2:00am.

What?? 2:00AM??

Now, my mom is 77 this year, can barely walk some days, and has horrible night vision. I know she will drive them to the bus station, though, no matter what it takes. She's just that way. So, I tell her don't drive, I'll come down and pick them up and take them to the station. Mom says she's coming too, since she's buying the ticket. Fine. I'll be there about 1:00am.

Mind you, I work at 6:00am. Sigh.

So, I go down to my parents, and the ex and her daughter are ready with the 4-year old boy to take the bus to Utah, taking only what they have on their backs. Again, sigh. Did you know it's cold in Utah this time of year? My brother lives back there, and he said they are having highs of about 18-20 degrees right now.

Freaky cold.

Oh, did I mention my brother's ex hadn't called her brother back in Utah to tell him they are coming? They're just gonna pop into the bus station, call him and say "hello!".

By a small coincidence, one of my other brothers (I have 3) works at Hill AFB in Ogden with the ex's brother. My brother gave her brother a call to give him a head's up. Again..... sigh.

So, my mom and I left a crying 40-year old woman, her 23-year old daughter, and 4-yr old son in the Sacramento Greyhound bus station at 2:00am with a one-way ticket to Utah. I went out to my car and got my old leather jacket (I never wear it) and gave it to the ex. It's gonna be cold, I said. You can use it more than I can. She gave me a big hug.

The last thing I hear as my mother and I were walking out of the bus depot was the ex's daughter telling her "stop crying, mama. Quit being such a baby."

S I G H .

It's all very sad. The sadder part is that, although this story is somewhat personal to me, it happens time and time again, all over the country. I talk to people on a daily basis that have no hope, and no place to turn.

It left me with a very hollow feeling in my gut. I don't know how I would handle having nothing, and no hope. I don't know how people live that way, but they do.

The worst part is, some of them you can't really help. They have to find their way, "hitting bottom" as they say, on their own, and climbing out of the hole all by themselves. You can give them a hand, a leg up, a stake, whatever.... some people just don't know what to do with it. They have no clue how to stand on their own two feet until they are forced to.

And some never, ever learn.

On that depressing note, I'd like to direct you to something much more uplifting and fun! A fellow blogger that I read is posting a very entertaining, and enlightening, "Ask Nic" forum on her blog. She challenged readers to ask her anything about herself, and she'd answer (within reason), and she's taken on some tough questions, and been quite honest about herself. She's a very good writer (one of the more clear and concise I've seen), and I enjoy reading her stuff very much. I encourage you to go take a look!

1 comment:

Bstermyster said...

I am posting this comment, because I want you to know I read this and took it to heart, i just don't know what to say - except - How Sad. My mom had to get on a plane and come to MI so that her husband could hit rock bottom and it is sad, but he is actually doing better. I feel really bad for the people who have no hope, but I also think it is absolutely terrible that she takes advantage of your mom. It is terrible that she knows your mom will help, and can help, but totally lies to her. I guess we just pray that someday she will open her eyes and then will apologize to your family, and it may never happen, but we can still pray about it.