Bonnie fell and broke her hip recently (months after I did the above portrait story), a day before holding that yard sale she’d been looking forward to. She spent some more time in the hospital following hip surgery, but was managing on her own with crutches and with plenty of pain. I stopped by to drop off a print of her portrait, and she insisted on showing me her apartment. So I donned my mask and took a quick peek.
I’m not sure what I expected, but every square inch of space in her one bedroom apartment had been turned into a museum of her collections: Disney characters, salt and pepper shakers, chimes, vintage lunch boxes, tea sets, dolls, dragons and wizards, and her own sculptures incorporating her many finds – all neatly arranged to tantalize the eye wherever it might land.
This is what I love about many of my friends who have been homeless. It’s that spirit of making the best of what one has, and not letting set-backs get one down. As I was leaving I ran into another participant at The Living Room, who was having her own issues with pain from walking after surgery. She was there to provide the ride for Bonnie to a doctor’s appt. People who know what it’s like to need help are always the first to offer it.