"We could be depressed at Christmas, but what's the point?
We're all going to be together. We're all family."
Those were the word I heard a year ago. What's surprising was the place they were spoken. A homeless shelter.
It occurred during a weekly writing class I was teaching there. I know how tough the holidays can be, even in the best of times. I was worried about how six people, living in a homeless shelter and away from their families would be faring. The above response surprised me. I don't know why. I know how people living together in that situation bond together and support each other. They become family. Even an activity like making cookies together makes them happy....as long as they're making them together.
It's been a year since I heard those words. All six have moved on from the shelter. One got married. One found an apartment near his children and grandchildren. I know that makes him happy. One found a place closer to her husband, who was ill and living in a nursing care facility. Two of them moved in together. The last one left just last week. A real Christmas present.
They've all moved on to different and better situations....better lives.
Today I'll be stopping by that shelter to visit and maybe have dinner with the people living there. I don't have as close a relationship with this group as I did with the people from last year. I'm not quite sure what I'll find. I imagine it'll be a group of new people who have bonded together to become family. They'll choose hope over hopelessness.
This is another piece in the ongoing series Faces of Homelessness
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