Friends Supporting Friends
[ Friends Supporting Friends ]
The easiest way to avoid regrets is to ask yourself this question, "If not now, when?" It's a powerful way to put life and our decisions about how we spend our time into perspective"
Paula, where are you?
Posted by Krista on 1/12/2018, 3:09 pm
No posts since Monday - getting very worried |
Re: Paula, where are you?
Posted by Paula on 1/12/2018, 8:16 pm, in reply to "Paula, where are you?"
Thanks for checking on me. It's been a long and somewhat difficult week. Many of my clients are poor and have very little. I've had one client almost from the beginning who is in his 60s, has had a rough life mostly of his own making. Did jail time use drugs prostituted. Did all the things that would make him seem like not a very attractive person. But when he started seeing me he'd had a stroke. He has no real support system. The people in his life were users of every imaginable kind but he chose to be with them rather than facing the intense loneliness that he experienced. |
We aren't supposed to get things for our clients but all of us do when we find one who is truly down and out. I've gotten things for him in the past as well. One year he was almost in tears at Thanksgiving and said, I don't even have money to get a chicken for Thanksgiving. I got ten bucks and gave it to him and said everybody deserves a chicken for Christmas.
This year I decided I was going to order him a lot of food from Walmart and take it to him. I'd never been to his apartment and I knew he didn't live in a good area so bill was going to come with me. It just so happened that the day I was to take him the food was the same day we had to put KT down. So it was with a heavy heart that we headed over there. He was so so happy.
He texted me on my work phone on December 26th at about 7:30 in the morning to tell me thank you and that I had made him a wonderful Christmas. So yesterday comes and he doesn't show up for his appointment. I texted him and asked him where he was. Then one of the nurses came in and told me that they think he's dead. I called whatever contacts I had and to make a long story short, he did die on December 26th. We learned that later that day a friend came by to drop off a Christmas present and found him slumped over in his chair. The peace I have is that I gave him a nice Christmas, that he felt cared about, and that he expressed that in the text he sent me shortly before he died. I finally found his sister today. He's been in the morgue since he died. His whole family lives in Washington DC. She said that the family is getting the money together and we'll have him cremated and celebrated at her church in DC. I had to be careful about what I said and didn't say because no one in the family knows that he had HIV. I was walking on Shaky Ground just saying that I was his counselor but at this point, I don't really care. I talked with her about some of the positive changes I'd seen in him and how he regained a lot of his integrity. I told her that that meant leaving behind a lot of people that weren't good for him and that he in the end chose integrity over fear of being alone. She asked me if I would come and speak for him at the funeral but I don't think I'll be able to. I'm going to Washington DC tomorrow to visit my niece who is spending four days they're at a conference. This is the nice I didn't get to see because I got sick in my trip to Georgia got cancelled over New Years.
Anyway I feel sad that he's gone. He had horrible medical problems and didn't take good care of himself. During our last session I actually told him that he had been so sick Christmas of 2016 that I was afraid he wasn't even going to make it to Christmas of 2017. He was shocked by that and I just told him that I was grateful that he had made it. Never realizing that he would be dead the next day.
More than just being sad for him is the overwhelming feeling of just how many poor sick lonely sad people there are out there trying to make it on their own. So many of them have horrible drug histories, current struggle trying to stay clean and sober, felony charges that make jobs hard to get, distant relationships with family members, extreme poverty. I mean these guys are trying to live on $700 a month of disability. I know that every one of them has a story and that they're not innocent in those stories but by the time I see them none of that really matters. He was raised in a Jehovah's Witness family and he was refused entrance because he's gay. Even his sister today said that she never understood how their mother could pick their faith over their child. So feeling lots of sadness. Looking very forward to seeing Karen tomorrow. While she's at her last seminar I'm going to go to one of the Washington Art Museums and then we'll meet up for the evening. Anyhow that's me for now I'll probably check back in Sunday or Monday love you all bye. By the way I did this all voice to text so I have no idea how it's going to look. Lol
Posted by Krista on 1/13/2018, 6:38 am, in reply to "Re: Paula, where are you?"
What a story of both tragedy and victory. Paula, you touched this man's life so much and I know you have touched the life's of so many. Including this man's sister and have brought her comfort in knowing about his final days. I have so much admiration for what you do for others - SO MUCH. |
I am glad you are able to get away and I hope you get some real down time this weekend.
I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your client.
Posted by Cindy on 1/12/2018, 10:58 pm, in reply to "Re: Paula, where are you?"
How wonderful that you gave this man such a wonderful gift before he died. You are a special woman! |
Bless you, Paula
Posted by Sue on 1/13/2018, 10:49 am, in reply to "Paula..."
for all the special things you do for these dear folks.....you look into their hearts and see what's truly there. I'm so glad you were able to make this man feel worthy, valuable and cared for on his last Christmas! I nominate you the "Christmas Angel"....Let your heart be warmed knowing you did such a kind thing.|
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