Remembering George

For many, 2019 was difficult; for nearly all of us, 2020 has been immensely more so. Some have complained vociferously about having to spend much more time at home in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Their unending litany—“I’m so bored! I’m so frustrated! I hate staying home! I want to go out!”—overlooks one simple point: the incredible luxury of actually having a home to stay in.

Many have been unable to shelter at home for the most basic reason of all—they are homeless. One article suggests that through the end of October, 2020, the COVID-19 mortality rate for sheltered homeless persons in New York City was seventy-five (75%) percent higher than for those who have homes. (The article noted that due to a lack of data, it did not include mortality rates for unsheltered persons—in other words, those who were living on the streets rather than in a shelter.)

December 21 is National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day. Last year, I attended a service honoring those who had died over the previous year while experiencing homelessness. As the organizer said, for many of them, this service would be “the only remembrance and recognition of their passing.” Afterward, I shared the following essay about the service, and about a homeless man named George who changed my life.

As we face the longest night of the year, let us not forget those who have no home in which to take shelter from the darkness.

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December 21. The shortest day of the year. The longest night. The greatest darkness.

How fitting that this day is National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day. Across the country, memorial services honor and remember those who have died in the past year while experiencing homelessness. Continue reading

Olivia and the Present Strangeness

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To say this is an odd time is an understatement. Better adjectives might be strange, bizarre, or surreal.

Exhibit A: Olivia is sitting on my desk. The last time she sat here voluntarily was at least a decade ago. Granted, I lifted her up since she can no longer make the leap, but she’s stayed. Continue reading

Cat biographies

Charlotte - pop-up cat cafe 5-20-18

Recently, a biography for a shelter cat named Perdita went viral after the shelter described her as the “world’s worst cat” and “just a jerk.”

Luckily, the shelter was flooded with applications from people wanting to adopt this cat, and they’re in the process of reviewing them. Apparently if you can strike the right tone, maybe that kind of a bio works. Continue reading

Remembering George

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December 21. The shortest day of the year. The longest night. The greatest darkness.

How fitting that this day is National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day. Across the country, memorial services honor and remember those who have died in the past year while experiencing homelessness. Continue reading

Something Good

Rosie 9-11-19

Today, author Colleen Brunetti posed this request on her Facebook page: as we remember September 11, 2001, with all its darkness and tragedy, please post something good. She didn’t ask for an exhaustive list, and she didn’t place any limits. It didn’t have to be specific to 9/11. Just something good. Continue reading

Changes, Maybe

Some people adore change. They embrace it. They find it exhilarating. They love to mix things up, add elements and remove bits, expand and refine, in a passionate swirl of experiences that are never the same twice.

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And then, there are people like me. Continue reading

Buddy, A Year Later

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In my several decades on this planet, I’ve lost a number of beloved people and pets. For some reason, Buddy’s death has been the hardest I can recall. Last Friday, March 29, marked the one-year anniversary of his passing, and I was a wreck. At one point, I sat on the floor next to the bookcase, rereading Gwen Cooper’s account of when she had to let her beloved Homer go and ugly-crying like I hadn’t in a long, long time. Continue reading

2019: A Year of Intentional Living

No two ways about it: 2018 has not been an easy year.

I say this as an individual and as a member of various groups. As a woman. A lawyer. A writer. A citizen. A Christian.

Continue reading

Guest Post: The Tree Between the Worlds

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Luna

As I was scrolling through Facebook this morning, I came upon a very unusual post. The Cat House on the Kings has a page where cat lovers share photos and news about their beloved pets. It is not uncommon to encounter a photo of a kitty who has passed away or, in pet-lover parlance, crossed the Rainbow Bridge. What is unusual is what I discovered today: a beautiful, sensitive, and imaginative tribute that offers a glimpse into what may follow for a cat–who, after all, has nine lives. Continue reading