Friday, October 19, 2018

The paperback in my bag

I've been carrying The Language of Bees in my briefcase for three weeks now. I don't know anything about it, except it's a period mystery. It's not for me anyway. I picked it up for Napoleon's "dad," Caleb. He goes through books so fast, it's as though he eats them! For this homeless man and his wife, Randi, books are everything -- their only entertainment and respite from the difficult dreariness of life on the street.

But that paperback has been in my bag for three weeks now. I haven't seen Caleb, Randi or Napoleon in nearly a month.

Last time I talked to Caleb, I offered to bring him some clothes from my friend John. Caleb said that of course he wanted them, that if he couldn't wear them himself he knew plenty of others in the homeless community who would appreciate them. But it was Randi he really wished I could help. The anti-cancer meds made her leg swell, and it was hard for her to find clothes. I asked him to check with her, to make a note of the sizes she wants, and I'd see what I can do.

Then I took a few days off to visit my nephew at college. Since I've been back, this little family has
disappeared.

I haven't gone this long without seeing at least one of them since we met, back in May 2017. If it had been a week or two, I would just assume that Caleb was taking extra shifts at the warehouse where he drives a forklift. He's always willing for more hours, better shifts.

But as the weeks melt into a month, I'm afraid it's more dire.  I have nothing to go on but instinct, but I suspect Randi is in the hospital again. She may even have died. It's sad but true -- the survival rates for pancreatic cancer are not good.

I miss interacting with Caleb, Randi and Napoleon so much! They keep me grounded and remind me of what life is like for those outside of my immediate bubble. And I like Caleb, especially. He's curious. Plus, there's a healing power to cat fur.

I hope they're OK. I pray they're OK. I don't think they are OK.





4 comments:

  1. Oh no! I hope they're all right!

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  2. Pancreatic Cancer only has a 5% survival rate. My mother died of it. I am sorry for your friends but grateful for your kindness to them.

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  3. The "not knowing" is so frustrating Hoping all is well.

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  4. Your stories about this little family have always touched my heart. I hope that no great troubles have found them. (That sounds odd, given their tough life, but you know what I mean.)

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