The below Letter in “bold” from November 6, 2008 was inspired by my life’s circumstances at the time, I wanted to share a preamble first, so that you might get to know me better.
The history for the Fragile State Letter; A broken engagement, moving from a home on a golf course to a rental in a not so nice area of my city, as it was all I could afford with no job. Although, I had outstanding credit and a great resume, my landlord said he had a good feeling about me. I lived in my little “ghetto” condo for 10 long years; carrying my 9 mil from room to room. Don’t misunderstand my intent, I was a Caucasian female in my middle 40’s who moved into a predominantly black area of town that was considered high crime and low income near the city jail, off the intersection of hardship & violent crime. My front door faced a busy road and it was like living in a much larger city. Police hellies with big spotlights always searching for a “runner”, sirens whooshing by all hours of the night. Get away drivers crashing through the divider wall from the street sidewalk to my parking lot. Most days that area made the news; “Body found or drug bust, and on and on.
I cannot tell my story of this time in my life without Hope, she and I endured a discovery of friendship in the harshest of circumstances, as we both were fighting to survive our lives. What I learned from that relationship then, and more importantly several years later, put me back in those white shoes of mine to be resized and and polished in black by Hope’s candor and loving efforts to allow me a walk in hers and the realities that came with Hopes life. I am forever grateful for our friendship.
Acceptance was key for my mental health and being open to my situation. I did make some connections in the community and had my back covered by the guys in the corner unit, a few cousins renting the unit from a friends aunt. Younger men of color with their well cared for tricked out Grand National and an import as if it was used in Tokyo drifting. Sitting on the corner smoking blunts and always without fail, greeting me with a “Hey Miss Patsy”. I felt I had a safety net with those guys and will be forever be grateful for the interactions and kindness they showed me. I grew from those and other interactions which helped me to better understand if just for a micro-fraction of time, what it was like being the minority in that neighborhood. The shoe for another micro-fraction of time was on the other foot. I thank God for the eye opening, soul testing time that was for me.
Admittedly, I found myself making a little mansion inside this 780sft run down privately owned condo. I used what little I had brought and using my creative powers, I really did make a lovely little home. Eventually friends and other visitors would tell me, “wow, you would never know you live in this part of town by looking at your home inside”. Of course this made me somewhat proud of that accomplishment but at the same time, I always felt sad too.
As I mourned the loss of a love that I had thought was “the one”, I realized this was a time in my life where I needed to start a journey of self discovery, self worthiness, self adoration. I deserved to love myself without the shame of my mistakes, past and present and at the very least trust myself as I could not trust others due to the circumstances of what had happened in my relationship.
In retrospect, that 10 year period could have broken me and turned me into a completely different woman, my life could have gone horribly wrong but my biggest journey was my walk of faith, and there’s my miracle and my miracle life. Through reconnecting with some of my more memorable past, more recent friendships and most of all with my faith; I found my way back to me in a more profound and kind way.
All of this certainly made it easier to deal with the loss of my beloved Daddy and the strength to become my brothers life line after his whole world crashed down when the love of his life died suddenly. So the loss of my 2nd to God role model and becoming an addicts care giver and sister for the first time in our lives was the next stage in my life, oh yes and I started college at 50 and graduated Summa Cum Laude.
My life those 10 years was a “Fragile State” of affairs. Through it all, when I was hungry and afraid, fearful more like it, feeling alone in the world, a miracle happened. An international collective of feline families all gathered on an open forum for cat lovers came into my life in the most brilliant of ways.
We posted snaps of our fur babies and shared the joys and sorrows of pet ownership and in a beautiful turn of events, I found a family of many nations. One local to my state reached out to listen by using Yahoo messenger and then shared it with our clique and then the most beautiful thing began to happen…As I was bankrupting, feeding my pets before myself, giving up the one thing I had always had control over; my finances, this community started sending / shipping cat food, litter, Euro’s, Dollars, and so much more, packages and envelopes from several countries and in those parcels was the love of strangers, like minded, but strangers. Showing love and literally giving support in every way. I will never be as touched and profoundly grateful as then.
FRAGILE STATE, a letter of gratitude to a community of angels by Patsy Dale