Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Feet of the Homeless

It was over two weeks ago that Spring came to our State. We saw snow that covered our decks, colorless M&M's fell from the sky. We saw rain that drenched us through and through. And since the day that Spring first came, my sister has lived on the streets. My sister without any shoes. Walking on pavement frozen in moments, clothes that cling and can only hold in the cold. I can only imagine the sweet nothings that meth whispered to her that brought her back to him. The lies he told of untold highs, never mention of the lows. Come to me and all will be fine he so finely told her gentle ear.

She has called me a time or two. I offered to pick her up. She cried, "Oh would you, she pleaded?" "Of course," I replied, "and bring you to some help." "Oh Fuck that" she shouted into the phone, the cries, the sister I know gone so quickly.

And yet she appears yesterday and I'm called to help. I envision the scene as I know the police will be called. But instead I hug her, and say let's get some help. Into the truck she climbs, laughing and happy. I think surely her feet must be cold in those socks dreaden in mud.

My son and I take her to the hospital. Unsure what we'll do if they won't keep her. My heart is already breaking. How can I leave her if they won't help her? How can I send her back to the streets and to the meth that lies and softly whispers her name? We spend hours at the hospital and I watch her as she becomes several different people. One moment the loving sister who looks at me so vulnerable, pleading with me with eyes that ask me......no, they beg me......to take care of her. The next moment she's yelling to Shut that Baby up. The parents behind the thin curtain, what must they be thinking? And the whole time, I find myself glancing at her feet. The toes that look like that they have been frostbitten. The sores, the torn skin that adorn the top of her feet. And still I love her.

With relief, I leave the hospital to go home for a couple hours sleep before I head to work. Thankful that they'll keep her overnight. My heart almost feels lighter, yet it feels so laden with lead. I lay in bed. I pray. I don't pray often enough I think to myself. And then only when it is extreme. Just to be safe, I first tell God how thankful I am for all the wonderful things and people in my life. Cautiously, I throw my problems to God. Is it to much to ask that she be normal? Can he take back the sins of those who hurt my sister when she was little? Of those that made it necessary for her to have to hide within herself? Who could she have been? Is it to late to pray for that, I wonder? It's to much I tell myself. Ask that the meth stop whispering, that it's soft song be carried through the wind away from all it harms. Ask the mental illness to bury itself, to never be seen. And finally, I decide to simply ask the devil to leave her. And I pray an angel will be there to fill that spot left behind, to carry her tears to the heavens, to wrap her in angel wings. That is my prayer. And I send this asking each of you to say my prayer with me tonight. For my sister. The one who is in there. The one we all love. She is a mother, a sister, a friend, a lover. We want her back. And for myself, I simply pray I can forget the haunt of the feet of the homeless.