Thursday, May 3, 2007

ABOUT MISS ELIZABETH (Part 2)

Hi Bob -

Sorry it has taken me a week plus to get back to you.

I've been pretty ill for the last week. Then, the first day I was feeling strong, I went down to do the recovery meeting in the 9th ward and afterwards found Mrs. G wandering in the streets she had just been robbed. the next morning when I left Mrs G.'s FEMA trailer and I drove Miss Elizabeth down to the French Quarter to work for the day. She was so exhausted. She did not get to sleep until 2:30 a.m. then she was up again at 6:30 by all the noise.

When I drove her to the Quarter she told me all the money she had been saving in the last week from her earnings (by donation only) in the Quarter doing spiritual readings had been stolen from her. $300. She did not want to say anything to Mrs. G as she did not want to worry her anymore than she was. I told Miss Elizabeth that it was important that Mrs. G knows this as it gives more context to the robbery and that the police should know to. this person actually went through all her belongings until they found the money in a cut out section in a book. She has lots of books - even being homeless - she loves to read inspirational and spiritual literature.

"I know, I know" she said, crying, "but I am just so tired." "I worked so hard for that money, I am so exhausted, I never get to sleep properly here." "and now they have stolen all my money."

I took her to work in the Quarter and held her hands and prayed with her that she would be blessed that day and make some funds to take care of herself.

The next day, Thursday, "I" wanted to go the the library and work on my blog. But my car and my soul had other plans and before "I" knew it, I was in the 9th Ward and driving to see Miss Elizabeth.

I called into her window, "are you there Miss Elizabeth?"

"Yes I am, I couldn't sleep last night, people kept coming up to the windows talking to me and waking me up."

She came out and had a smoke, then Mrs. G who felt confident and all fired up about staying in the neighborhood again since her gun was returned, started giving her a hard time about this and that. (Now I personally know what it is like for Miss Elizabeth being homeless and staying at sometimes the 'mercy and goodwill' of someone who might have a tendency to step on your feelings and not speak to you as kindly as you might deserve - it leave you feeling insecure and unable to rest).

Miss Elizabeth just broke down in tears, and I held her whilst she cried.

"I can't take it anymore, I can't take living like this, I can't take this anymore. They stole my money, I have no privacy, I am so tired."

She walked into the house. A little time later I went into the house and found her on the floor crying in despair. That was it for me.

I told her, "get your things together, your coming to my place for the day. You can take a bath there eat and rest."

"Have you even eaten lately?" I asked her. "No", I am so hungry and so tired she cried despairingly. I went out to my car and got my lunch sandwich that I packed and some sweet tea I had made and fed her.

The it came to me. "This is it I said." "You got to get out of this situation." "You used to be a homeless advocate - you know where we need to go to get you help." "I will drive you anywhere you need to go - let's do it."

"I can't", she cried out. "I am too tired, I can't do what you are asking me."

"Don't worry" I said, "I will do everything, just bring your identification and I will take you where you need to go."

"Do you have cigarettes?" I asked her.

"A couple of smokes".

"Like what I just saw you smoke? A half of an old butt?"

"Yes." "I don't have any money for cigarettes."

"Well, we are getting you some decent cigarettes and anything else you need."

And I, the super health advocate, got her her smokes, because in that moment, it is what Elizabeth needed.

As we were driving down Canal towards the city I saw a sign outside of a church and I read it to her "behold I shall make all things new". I said to her, that is your message Miss Elizabeth, this is the end of the level of suffering you have been going through since the storm. This is your tribulation time before your transformation."

Then we went to Unity for the Homeless and her whole life changed from that moment.

She did an intake. Those who knew her from her work in the community before heard she was in doing and intake and got on the phone and found funds to get her into her own hotel room for 4 days - until Monday morning. They got her a debit card for $7 at Burger King and told her they would be working on getting her a bed at the homeless shelter, which is full up at this time - but they were hoping a bed would open up soon.

Then they got her an appointment with the doctor which we went over to see as she is in chronic pain and could no linger get her prescription.

Then Bob, we went to her room. And the moment we walked into the lobby, when I saw the chandeliers and the cleanliness and the beauty, I said to her "this is it Miss Elizabeth", this is the transitioning moment to the rest of your life.

She rested on Thursday night, delighting in having a room all to herself. I drove her down into the 9th Ward to get some of her personal belongings and then drove her back to her new space for the next 4 days.

On Friday I took her to get a storage locker to put her belongings and we thought we were going to move all of her belongings on Friday but a terrible storm came in and thwarted our plans. This weekend is the second half of the Jazz Fest so she is hoping she will do well with her readings on the square in the French Quarter on Saturday and Sunday.

On Monday we will move her belongings and find out where she will be living next.

I will write you again as events unfold for Miss Elizabeth.

She is feeling much stronger and more hopeful about her future.

(To my readers - this letter was sent on May 5, but in order to keep it together with the first letter contextually - I posted the time and date as May 3rd).

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