So, I’m at the regular meeting spot on the appointed day and the appointed time and there’s no mom. Two weeks ago I missed our meeting because I threw my back out. As is our agreement if either of us misses a meeting, I came to meet her same place, same time, same day. No … Continue reading Again
Homeless people are as diverse as other people we group together. I have heard friends and acquaintances talk about “these homeless people” followed by some overall judgement about how they’re all on drugs or they all break into people’s homes and cars. It’s easier to oversimplify, pass judgement, and move on. Homelessness is a difficult … Continue reading Let’s Start Here
I picked up two books from mom tonight. I offered to take them to storage. Though she said she would do it herself, she agreed when I told her I wanted her not to have to carry so much. She took them out of her bag, one wet and molding. “I should give you a … Continue reading Two Books
I can’t read the news today. Four dead from the cold in Portland since the beginning of the year. My friends, full of compassion and righteous anger, make feelings known. I am grateful for them, yet it guts me quietly. I wish I didn’t have to know. Here, it is raining torrentially for days. I … Continue reading The News
It’s happening. She’s meeting with the psychiatric liaison at the police department, someone who could help change her life. After trying to get her help and mostly failing, it is the best thing that’s happened all year. Still she’s on the street. It is more awful than I can imagine for her and I’m getting … Continue reading Getting Used to This
I’ll give you a hint: she’s now 79 and still on the streets.
I keep telling myself this, knowing it’s true, knowing I don’t quite believe it yet. Bargaining, they call it. I keep trying to figure out how to get her well again or at least safe. Right now, it is all awful. We are past the point where she will take shelter voluntarily. If I try … Continue reading Some Things Cannot Be Fixed
I want someone to tell me the right thing. I want someone to tell me do or do not do. I want someone to tell me the thing that is going to fix this. I have the trust of my mother at a time when I am the only family member she trusts. When her … Continue reading I Want a Definitive Answer
She pulled out of her bag a print-out of the missing person poster I created when she disappeared this last time. It was printed from the blog I started and had the date I posted it — three years ago. Three years of wondering, worrying, being held in suspense came flooding back. “I’m not missing,” she said … Continue reading The Thing That Breaks My Heart Today
Dooley is my family nickname from childhood. It seems most appropriate as a pen name because I will be writing about my family, my mother, her mental illness, and homelessness particularly. I would love to tell you I am embracing anonymity to protect my mother’s privacy. That is part of it, of course. The fact … Continue reading Hi, I’m Dooley.