I’ve been really missing going to The Living Room, hanging out in the groups and at lunch, getting to meet new women and visit with the ones who’d become friends. But since the doors to the day shelter were closed due to the pandemic guidelines in March, I’ve had a bit more chance to visit at the transitional houses run by The Living Room.
Tracy volunteered to let me do a portrait story of her. I first met her when she showed up at Bonnie’s apartment to take her to the doctor. You might remember what I wrote in my Meet Bonnie post:
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 [Tracy], 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.
I knew instantly I was going to enjoy talking to Tracy.
I got to meet with Tracy in the back yard of the house she shares with other women who have been homeless and are working on finding long term housing. She showed me the well-tended garden she had lovingly created in the back yard, with marigolds planted among the vegetables to attract beneficial insects that prey on garden pests, and an elegant structure for the climbing beans. I wondered how she managed it on a limited income and with her painful hip.
Her final words in the story were the answer I got, “I am determined to make things work!”
I couldn’t help thinking about the various aches and pains I complain about at my age, and the way I use them as an excuse to think I can’t achieve certain things. Women like Tracy cause me to think again, and maybe get a bit busier!