Saturday, June 16, 2007

LORD - HELP ME TO HANG IN THERE (THE JUST AND THE UNJUST)


"...pray for them that carry you away by force and persecute you, so that you may become sons of your Father who is in heaven, who causes his sun to shine upon the good and upon the bad, and who pours down his rain upon the just and the unjust."


The Teachings of Christ Jesus
Matthew 5:44,45 - Lamsa Bible (Aramaic)



Sunday June 17, 2007 (10:oo AM)

This is the porch that Mr. and Mrs. G were living on after they had to leave their hotel room once they were reunited again. This is the porch where Bill Capo a local news reporter found them.

(Note from your Planetary Sister: I know nothing of Bill Capo or of his news coverage of the G's. The first I heard of the following events was this Friday afternoon, June the 15, 2007; when Mr. G shared the sufferings of his heart and life with me. It is only when I am finished writing Mr. G's narrative, that I will Google information about Bill Capo and the story he did on the G family for you to reference. For me, it does not matter how accurate the facts are in the retelling of these events by Mr. G. We live in an age where facts can be corroborated within moments. I realized when I posted the previous story, that he got things mixed up when he spoke about who got injured in his family on the Danzieger Bridge. I have no problem with this. Mr. G is an 83 year old man who has literally been through a living version of hell, many times over, in a short period of time. He and his wife clearly have PTSD and their being able to share with me - of their sufferings, their laments, their sorrows - is part of their healing process. So is their giving me permission, without ever reading anything I have ever written on this blog - part of their healing process - as you will see as this narrative of unendurable suffering continues. IN PEACE.)


The question, "What's being interviewed goin to do for me?", finds the source of its meaning in my consciousness...


As Mr. G shares with me, Bill Capo found them sleeping on this porch in the winter months after the storm and had them evacuated out. He tells me, "We were on T.V., he interviewed us." When the story came out a local hotel the Crowne Plaza Hotel (a really nice uptown hotel Mr. G tells me), opened their doors and their hearts to Mr. and Mrs. G. Bill Capo's news story on the G's went national.

Suddenly, people from all over the country began sending Mr. and Mrs. G money to help them. They were overwhelmed by the response.

As Mr. G tells it:

"People from all over sent money to us. $200 and $100. A local lawyer came, (Mr. G identifies the lawyer as a Robert Jenkins, a criminal lawyer) and said to us, we are going to open a trust fund for you. He said he was going to set up the trust fund with the bank, he took our Social Security numbers, he had us sign a piece of paper giving him control of the trust fund (power of attorney) so that he could take them money to put it in the trust fund. He had the authority, we would ask him for money for food or clothes."

The hotel was also receiving envelopes of money donated to the G's. Mr. G takes one palm over the other and shows me the size stack that came in for them in donations.

"We only ever saw what was in 2 of those envelopes, we only opened 2, one had $200 in it and the other had $50 in it."

"The hotel was collecting money from these envelopes separately from the money being put in the trust fund. The hotel told us that it would not be safe to leave the envelopes in our room, they didn't want someone taking it from our room They were supposed to be putting the money in the safe and locking it up. Someone stole all that money."

Mr. and Mrs. G found this out at the end of their 3 month stay with the hotel. He mentions in his recollections how someone from the hotel offered to write a check to cover the amount stolen and asked him how much was in all the envelopes. "We only opened 2 of the envelopes that the hotel collected, we didn't know how much money was stolen from us." (Note: they never received reimbursement for the money stolen from what was supposed to go into the hotel vault, as Mr. G could not estimate as he did not open but 2 of the envelopes, how much was in them.)

They found that the donations which had been sent to to help them were missing at the end of their 3 month stay at the hotel when they were getting ready to leave. "The money was stolen," Mr. G tells me, "it was supposed to be locked in the vault."

The "Trust" Fund

"The trust fund, the lawyer came with a woman, he took our social security numbers, the lawyer stole the money in the trust fund that a donor had set up for us."

They found out that "all the donations sent to them were stolen from them, from the trust fund and from the hotel."

"We weren't looking for money, but people sent us donations, we were in the national news and money came in from people to help us from all over the country."

"If that money hadn't of been stolen from us we would have been well-off". (For the G's that means having their home rebuilt, having money to pay their bills, to pay for food, basic necessities, and earning some income from their attached rental property which they would have been able to rebuild).


(From your Planetary Sister: Here is the most profound thing I have experienced with Mr. and Mrs. G when they share their sufferings with me. "They never speak with bitterness." They seem to be resigned to the fact that this is how things have turned out for them and it is their faith which helps them to psychologically "keep it together". And even more shocking, Mr. G says to me at the end of this story, "Bill Capo doesn't know anything about what happened to us with the lawyer and the money being stolen from the hotel. About the stealing of the money people sent to us." A few times I questioned why he did not let Bill Capo know what happened. It seems Mr. G was afraid that Bill Capo would think he was lying, I mean how could such a thing happen to a man? Mr. G, as I perceive, feels like it was his fault and nobody would believe that he could be stolen from like that. "Mr. G," I said to him, "if you stole all that money and you were lying, would you still be living this way?" Light dawns upon Mr. G's face, "no I wouldn't... no.")


In the end, their ordeals have left Mr. and Mrs. G, as I perceive it, "shell shocked". They never filed for the Road Home. They continued to try and get help from FEMA, from the maintenance people - nothing - and gave up. What they do have that gives them hope and meaning, is their faith in God, each other, and the visits from their son and their daughter-in-law in the midst of intense daily suffering.

Little did I know that Mr. and Mrs. G were just existing when I came upon that sign by their door. Even in their existing, Mr. and Mrs. G were (and are) faithful, trusting in God and Jesus; at the same time not knowing as each unbearable day unfolded, how God was going to help them, not knowing how to help themselves.

Little did I know of the nature and intensity of their suffering which I had perceived when my eyes and my heart saw their house and I felt compelled to take a picture of that sign by the door, "LORD - HELP ME TO HANG IN THERE."


Now I can go and cry.


IN PEACE.

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