Yesterday was Saturday and Cameron wanted desperately to visit his friend in Riverton. Although the trip was quite a distance, the rest of his life has been so disrupted that I realized I needed to do whatever possible to bring some sort of normalcy back. He visited his friend and my planning ended up costing us dinner. The shelter serves for half an hour each day; breakfast at 8:00 (but the kids eat at school), lunch at 11:30, and dinner at 5:00—all for half an hour. By the time we would have returned it would have been after 6:00 p.m., so we needed to eat. Food stamps do not allow food which has been cooked to be purchased, and since we had no means of cooking (despite cooking on the engine—thanks, but no), our choices were chips and sandwiches. We had eaten cold Lunchables at lunchtime, but Nikki had a difficult time with her cold chicken nuggets so I gave her my turkey and cheddar Lunchable.
At the checkout, we had a loaf of bread, a package of ham and three vitamin drinks. “Would you like to donate to the homeless shelter?” the cashier asked politely.
“No thanks,” I told her, “We are.” I pulled out my food stamp card and completed the purchase.
She was quite polite and leaned forward, whispering. “I was homeless once for four months with five kids,” she confided, “The shelter tried and tried to find us a place, but no one wanted anyone with so many kids.” That gave me serious food for thought as I thanked her and we made our way to the car.
By the illumination the street lights in the parking lot we got into the car. A coat of snow had already wrapped itself around our vehicle and it was cold and dark inside. I started the car up and peered out my side window at a spot which had fallen when I closed the door. The rattle of the door closing, caused the snow to fall from the window and reveal the vehicle next to us. Inside was a man with his seat reclined all the way back, his hands folded across his stomach, “catching some z’s” as my Papa Greenway used to say.
I got the bread out, threw some meat onto it and passed the sandwiches throughout the car. “Let’s have prayer,” I began as I bowed my head and began to thank the Lord for what we had. I thanked God that we had a place to sleep, and they turned on the heat this weekend so that was extra nice. Even though the food is suspicious at times, we have the choice of eating it. We have a car, with fuel in it to take us where we need to go. We have so many trips back and forth to Salt Lake City, which brings us back to court. For someone without a criminal record or a degree in law, I find myself there more than anyone else I know! Within the 8 days I will have traveled to Salt Lake City twice for court between the two fathers, three times for court documentation pertaining to social security, and once for a medical evaluation on my back.
My children are my life, as I’ve said before, and without my children I have no life. Because of this, I will do anything necessary for their well-being. My situation is short-lived—given that, the choice between this disruption and living with a convicted pedophile seems to be worth not mentioning. So for now I will continue on, taking one breath at a time and hugging my children for all they’re worth—which is an awful lot!