Six years ago, because of my drinking, I’d been homeless for about 8 months. I’d been at a shelter for a few weeks and one day, as I walked from the library back to the shelter for dinner, I decided I couldn’t take anymore. I was ready to k*ll myself.
That prior August my mother had passed away, so on the street that evening I said to her, “I can’t take it anymore, Mom. Help me.”
Back at the shelter, after dinner, us bums waited for showers and bedtime. That evening the shelter had more residents than usual and many of them needed clean socks or underwear, etc. On this night, it wasn’t scheduled, but the shelter opened the basement where they kept donated clothes. I didn’t need anything, but I was bored, so I went downstairs.
I browsed the racks and didn’t find anything to my liking so I headed for the stairs. That’s where I found ‘LeMutt’. ‘LeMutt’ is a toy, a little stuffed dog, and I’d had one when I was a kid. In fact, I clearly remembered my mother and I in the store 20+ years ago buying him. I was in 3rd grade then.
I asked a volunteer if he knew where the dog came from. He shook his head. This was, and still is, a men’s homeless shelter. People were not dropping off stuffed animals for the junkies and drunks. I don’t know where the dog came from, but I kept him. Still got him.
Anyway, my life is much better, and different, today. I’m set to graduate with a BFA next month. Life is really, really good. Thanks, Mom. I love you.