The winter shelter is noisy tonight: snoring (more of an abundance of it than usual), coughing, rustling ... But the noise that concerns me most is the elderly white-haired lady on the cot next to me.
I've been watching her health worsen daily for four to five days now. You may recall, reading a short blurb about her in another post.
Three of us shelterees are very worried about her. She was laying down in the bushes on the side of the building breathing very raggedly as we were queuing up for entry. Rumor had it she had been there all day.
I was concerned enough that I asked the person I know who has the experience and passion to handle this kind of matter to go out and take a look at her, since the other shelteree and I couldn't get her up to get her inside.
As luck would have it, he was outside searching and she wandered in and got the cot next to me while my head was turned.
Do you want drama?
This woman stands a good chance of dying. Soon.
If she doesn't luck into a benefactor who has the compassion, wherewithal, and consistent intent to assist her, I don't give her long for this world. And that's not because she doesn't have spunk, the desire to keep going, and a tenacious grasp.
Her breathing for the last two hours has been bubbly with a sigh-groan and a rasp every few moments. She is tossing and turning trying to find a position she can sleep in.
One of the shelterees, (a woman a few years my senior) planning on hitch-hiking back to Texas after being turned down at a 60-day shelter yesterday -- spent the entire evening hovering over our white-haired friend to try and get her comfortable.
Another shelteree loaned a second blanket to provide the white-haired woman with more warmth.
I'm bad with ages, never could guess anyone's for-love-nor-money. However, I place this woman to be about 20 years older than I. That easily puts her at 76.
Six day old babies and women in their 70's -- these are the faces of homelessness.
Do you want drama?
The white-haired woman needs help. And not just being plunked into an ER room and given meds only to be tossed back out onto the street with 2 bus tokens to wend her way back to winter shelter with.
No, I don't know her other issues. I don't know if she is a substance abuser, mentally challenged, or has any other socially unacceptable symptoms that grow so abundantly in civilized society.
She has spent a life-time on this earth and as a human-being deserves so much more than being in this winter-shelter struggling for her every breath.
I have no one else to turn to but you few who read my tweets and this blog.
The white-haired woman on the cot next to me is one woman of many. We on the streets with her are doing what we can for her.
My challenge to you -- what is there in the world immediately around you that you can apply your passion, awareness, time, and energy to?
Whatever it is, do it now.
Do you want drama? Look around you ... be aware. I guarantee that within 50-feet on the road you are walking you will find drama.
If you truly don't think you will find anything of a dramatic nature -- from pollution to relations -- hire me. I'll gladly point out things to be aware of and donate a portion of what you pay me to the folks I believe are spear-heading viable, compassionate, spirited resolutions.
Good night, mes amis. I am going to try and get a bit more sleep before lights on.