If you missed part 3 here it is. A Humbled Beginning To A Bitter End Pt.3
I was wondering if I was even going to be able to find a place to rest. I knew that I had grown tired and weary. I hadn’t even walked that far, but the pain was shooting through my body. It gets really cold at night in New Mexico. Not only am I battling having a spell, but I am fighting below freezing temperatures. My temples are throbbing from the pressure. I know at any moment that I am going to have a spell. I have to find a place to sit down. If I don’t I could black out and something worse would happen. Falling in the highway could be an option. I look up to see if there is any places to rest. I can honestly say that I don’t think in my 27 years of life on this earth that I have been so happy to see a Wal-Mart. I knew that there would at least be a bench I can sit on. Hopefully it will just go away, but I know that is going to be difficult. I had 11 to 13 days of walking ahead of me. If anything was to be my down fall it was going to be my health. I keep walking to the blue lighted sign. Blood still flowing out of my mouth. Add onto of all that, I am freezing. There was nothing I could do. In all honesty, I kind of deserved this.
I approach Wal-Mart and get to the front of the store. Physically I feel drained. I knew that this wasn’t going to be an easy trip at all. I had to sit down out front. I at that point did not care about how cold it was, I was just happy to be sitting down. I blacked out in front of the doors to a Wal-Mart. I look back and I am thanking God every day that no one stole anything that I had. I pretty much had my life in two bags. The opportunity was there, especially if I was having a seizure with it. The one bad thing about blacking out with this knot is coming to. I am usually confused and it takes a little bit before I can get my head on straight. I remember looking down at my phone when I saw the Wal-Mart sign. It was a little after 8:45pm. The next time frame I remember is 9:17pm. It was very scary for me to come to where I did. I knew I had no one there. I couldn’t just call one of my friends and hope they would be able to get there. I started to break down again. I didn’t care who saw me. It was my heart that was breaking. I never thought I would get to see anyone again.
At that moment, The Security guard for Wal Mart came out of McDonalds with a coffee. He was in his 70’s. He came right up to me. “Waiting on a ride?” He asked me. I explained to him that I had no where to go. I was homeless trying to find a way back home. It kind took the elderly man by surprise. “Would you be willing to stay in a mission?” he asked me. I could tell that I tugged at his heart strings telling him what was going on with me. I am not a proud person. I knew I wasn’t going to make it walking. This is the only option I had to survive, the night at least. “Yes! I need to get somewhere warm for the night.” The old man handed me his coffee to warm me up and told me to put my stuff in his car. He said he would take me there as soon as he was off work. I knew that God had to be watching over me on that night. A scared young man in the middle of nowhere, was shown that there was still some good left in the world. I needed to see that to make me feel better about the situation. Coffee in hand, I got to walk around Wal-Mart for a few. It was nice to warm up and look at on-sale Christmas items. An hour or so went by and the elderly gentleman found me and told me it was time to go.
I sat down in a car next to someone I had no clue anything about. He was helping me. I’ve always believed that my parents raised me right. I am always trusting in everybody. That is just who I am. I can honestly say a little naïve sometimes. It is more like all the time, who am I kidding? I get the feeling though, that this man was trying to help and was put in my life for a small reason. He was asking me what I did for a living, where I am from, and the all important question what religion am I? I am not one to talk about religion much at all. I don’t know enough to argue with someone my points and beliefs. It’s sometimes better that way. I was raised Pentecostal. However, my mom told me that I could be whatever I wanted in the way of religion. I, for the longest time ,was going to a Baptist church. That is exactly what I told him. He asked me,”Are you Saved?” I don’t think I could answer this off the top of my head. I remember doing the ceremony and being Baptized when I was younger. However, I haven’t really been following my faith since everything happened to my mom. That is a different story, for a different day. He tells me that he was a Baptist preacher. He then proceeded to tell me why he helped me. “ I was kinda in your shoes a long time ago. I was homeless for awhile in my life. Any time I can help out someone, I feel blessed. I want to return the favor. I had a lot of people help me. I want to do my fair share.” He turned and looked at me. “Son, Do you have any money on you?” At that moment I didn’t have a thing on me. He handed me a dollar. “This way you can say you have a dollar.” To this day, I haven’t spent that dollar. It sits in my wallet. I know in my heart of hearts it always will.
We arrive at the mission. His biggest fear was that it wasn’t going to be open. We were both happy to see the lights on and that someone was in there to greet us. I grab my two bags and walk in with the elderly gentleman. I meet a tall Navajo man. The only thing he asked me was if I was drinking or doing any drugs. I told him no, and he told me I could sleep anywhere. I sat down on the couch. My stuff sitting right by my side. I had no clue what I was going to do, but at least I had a roof over my head and coffee to drink. A lot of Coffee to drink.
I lay my head down to get some rest, and I saw something that continued throughout the night that just saddened me. All night long, he had to turn people away. I am not sad about that at all. The reason he turned them away was their addiction to alcohol. I have never been one to drink a lot. I like to have a little now and then, but nothing to the extent of what they are doing. It was all night long. One person, after another, after another, reeking of booze. One of the reasons I called New Mexico the land of urine and beer is cause of this. Each person who tried to walk through the door was also Navajo. It broke my heart seeing that liquor has consumed each persons life this much.
I got to be very close to the man who was running the mission at night over the three days while I was there. He told me his story. He was telling me that he used to be just like that. He would drink all the time. His drinking became so bad that this man lost the thing he took the most pride in. His family. He hasn’t seen his child or wife in three years. The stories he shared with me were just insane. The saddest part of all of it. He told me that he would drink anything that had alcohol in it if they couldn’t get booze. “I even drank hand sanitizer to get drunk. I wasn’t the only one either. We drank hairspray. Anything we could get our hands on.” I sat in disbelief when he told me that. I couldn’t believe that someone would want booze so bad that they would drink hand sanitizer. He has been sober for almost a year, maybe a little over. He is trying to get the one thing back he wants the most. His family. There are days that I just sit around and wait for the phone call from him telling me that he has his family back.
My family scrambled around to come up with a plan to get me home. They were able to send me the money to buy the train ticket to come home. I was counting my blessings when I got that phone call. I know it wasn’t easy for them. My family and I haven’t really seen eye to eye. I know I can count on them when the situation calls for it. I get the phone call from biological mother that the money has been sent and I need to go pick it up. That means I have to walk to a Wal- Mart. The closest Wal-Mart, I thought, to me was the one I was found at the night before. I take off walking. I have been in the mission for a day at this point and I already feel more upbeat about a lot of things. I am not as depressed as I was. I knew this walk would put me on the train home. It felt like years to get there. It was a long walk. I even got the surreal image of seeing my own blood on the same path that I walked the night before.I finally arrived and went into the money gram place. The guy behind the counter asked me why I was getting the money and told him that I was going home. The next problem I needed to figure out, was how I was going to get to the train station.
The same day as getting the money, I got to meet the man behind the mission. It was an instant friendship. We talked about the places where we have been. Things that have happened in my life. He was a 30 something year old man with the biggest heart I have ever seen in my entire life. He has two beautiful children and he gets to do what he loves every day. He works in a mission and spreads the gospel. Again, no religion being brought up here. He doesn’t make a lot of money, if any, in a month, but he knows that helping someone is what it’s all about. I told him I can see exactly where he is coming from. I told him that I just want to make one person smile a day and I feel achieved. We might be from two separate backgrounds, but we understand each other on a grander scale. I told him about getting home. He said that he would be glad to take me to the train station if I had some money for gas . I know that is do-able. In two days, I would be on the train home. After everything I had went through, it was all coming together.
Saturday night two women walk into the mission. They are good friends with the owner and guy who runs it. Everyone in the room was talking. Getting to know each other better. It was decided that they were going to play some music and have a small worship service. One of the women was pastor. It was the first time, I had ever met a female leader of the pulpit. It was a new experience for me. They started the music. It was like the room started feeling different. It was unreal. She started preaching after we were listening to the music. I have never seen someone have that much fire in their life. I felt chills go up and down my spine. The one thing I really hadn’t talked about much, while I was there, was my health . I hate talking about it. Plus, it was nice actually having people look at me like I am not a charity case. She asked if she could pray for everyone individually. I am thinking “why not”. She prays for my Navajo friend. She told them that some day he will be spreading the word of God as a preacher. She prayed for a couple more people and then it was my turn. She looked at me. I haven’t told her anything but why I am there. I also told her that I was heading home. She told me everything about my health. The problem I was suffering from and that I just need to be strong. It was going to get much worse, but I can do it with the right support system. I kinda had the wind knocked out of me when she was telling me that. It wasn’t the easiest thing to hear. She also told me I need to eat more often. It’s the only way I am going to keep my strength up. It was an amazing night. I still think about it to this day. It is nights like that that make you think.
Not a lot happened on Sunday. In New Mexico alcohol is not sold on Sundays. It was kind of a boring day. There was a guy who came in that had pissed himself. I draw the line on drinking that much. Addiction is very scary. I even saw someone have to get physical to get them out of there. That is just sad. They have a place to live and walk around drunk all the time. I personally think the best place to get that drunk at is your own home. I wish they felt the same way. The one thing I did know, is that one of my so called “Friends” is going to be a small speed bump on the road of me trying to pick myself back up emotionally. I love drama from people who have no right sticking their nose in business that has nothing to do with them. I gave money for gas and even got to put a little food in the mission. It warmed my heart to a place it hasn’t been in years. I miss doing charity shows.
Monday came. The long drive was in my future. He swings by the mission to pick me up and we were off. There is only one stop we could make that early in the morning. It was time for some breakfast burritos from McDonald’s. The entire time we talked about our lives. He told me about his stint as a carpenter. Sleeping behind a building, being homeless. Being a skateboarder in California. Moving to Missouri, getting busted with weed in Kansas. He had great stories. He told me about when his faith started meaning the world to him. I got to know someone in 3 hours. I know that I wouldn’t trade that car ride for anything.
I really wanted to thank the three men in this story. I am not putting their names on here, but they know who they are. The three of you impacted my life in ways that I could never expect. I know Thank You may never be enough. I was shown something that I haven’t seen from people in a long time. I was shown that there are still people out there with a heart . That will go a lot further than anything that can be bought.
We finally arrive after our long journey. He gets out of the car in front of the train station. A handshake just isn’t enough here. We give each other hug. I grab my bags out of his trunk. I walk back into the doors of where it all began, knowing I was going to be going home very shortly.
Stay Tuned for the Final Part of this story.