Monday, June 18, 2007

The beat goes on

I called my mom on Friday night on my way to work and suggested that we go to the swap meet on Saturday morning. Funny how a trip to the swap meet can make everything better. I scored some free books that I plan to recon into something else, (I promise to read "Of Human Bondage" first) and one book for a dollar. it was a good trip. I also found some clothes that fit when we went to Costco. Clothes that fit is always an accomplishment. And not only are they cute and look good on me, I can wear them to work.

I hit the pool before I went to work on Saturday night.

While I was at work Sunday morning, (are you seeing a theme yet? I put in a 19 1/2 hour workweekend. it was brutal) I got a message from my Seester. Yup, Daddy called. He's homeless again, back with his girlfriend, which means he has his van back, and they are living, not by the river, but by the bay. They like it down there, so I understand. Seester offered to take him food, but he told her that what he really needs is money.

I have always believed that many homeless people likely have families that would help them if they only knew the situation. I found it hard to believe that anyone would allow a loved one to be homeless.

Aside from helping with food, I have no intention of assisting my father. My Seester? Won't give him money either. Not only do we not want to enable him further (he does insist that he is clean) but her husband doesn't like it. And I don't blame him. And? I'm really proud of her for not even considering going behind his back to give Daddy money.

After all, he said it himself. He put himself in this situation.

He sent me a picture via cell phone. It was the first time I had seen him in 3 1/2 years. I sent one back, of me in my apron taken several months ago. I wanted to make a point by sending one of me working job number 2.

I called. You knew I would. Asked after his health and well being. He said that when his friend gets back in 2 weeks he would have a job. That he really needs money right now. I avoided the looming loan. I responded with things like, "wow, that's really tough" "that can't be easy" and other such nonsense. I asked if he had considered other job possibilities at least until his friend comes back. In my mind, something temporary is better than nothing when you are hungry. It didn't occur to me until later to ask whether his girlfriend is also trying to work. I have a feeling she isn't. I have a feeling he tells her she shouldn't have to. I'm willing to do a lot of things to have a roof over my head.

There are programs for people like him. And I just couldn't wrap my mind around the thought that I had just finished working a 60 hour week, to give my money to someone who once told my mother that he would be homeless before he paid her back for all the years of child support he couldn't be bothered with paying. Years when my step dad stopped bringing home his paychecks and I learned what it was like to be Mother Hubbard.

And so I understand how a family can leave someone to be homeless. How you can get to the point where you are so fed up with the irresponsibility that you can tell someone to figure it out on their own. How you can decide that you have no more help to give. Hecan have all the encouragement he wants. I have no more money to give.


Buzz said...

Doesn't sound like an easy situation at all. I can't imagine not wanting to take care of my kids after a divorce.. It just boggles my mind.

Feel for you girl,


*kb* said...

Good for you for standing your ground and not giving him money. I'm sure it wasn't easy!

Not So Anonymous Michelle said...

I'm sure this must be so hard for you and I think you're right not to give money.

Susan said...

Good for you to not give the money. If he's living that lifestyle by choice then he should be more than happy if you offer him food. Sad thing: My ex's family got in a bad shape all the time. I ended up taking them grocery shopping once. I swore I never would again when I found them selling their groceries to people for money. It's a sad world..

Sensei Ern said...

You did the right thing concerning your father.

I have told this before:
I was working at the Pentagon. Saw a beggar holding the sign, "I can offer nothing but prayers. Please help."

An hour later, I drove by the same block. He was off the street, making a cell phone call. This was 12 years ago when cellphones cost $100 per month.

I assuage my compassion pangs by supporting homeless missions. The people who run them know how to tell the real deal from the faker.

Ginamonster said...

Thanks guys. It's hard, leaving him on the street, knowing he has no funds. But I just don't think he is my responsibility. I have to take care of me and prepare for MY future.
And he upsets me. How is it that I want to encourage that?