When the deputies took John away, things changed a bit for me. The house got very quiet but my phone sure made a lot of noise.   He called and texted me until his phone was taken away from him. Friends and family called, texted, and sent messages on Skype and Whatsapp. John had left me with no transportation and no money. I did not get much sleep that first night.

The next morning, a very good friend offered to buy me some groceries. He brought milk, bread, a cucumber, paper towels, Kitten Chow, and Mentos Gum, which in this house are everyday essentials.  I am forever grateful for his kindness and generosity.

The next day, some money from my mother arrived in the mail. My children took me out to eat and to Walmart, where I bought some groceries for me and my son, who was not getting a lot of hours at work.  We then went to their house, ate spaghetti, watched Youtube, and played a game.  During the game, my son revealed a secret to me, one he did not want his father to find out.  I am very glad he felt comfortable opening up to me. After a while, the kids took me home.

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Thursday and Friday were spent at home with just the animals for company. I tried to clean up as much as I could, careful to rest when my leg started to hurt. John called me collect at least once every day. One day, he called me seven times.

On Saturday the 18th, I asked Raven if they could either bring me some gum or take me to the store.  She said that they could take me and then I could spend the night afterward. We watched lots of Youtube and Netflix. I also washed a load of clothes while there.  I luxuriated in a hot bath. Sleep was restful and easy that night.

The next day, I went home to my animals and decaying house, where I stayed until I was “paroled” on Tuesday.  My friend brought more milk, cat food, and gum.  I went to my sister’s house Tuesday, where we had a wonderful supper of loaded potatoes. She gave me permission to access her desktop computer, so I looked at Google Maps, one of my favorite sites when I had wifi over two years ago. It was awesome!  Back when I viewed it last, you could only see one map or view at a time. Now, it shows four different views. I could have spent several hours exploring the maps, but my eyelids were getting heavy. Sleep was being elusive that night as I tried to get comfortable on an air mattress.  My right leg was very painful and both legs were restless. Finally, I succumbed and drifted off to dreamland.

The next day, my sister had to go to work but planned to take the afternoon off. While she was gone, I loaded the dishwasher, let the dog and cat in and out several times, had a nice breakfast of chai, cereal, and cherries, and watched part of the movie Mockingjay. I then took a bath in her wonderful garden tub. After she got home, she took me to an organization to see if I could get some sort of help.

At the organization, the only help they could provide was a day shelter and a hotdog plate. One of the volunteers heard my story, and gave me some information as to where I may find the help I need. She said to go to the free clinic, which we did. The lady there also listened to my story, and said that they could treat my high blood pressure but not my leg. She sent me to another clinic, which has a sliding scale for fees.

At the other clinic, the woman behind the desk gave me 18 sheets to fill out. She told me to call and make an appointment, which I did. I have an appointment on July 14th.

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After we left there, my sister and I took my son to the grocery store, took him back home, rode to this amazing church in the heart of Charlotte to pick up her son at basketball camp, then went back to her house, where she fixed a delicious supper. Unfortunately but comically, her neighbor came over and regaled us with a tale of an almost threesome that was interupted when his daughter came home. Not exactly great dinner conversation!

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After supper, my niece made a spectacular dessert – a homemade and incredibly rich brownie crust topped with white chocolate-cream cheese frosting, with blueberries and strawberries on top. It was beautiful and wonderful, too good for words. After the sumptuously sinful dessert, my sister took me home.

On Thursday, my cousin took me to the grocery store, where I bought several things. She also bought several items for me, including a frozen coconut cake. She also stopped by a restaurant where she bought me a pound of delicious chicken salad!
We went by her house and she gave me some squash and a cucumber from her garden. I felt spoiled and blessed.

The next day, she picked me up and we visited with her almost 93 year old mother, my mother’s only living sister.  My aunt is of very sound mind and body to be in her 90s! We then went to my cousin’s house and visited with her daughter, who lives behind her in a beautiful log cabin.  My parents met in that log cabin over 60 years ago. It will always hold a special place in my heart.

After visiting in the cabin, we walked to my older cousin’s house, where I had lunch and we watched a movie about Dolly Parton’s childhood. It is a very sweet movie and I plan to buy it for my mother, who would enjoy it.

The next day, my cousin took me to her brother’s house where we had a tasty, fresh-picked watermelon. It was great!  My aunt was there and she told a story about when my grandfather caught someone stealing from his watermelon patch.  He demanded that the woman pay for the watermelon, so she pulled the money from her garter and handed it to him. After we ate, I was given an onion, 3 tomatoes, and a cantaloupe to take home.

Sunday was spent alone, enjoying chicken salad and tomatoes. I reflected on the time spent apart from John. I also thought about the people who love and care for me.

On Monday, Raven and her boyfriend picked me up and took me by the store. We bought ice cream, something I had craved for days. We ate supper at a local restaurant, where I had grilled chicken, fried green tomatoes, green beans, and a big glass of sweet tea.  It was delicious!  We then went to their house where we watched a lady eating MREs on YouTube. We also watched cute puppies and kittens. Raven’s best friend came over and brought her precious little preschool aged daughter. Even though that was only the second time I had seen the little girl, she really took a liking to me. She is so adorable and sweet. I enjoyed spending time with her.   However, I was beginning to get sleepy. They finally left at 11:30 PM!  Raven, John Jr, and I fixed chocolate peanut butter milkshakes with vanilla cashew milk.  They were really good!  I slept on their couch that night.

The next morning, after a wonderful hot shower, I fixed a breakfast of dry cereal, a few pieces of cantaloupe, and chai tea with some of the cashew milk in it (which was really good). I ate it on the way to pick up John from the Big House. He was happy to see me and told me all about his time in jail.

For those of you reading this who offered a kind word, prayers, groceries, or a place to stay, thank you. I sincerely appreciate your kindness, love, and support. I do not know what I would have done without you. I love you all.
         

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