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1512329_10202218402879039_290389373_nSo here it is, Christmas time. Usually the happiest time of the year, but this year is a bit different. No matter how much money I make it never seems to be enough. I am still $300.00 short of my rent and no presents under the tree. I haven’t even put up the tree yet. I haven’t lost hope yet, and I am still trying to figure it out. However, whenever I think about how bad things are someone reminds me that things could always be worse.

When I was still in Florida, Joefer and I had gone to Buffalo Wild WIngs one night after a shoot in Clermont. I stayed outside and smoked while he went in to get food. A lady approached, though nicely dressed, she was frazzled. “Can I please use your phone,” she asked me. I could hear the desperation in her voice. “Yes, of course,” I replied. “Is everything alright?” She looked up at me, standing several inches shorter. I saw defeat and hopelessness. “I think I left my phone in my friend’s car. I can’t find it. It has just been a really horrible day.” She took my phone and frantically dialed her friend, who had declared that he did not have her phone. She called her phone and somehow she had managed to leave it in her trunk. She called him back to say that she found it, and handed me my phone back. “Thank you, so much.” She said. “Do you have a light?” This woman had pulled a cigarette and her hand shook and she looked like she was going to cry. I pulled out my lighter and lit her cigarette. “What’s wrong?” I asked her.

She broke down just then, explaining that she had lost her job, her husband left her and took the kids, making her feel like she was worthless and since he had a new relationship they were better off with him. She said, “I can’t compete with his lawyer. I can’t even afford to.” I then told her a story about my own life and how I too have had my share of struggles, but I was certainly better off now than I had been in the past, and how everything happens for a reason. I encouraged her to not give up, and gave her my contact information just in case she needed to talk. She seemed grateful but still so very lost. I gave her my last $3.00 and my spare lighter. “Things will get better,” I said. “You don’t need a relationship to validate you as a person. Just give it time, and something will come through for you. Just have faith.” She looked at me shocked and thanked me again. When Joefer emerged out of Buffalo Wild Wings she looked sad to see me go. I gave her a big hug before I left, and I never got her name.

Then yesterday I took a nap, feeling my own bit of defeat and preparing my children for a lackluster Christmas, just in-case things don’t work out. Of course gifts aren’t important to me, but being a child, they look forward to it. Thanks to my friend, Jeff they have a few small things as of now. Which is much appreciated. However, as I was saying…I was feeling my own defeat and feeling down about how things are going when I got on Facebook and saw in my news-feed that a friend’s sister was trying to contact me. Their grandma and family had lost their home very early in the morning to a house fire and they were looking to me for advice and guidance. I did my best to give them information that I had, shared on my wall and contacted some friends in the media. I don’t know that any of it helped, but it certainly puts my problems into perspective. At least for now we have a roof and we have a tree, and we have each-other. The 10 people that were left homeless will likely be separated among several different family members and have nothing left of their belongings, including clothes. I often find that people ask for my help and I wish that I could do so much more to help them. I also wish that I could feel that my advice comes from a better place, like a person that is doing better in the world and is worthy of giving such advice. Most times I do not feel like that person.

If I were granted one wish, it would be that everyone could have a better life. I hate to see people struggle more than I hate my own struggle. All I can really do is pray for these people, and hopefully someday I will be that person that can do more to help them, and feels worthy of giving out advice to those in need. I hope if nothing else that the care and concern makes them feel just the tiniest bit better that I would always do what I can. I heard on a television commercial recently that a family is not made from DNA but from love. Just like I told my friend, Su familia es mi familia, Your family is my family. That is the one thing that people can count on from me, if I know you and you are a good person, I love you and if I love you I would do anything I could to help you within my power.

There have been plenty of people that have done the same for me and I think that if we could all extend that same courtesy to our fellow man (or woman) that this world would be a much better place. However, that is a topic for another day.

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