Right now, things are moving fast. There are things happening in my life that I had no idea would happen the way they have. To say that I’m a bit overwhelmed would be a grand understatement.
A friend of mine said that things happen for us when we’re ready for them to happen and when we’re ready to receive them. I pretty sure she’s right. In fact, I know she is.
Her name is Mary Garcia-Lemus. She is the producer of the documentary film Suckerfish – a film that I was interviewed for. Since day one, for some reason she and her husband, José Lemus – the film’s director – have taken this active and remarkable interest in my life. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because I’m so handsome and debonair. Not!
Although we’ve all known one another for only a couple of months, it seems a lifetime – or a least a half a lifetime. Mary has led the pack in encouragement – always cheering me on from the proverbial "bleachers." And, I must admit, it feels really good for someone to have faith in me; someone who wants the best for me; someone who sees the person inside and not the "homeless" on the outside – and all without any expectation of anything in return.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had someone who is constantly encouraging me, and getting excited over all of the good things that have been happening in my life. She gets so excited when I give her a bit of good news regarding myself – you would think that it was all happening in her life. Perhaps in a round about way it is.
Having been homeless now for about 18 months, my self-esteem has taken a beating – and that’s not the best thing when it comes to how a person perceives themselves. Yet, having both Mary and José giving me their ongoing encouragement has helped to heal my bruised spirit.
I remember when I first realized that I was on the verge of homelessness – I was so full of self-confidence I thought that it would be a matter of days – a few weeks or a month at most – before I would get back on my feet.
Somehow it didn’t work out that way. Days turned into weeks; weeks turned into months; and months turned into a year and a half.
Finally, however, I am able to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. But it has taken more than my own efforts. It has taken the direct intervention of a number of people who have recently graced my life. And when I say "graced," I mean that in the most literal sense, because it has been through no act of mine that has brought about their generosity, their compassion or their aid.
It is so wonderful to know that there are indeed people in our country who, for no other reason than it’s in their heart to do so, will reach out to someone in need. These are the people who epitomize the true American spirit.
I just wish there were more like them…