Homeless no more

If you've been hanging out here for any length of time, you might have heard me talk about my homeless friend May.  I wrote a Christmas story about her a couple of years ago.  We have known her for probably 16 years.
May about 3 years ago

We found her one cool, fall afternoon, washing her clothes in the river and trying to find a patch of sunlight to dry them in.  The Thanksgiving shortly after, she roasted a small turkey breast over an open fire. 

For the entire 16 years I've known her, she has been homeless, living in her car that contains every single thing she owns.  She slept in her car through most of the bitter winters we have here, surviving by driving around through the night to keep the heater going and then sleeping when the sun was high in the sky, just catching minutes of sleep here and there.

She doesn't own a phone and so staying in touch with her has been difficult.  She would spend some time during the late winter and spring in Arizona but always drift back to town.  Not a day goes by that I don't think about May and watch for her.

A few weeks ago, one of the kids said they saw a lady that looked a lot like May riding a bike.

Last Monday, Sam and I saw her at the grocery store.  I stopped to say hi and it was so great to see her again!  She has been in Arizona since January and just got back to town.  Earlier in the year, someone smashed in her side window and tried to yank her out of the car.  They broke both her shoulders and beat her up pretty good. I think she said they stole her dogs too.

When she was recovered, she bought a bus ticket and came back.

Thankfully, some very kind people here, who I actually know very well, found her and gave her a tricycle so she could get around town.  They also had a double wide trailer that was vacant that they are selling.  They told her she could stay there until she found a place to live.

I'm so happy!! I am so happy that these amazing people were able to rescue her.   Since she has a safe place to stay, I can take care of her better.

Last night, we went to visit her and take her some pizza.  She was thrilled to have us visit!  We had a wonderful conversation and I just can't wait to see more of her.  I am guessing she is in her late 60's early 70's.  Her hands are twisted up with arthritis, she is missing most of her teeth but her spirit is strong and kind.

She was telling me that she rides her bike out to a neighboring town where her P.O box is.  By car, it's a 15 minute drive from her double wide but she rides her tricycle.  It takes her two hours to ride one way!!  She bought some little children's purses made of fabric at the dollar store and stuffs them in the front of her shirt to keep warm.  She wears layers and layers of socks and duct tapes her broken and torn boots to her feet.

As we walked in her double wide, there is a pull out sofa in the middle of the room, not very far from the front door.  It's the only piece of furniture in the 4 bedroom trailer. All around the bed are stacks and stacks of stuff she has collected and begun to hoard.  Even being inside, there was a noticeable chill in the air.  I'm sure after sleeping in your car for decades, turning on the furnace would not be something you were accustomed to doing.  I'm sure even being in such a big place comes with some foreign feelings.

Being with May last night was a humbling experience.  We take so much for granted.  We even take the very people we live with for granted. She is so alone.  Just sits all alone, day in and day out alone. We have so much!! Even my worst day looks pretty spectacular next to her very best day!

I hope I never forget the way her eyes smiled last night with a couple slices of pizza, some garlic bread and someone to share a story with.  When I asked her what her favorite food was so I could bring her another treat, she said, "Oh...I'm embarrassed to say!  This is plenty!  I'm so happy!"
I had to keep asking her before she finally said, "I would love to taste a brownie!"
"Just a brownie? I can do that! What about a main course?"
Again, she hesitated and said, "Well, I'm really trying to build my blood up.  I think I'm anemic, I am just so tired all the time so I really need some protein, maybe a small steak?  I don't want to ask for much."
May last night in her new home! 

How could she ever ask for too much?  Really...We are planning to take her out to get some steak this week.  We all love May so much!  We are so blessed to have found her.
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