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  • Helms Jarrell

[pantomimed tear]

We're all wearing masks inside the house because the HVAC service guy is here. My oldest son couldn't find his mask, so he's wearing a bandana. He looks like a TV robber.


He looks at me and raises his hand to his face. He points just below his eye and then drags his finger down his cheek. This is some sort of pre-teen sign for "I am sad." or "I want to cry." or "Aw shucks."


"What? What's sad?" I ask.


He explains, "I was looking at your phone and saw a message from our old neighbor. It says the apartments are not available to them right now. I am sad because I was hoping they'd live close to us again."


I'm sad too. I thought I had worked it all out. We have four sets of neighbor friends who are facing homelessness. One is living in a hotel after being evicted from their home. The hotel will likely evict them once the eviction ban is lifted. Another family has an eviction courtdate pending courts opening again. Another family's lease ends in May. Another family's lease ended in March.


I thought I had figured out housing for two families. There are two apartments down the street that were coming available. I was going to direct these families to the apartments. But, the apartments are on hold because the folks who are living there are not able to move out, even though their leases are up, due to COVID19.


I'm sad that I can't work the magic to solve the problem. I'm also sad that my son is sad that his friend may not have housing, and especially nearby. I'm sad that I can't "keep people close." I'm sad that we're losing folks.


We've been losing folks all along. It feels harder when your son's heart strings are attached.


I am proud of having a compassionate and sensitive son. Lots of feelings.

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