03 December 2013

Holiday Cheer

We all have them, relatives that we tuck away and don't talk about because of their 'issues' - be it alcohol, drugs or just inability to behave in society.  I have them on my side of the family and my husband has them on his... and yesterday, one of them reached out to us.  We discussed the message that was received and what would be in the best interest of our family.  We talked to other members of our family that we honestly haven't spoken to in several years, just to see what the backstory might be or if there even was one.  That's when we learned the truth, and that's when the disappointment set in.

This person gave us such a sob story that included things such as homelessness, unemployment and abandonment by the rest of the family.  Given their substance abuse issues, we decided that we couldn't take this person on but directed them to where they could get help - and we knew for a fact that they would receive the help they needed.  This person, instead of being able to see what we were saying and follow the advise we were giving, attempted to lay on guilt and manipulation instead.  Claiming that they simply wanted us to buy them a $70 bike and a case of water to brush their teeth... then they blocked us from contacting them.

Here's the thing though - if a person is homeless and unemployed, basically on skid row as it were - how are they able to afford the cell phone they used to contact us on?  If they are homeless and unemployed, basically on skid row as it were - how is it that their facebook page is full of pictures dated just this past week of them partying, surrounded by tons of empty alcohol containers, cigarette butts and other such items?  If they are homeless and unemployed, basically on skid row as it were - why is the requested amount for the supposed bicycle apparently the exact same amount required for a specific portioned amount of illegal drugs that we know they are addicted to using?  Where would this $70 bicycle be kept if they were truly homeless and what would they do with this supposed 'therapy dog' which in reality is an overpriced accessory that was purchased for them several years ago and is what is keeping them from supposedly being allowed access to any shelter?

I'm sorry that this family member is in the situation that they are in but it is by their own design.  We contacted the rest of the family and the truth is not that this person was shunned by them, the truth is that this person hasn't spoken to them in over four months.  If they truly just needed a bicycle to have transportation to and from work, the Salvation Army has them on sale for $5 and that same establishment will help them with shelter, hygiene needs and food.  They are there to help a person get back on their feet... and, they allow pets.

We hold no ill will towards this person for the fact that they have attempted to extort money from us under false pretenses.  We feel sorry for this individual.  We pray for this individual, that they find the will and strength to get better.  We don't have the money this person requested but that doesn't mean that if they got sober we wouldn't do what we could to help... but they have to help themselves first.

This is the season of giving and we do our best to give all we can - not because we have everything but simply because we know what it feels like to have nothing.  Be sure that you spread a little cheer this month and I know that every time we give monies to the Salvation Army, we'll be thinking of our family member and praying that they finally get the help that they need - both physically, mentally and spiritually.

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