A mother in need

This is reblogged from “A Thousand Single Days”. Go to her blog for instructions as to how to donate if you’re interested.

Her children will have a home for christmas.

December 2, 2012 — 48 Comments

Lord give me strength to write this in a way that the reader whose eyes are scanning over these words right at this moment will see the heart behind the fingers which writes them and may their own heart love the woman whose story I am about to tell. Amen.

This happened to me today. This story I am about to tell you unfolded in my own home not even 4 hours ago.
Here goes:
He likes twisties, the cheese ones. He sits on my sofa while his fingers fish around in a nearly-empty packet of them while watching Tom chase Jerry from one side of the television to the other and as he throws his head back in laughter he glances up and me to see if I find it funny too. My son hasn’t known him long but they are already good friends and I decided I liked him the first time his little tanned face and wooly afro walked through my door.
Aren’t five year old kids just the darndest things?
Their big old wobbly head sitting atop that skinny little neck. Those little faces trying to make room for those big eyes and their poor little bodies trying to make sense of their big old floppy arms and legs while carrying school bags that are so big they could just about take them off their back, unzip them and hop right inside. Five year old kids are just downright adorable.

Remember that first year your son or daughter started school? Remember the ABCs? Remember the 5 page homework reading books about the cat who caught a rat on the mat with a bat? Remember the certificates that would come home dotted with little elephant stamps? Remember the little friends that would start coming over after school to play lego or watch cartoons with your child and how you would stand there and raise your shoulders up around your ears and pull that ‘oh my goodness soooo cute!’ face and blink a few times hoping to almost capture a picture memory of the scene before you, knowing you were watching innocence.
That was me today. That was me, watching my five year old son play with his five year old friend and tell five year old jokes ‘Knock knock…’
That was me before a hammer smashed the lot of it and left me blinking in shock at how cruel the world can be and this is how it happened.

My son, his friend (lets call him Jessie) and I were walking back from a long swim at the pool. Jessie had been playing at our house and the swim had come after many hours of sitting in my sweltering garage on the first day of our Australian summer trying to sell the last of our belongings in a garage sale before my boys and I set off on our exciting and much needed Australian road trip

Jessie had been chattering for a few days now that he was also moving soon. When I asked him when exactly, he would shrug his shoulders. When I would ask him where to exactly, he would shrug his shoulders.
I put it down to him being five.

As we walk along a car pulls up, it is Jessie’s mother, whom I have met once before. Hello! Hello. Thank you so much for having Jessie…I hear you are moving? Yes! We leave tomorrow. Where are you moving to? We really don’t know! We are leaving on a road trip, an adventure. We will eventually end up with family for christmas. I need to talk to you.

And so thats where it started I suppose. You don’t really expect that kind of comment when making social chatter with the mother of your sons friend but there it was: I need to talk to you.
So I invited her in, apologised for the chaos my house was in, pulled a chair from the pile of packing debris and boxes and disorder, sat down across from her and then listened wide-eyed as she opened her mouth and allowed the words of her story to come tumbling out.

Born in Ethiopia to a 15 year old girl, the simple presence of Lissie must have frightened her young, baby faced, unwed mother terribly, and she was carried for hours across lands and plains before the girl placed her tiny baby on the side of the road, turned, walked away and never looked back. What a terrible way to meet the world.
A man found baby Lissie, gave her a name, raised her and then sent her to Australia to get an education.
Lissie gets her education and only a few short months before graduating, she meets an Australian man who decides he wants to marry her and without knowing that she could say no if she wanted (unfamiliar with our culture and customs) she agreed to marry him when he drops down on one knee after only three months. He then beats on her throughout the marriage which bore him 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…6 children.
Finally Lissie escapes from this despicable man and flees with her children to a woman’s shelter where they hide for 6 months. Upon emerging from the shelter, the reality of life on her own begins and she finds herself surviving on her own, raising 6 children with no family, no support, no anything.
She then becomes very, very unwell which coincided with her landlord illigally serving her with an eviction notice from her rental home of 8 years and, as she didn’t know her rights she started to look for another home.

Her time to find a new home was up 5 days ago. She did not find another house. Every applicaiton she put in was turned down as she has 6 children, even though they are the most soft, quiet, gentle children ranging from 5 – 17.
She has been homeless for 5 days.
Please read that again: SHE HAS BEEN HOMELESS FOR 5 DAYS.

I am crying as I write this.
She is right now driving to the beach to have dinner with her children and after that, they will drive around and around until late tonight where she will go to a friends house and sleep on her floor.

But here is what is going to happen and I need your help, please.
I have postponed my trip. I myself have to be out of my house by Tuesday, 4th at 5pm but am right now setting up beds in my living room, garage and spare room to accomodate her and her children until I myself have to move out if she will accept my offer to stay. I am changing my own holiday travel plans so that when we depart, the boys and I will drive directly to family rather than taking our time driving down the coast of Australia so we can save money on accommodation. The road trip is for now, cancelled but the money saved by these changes in plans will be put into an account I have set up to raise funds to get this family into a home asap. Thus begins the three day ‘Her children will have a home for Christmas’ appeal.

This is the part where I need your help.
I am a student and have very little in savings, my donation alone will not even come close to getting this family into a home, so I am going to ask you to please, please join with me. I need your help and as I type this I am crying, hoping that you will see how desperate and real this situation is and want to stand beside me and decide that we aren’t going to let this family be homeless for Christmas.
There are nearly 6.000 subscribers to this site. If every subscriber donated $1, then Lissie would have the money to be she needs to get her children into a home, and cover expenses while she waits for a crucial operation.
$1 is nothing for you to part with, but collaboratively it will change her circumstances and the circumstances of 6 beautiful children who have already gone through enough.
This is a very real situation. There is a mother driving around right now with 6 children and no where to go.
My heart is breaking for her. I have seen many things in my life but I have never had my spirit torn as it was today when this ill, desperate, weary and beautiful woman shared her heart and her situation with me today.
I can’t leave the Coast until I know this family are going to be ok but my own time is running out I am only one person, I just can’t do this alone.
You do not know this woman, you may never meet her, but I know her, and I love her and I am here right now, and if you stand with me, we can change 7 lives today.
All proceeds raised in this appeal will be given to the family to pay for the expenses of moving into a home, their rent, food and necessities. The first name of every person who donates will be added to a list and then framed and given as a gift along with the proceeds of this appeal. She will hang it in her new home and it will be a reminder to her and her children of the christmas where hundreds of strangers banded together and changed their life.

If you want to donate:

Go to the donation site that I have set up HERE. At the top of that page you will see this:

Lady's mantle

thankfulness/z, zoos

 

Zoo Parc Beauval

Zoo Parc Beauval (Photo credit: JoyTek)

                                                                    Thankfulness/Z

Zap, Zebra, zero, zipper, zeal, zealot, zit, zoo.

Boy, “z” is hard. For one thing, I’m on the train home from Chicago and don’t have the option of the internet to find words beginning with “z”.  So I’m having to wing it.

But I do like zoos, so zoos it is. Now I realize that there are some people who have an issue with zoos and I understand the logic. In a perfect world, animals should be allowed to roam freely in their native environment. But it’s also true that many animals are being slaughtered by those who are interested only in profits. I particularly love elephants and they are almost extinct due to man’s greed. So I’m grateful to those who’ve understand this and have tried to protect certain species.

Without zoos how would so many children, especially those who are limited in travel opportunities, ever get to see gorillas, lion, tigers, giraffes, elephants, etc.?  Books aren’t enough. Television isn’t enough. They need to watch and observe. I’ve been to many zoos, here in the United States and elsewhere.

However, I’ve never been to what I consider would the best “natural” zoo-Africa. Of all the countries I’ve visited, that’s the one I’ve wanted to see the most. I associate zoos with Africa although many of the animals we see in zoos are from India, South America and China. I just like Africa. So I tell myself if I ever get there, I’ll see all the wild animals  there are to see, even if I know I won’t. I mean really, a panda in Africa. I don‘t think so.

I like watching the monkeys cavort and pick fleas off each other and I really like watching gorillas. They, too, are being slaughtered mercilessly. The movie “Gorillas in the Mist”, will give you much insight into the gorilla and also the greediness of man.

What I don’t understand though are those people who think a wild animal can be trained as a “pet”.  There are numerous reports of privately owned wild animals turning on their owner. The animal is often killed even though it was simply doing what a wild animal does. How foolish to hold an animal responsible for what a foolish owner does.

Anyway, I hope you get to visit a zoo if you haven’t already. Not only are they educational, they’re fun

Yea!!!  I did it. A blog a day during the busiest time of the year isn’t easy. What was I thinking? There were often many different choices for some letters. Sometimes I purposefully didn’t choose the obvious, like love for “l” or family for “f”.  Sometimes, I chose something I really had to work hard to write about because I like to challenge myself. Sometimes it was painful, like yesterday. Sometimes I had little choice. (By the way don’t you find it strange that the closer you get to the end of the alphabet, like with x, y, z, the fewer the choices? I mean seriously, why? I don’t who created the alphabet but I wonder why an “x”, “y” and a “z”?  I did find words starting with “x” very interesting because many of them had some sort of reference to the color yellow.)

I am thankful for so much more than what I wrote about-God, family, friends, my old house, “teeny-tiny cabin”, my church. I’m thankful for hobbies and interests. I’m thankful for choices and challenges, hurts and hugs. For cappuccinos and travel. For work and play. If I tried to list every little thing I’m thankful for, like when it rains and the drops of water bead up on my Lady’s Mantle like little pieces of diamonds, I would probably be writing for weeks. 

Lady's Mantle after a rain.

Lady’s Mantle after a rain.

(I’m thankful that I was led to start a blog. (I wish I could be thankful that I’ve got it looking the way it should with all the bells and whistles I find appealing on other blogs, but I’m just not there yet. Probably need to upgrade. I love letters and words. I love reading. I even love dictionaries so balogging is a natural fit for me. I’m thankful for that, too.)

 

 

 

 

thankfulness/x

Yellow green

Yellow green (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Thankfulness/X

 
   

Today I am choosing xanthochroism. To say I had limited choices with the letter “X” is redundant. Of course, I could have cheated and used “XOXO” but that would be, hmmm, well, cheating.

So what is xanthochroism?  It is the abnormal coloration of feathers in which yellow replaces the normal color, as in certain parrots. It is commonly due to lack of the dark pigment with which yellow forms green.

Yellow-green is my very favorite color. I am thankful that the color exists. It is the accent color I have in most rooms in my house. If I were brave enough I would paint an entire room that color. But alas, I’m a coward. There isn’t much more to say about my choice today except to say that yellow-green looks great with a seafoamy blue-green. It’s a beautiful combination. I’ve decorated our little bunkhouse in this color combination.

It is stunning when paired with red for Christmas. I just purchased some bottle trees in this color. I’ve been taking out my Christmas decorations and I can certainly tell it’s my favorite color.

That’s all I’ve got.  It is “X” after all.

Chicago, Chicago, that wonderful town.

Well, we have no free Internet here at hotel. We’re too cheap to pay so I’m posting from my phone again.

As you can probably guess from yesterday’s post, I haven’t bought anything yet. Almost positive it won’t be clothes anyway. My thrift shop clothes are fine by me. I’m actually finding better quality than what’s in the stores these days unless I want to spend around $80.00 for a sweater, which I don’t.

Here’s the interesting thing though and it’s very appropriate for this month of thankfulness I’m doing. When you’re truly thankful for what you have, it’s easy to not get caught up in wanting everything you see. Yesterday, while shopping the Magnificent Mile, I realized just that. It was totally freeing.

That’s not to say I won’t buy something. There’s a store in Watertower Mall that carries books called “Story People”. ( I would give you the author’s name but I don’t remember it. You can google the title and it will show up.) It’s a wierd series and is not a novel or a non-fiction. It’s more a book of truisms combined with colorful weird cartoon-like people. I’ve wanted it for a couple of years. I think it’s because a number of years ago I created some sketches of weird creatures that really appeal to me bit I’ve never known what to do with them. I think I might try to develop a story-line for my “people” as well.

Plus, I have to buy a hat. Left mine on the train and Chicago is really cold in the winter. Did I tell you, I lived here for a couple of years when I was eighteen. That’s a story in its-self- how a young, inexperienced and totally trusting young woman lived two years in a big sophisticated city and left unscathed. I’ll tell you about it sometime soon. Chicago has brought back lots of memories.

Anyway, heading out now although why I’d leave a gorgeous hotel room with ten foot ceilings that is bigger than “Teeny Tiny Red Cabin”, I’ll never know. Remember, please overlook any errors. Working on a minuscule screen isn’t easy us I can’t review first.

20121127-101659.jpg

Chicago

Hubby and I on way to Chicago via Amtrak. My first Amtrak ride. Thoroughly enjoying it. Looking forward to seeing Chicago during Holiday season. Have always wanted to do this.

I’ll be on my own during day as hubby will be working. I’ve already decided I’m having at least one cappuccino per day. Looking forward to shopping at Water Tower. We’re staying right on the Magnificent Mile. It’s funny that I mention shopping because I’ve never bought anything yet when
we’ve been in the Windy City. But I’m really going to try hard this time. There’s a reason.

Sometimes I get too anxious about money. Sometimes I think I don’t deserve anything new. Depression has a way of infiltrating every part of our lives but we never think it might be in such obscure ways.

So today, find a way to be good to yourself. Even if it’s only a cappuccino!

(BTY-I’m posting from my phone on a moving train so please forgive the errors)

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