Cagle Terrace is where I live. There is a lot of sorrow here. Most of the people who live here are old. Many are disabled. Many are alone. All are poor. And many, too many, no longer know life has promise. Their biggest question is not how they shall live, but how they will die.
There was an assault here today. A visitor, an older lady I didn’t know was hurt by a man who lives here. She came out on the porch crying saying he had hit her hard several times about the head. She was scared and obviously in pain. When the police came they asked her if she had been drinking. The conversation went downhill after that. Nothing she said was really going to matter. The guy denied doing anything. I guess he had some friends vouch for him. The police told the lady to leave and then they left.
I wondered what it was like to be alone, to be old, to have no one to turn to and know you are not safe. I know many people that are there and the loss and sorrow that are everyday for them seems to me to be beyond measure.
I talked to the guy sitting next to me for a while. He was horrified but not suprised. He told me there were dangerous people here and whether you knew it or not no one was safe.
He talked for a while about his life and it was plain he felt discarded a long time ago. Another guy sat down and talked about a voucher he was waiting on and money he needed to find a better place.
I struggle with sorrow sometimes too. Life is about doors open and doors shut. Lately it has seemed more are shut than are open and some of them are not going to open again.
Much of what is lost for me I never wanted to lose. Regrets paralyze and make everyday a ground hog day. Sorrow becomes normal and part of moving past is finding a new normal. The key is not doing away with limits. There are always limits. It is what you do with them that matters.
I don’t think the way around sorrow is to ignore it though. I have tried that and it doesn’t work. Grieving is the first step of letting go and I think letting go of what is lost is the first step in figuring out what is not. I know some things I am done with and beginning to move on and even looking forward to what is next.
I have faith in me. I have a history of resilience and sometimes memory helps with things that try to tell you they are all that is and all that will be. Sorrow seems sometimes the greatest of truths when it is in fact the greatest of lies.
A friend has seen me struggle for a while. He told me he was sad I felt bad. I told him to be glad I felt. The option is far worse. I have met people here afraid to feel again and that is real tragedy.
The lady walked off before I could say anything to her. I wish she hadn’t.