i woke up at 4am this morning with the wind louder than i've heard it in a long time. my clock was blinking so i set my alarm on my phone and rolled back over to sleep. i don't get much heat in my room but i've got the covers piled up so it's warm.
but what i'm thinking of as the wind is howling outside is this woman i met on the bus who knows one of my coworkers. as we're heading home, she's telling me the brief version of her story about how she ended up homeless... twice.
the first time was after one of her kids died and her house burned down and she lost everything. being a single mom, she didn't have any support and soon found herself on the street. later on, she got things back together and found a good guy that she was with for twelve years but when he died, she found herself alone again and homeless for a second time. now she lives with her sister and works part time and is going to school so that she can work in a shelter and help other women and kids that were in her situation at one time.
she tells me it's impossible to understand what it's like to be in that place if you haven't been there. she says she believes that God exists but finds it hard to trust him about anything after all that's happened to her. she says that no one plans their life out like this, that people assume it's somehow your fault but sometimes things just collapse around you.
and i really don't have anything to say because i haven't been there. sure, i know people who've lived under bridges or slept in their cars or panhandled their way home, but i've never been there myself and felt that loneliness, loss, and helplessness.
so i just listen...