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Something

January 28, 2013
harry

Home is a funny thing. Some places always felt like home. Some never. I wish I could take my cat everywhere. Then everywhere would feel like home.

One of my students in New Orleans got put out on the street Friday night. He and 2 of his 5 siblings live with grandma. His grandma tells him daily that she shouldn’t have to take care of him just because his mom’s in prison. She already raised her kids. (And might I mention what I fine job she did.) And Friday night she told him to get out and never come back.

He calls to talk as he’s sitting on the steps of a church near Jackson and S. Claiborne, by himself in his school uniform. It’s after 9 p.m. here which makes it after 11 there. He’s 15, and kind of small. I mean, some of my old students I’d be afraid of in a dark alley, but not him.

Of course I had no idea what to do, and very little resources to do it. I called around trying to find someone sober with a car at 11 p.m. in New Orleans who’d be willing to drive to a sketchy part of town to wait with a kid they’d never met– a difficult task, you can imagine– while his great-grandma (his dad’s grandma) drove about an hour to get him.

I found someone who didn’t live far to drive (thank you Daniel!) and sit with him. One minor relief. I’ve had heartburn about it for 3 days now, and even ran intervals at the gym to attempt to pass some of this stress off. And I’m barely getting schrapnel, not the actual bullet.

I can’t imagine what it feels like to have both parents in jail. To be threatened to be dropped off at a boy’s home, to not feel like you are loved by anyone. To not feel like you have a home. Or to not feel safe in the one you have. I’ve been told that I’m insane for getting involved. Maybe so. But it’s too late. Once you see a kid light up for the first time in an academic environment, and know that’s all he has, it’s impossible to walk away.

Right now, I can’t do much other than listen when he needs to talk. To remind him to get good grades so he can get college scholarships and move out on his own. To answer when he calls. It’s something.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 28, 2013 10:47 pm

    Long Distance Savior. Thank you for helping this young man and thank you Daniel too!! Hang in there. Every little bit helps!!!!

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