A song

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008, 10:46 AM [General]

    My husband used to sing this song.  I dont know who wrote it, but I could find out.  It is called "A Tramp on the Street"

    Only a poor man, was Laz'rus that day, he laid down by the rich man's gate, He begged for crumbs from the rich man to eat, but they left him to die, like a tramp on the street.

    And Jesus who died, on Calvary's tree, shed His life's blood for you and for me.  They pierced his side, His hands, and His feet, and they left Him to die like a tramp on the Street.

    when the battles are over, and the victory is won, everyone mourns for the poor mans son, red white and blue, and victory sweet, and they left him to die like a tramp on the street.

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    I was just too busy to help

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008, 9:52 AM [General]

    I've told you about Joseph, and I've told you about James.  now I have to tell you about Joel.  This one is not so easy, and I cannot cast all the blame on the system.

    I was in town one day, and I was with my mother, she was driving.  We we going somewhere.  I said, stop, let me see my friends for  a minute.  I went in the clinic, visited, shot the bull for a minute.  On my way out I saw my friend Joel, a kind gentle soul with a beautiful tenor voice.  Joel didnt look well.  In fact, he looked downright sick.  I said, Hi Joel, how are you? He said, Fine Rickie how are you?  I said ok, i looked at him a minute, and then I left, cause I was busy and in a hurry.  I thought to myself, his family needs to take him to the doc.

    Two days later my friend Renee called.  She said "Did you hear about Joel?"  I felt a pain in my gut.  Renee continued. "Noone knew he was sick.  he got up in the middle of the night, started walking down the road, and fell over dead."  We talked for a while.  I thought, how could they not know he was sick? He looked sick to me.  I shoved that inside a closet and moved on with my life.

    The years passed, and a few months ago I was at the doc's office.  I saw a woman sitting there, and she seemed familiar.  She said, " Are you Rickie? I'm Kaye."  Another friend.  We talked about our old friends.  She said, " you know Joel died."  i felt that sick gut.  "We were sweethearts," she said.  I felt that pain go to my heart......

    Time rocked on. I posted about Joseph, then James.  I then started think about Joel.  I had been told by the staff at the clinic that they watched all the clients every day, and they made note of any changes.  Somehow Joel became invisible.  His family didnt seem to see it either.  i know only one person who saw Joel was sick--Rickie Lee.  I thought about it.  I was too busy that day to stop, go back inside and have a meltdown to get Joel some help.  I could have done that.  But I had to go shopping I guess.  I was Joel's last chance.  I blew it, and he died like a tramp on the street, no dignity in death.

    I thought it was so easy to put the blame on the mental health center.  This time I have to take the blame myself.  Although they were responsible for him,  I was sent as his last chance.  i had a way of making things happen.  I deserted Joel.  Instead of being the Samaritan, i was the Pharisee, educated and busy, in a hurry going nowhere.  Kaye's mother who was quite controlling is dead now.  Kaye lives alone in her own home.  If Joel had lived, they could be together now.  If Rickie had not been too busy to help, Joel's last chance.

    What lessons to learn from this?  1. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.  2.  Walk your Talk. 3.  If you see someone who needs help, help them, cause you might be their last  chance.  I know this for a fact. 

    I dont want to forget these lessons.  I want to carry this pain under my skin.  I wondered, who else have I let down?  What good is my "spiritual journey?"  I woke up at 1 am thinking about this.  Thats ok.  I need to wake up.  Wake up and strengthen the things that remain.  If I dont choose love, i am a banging gong or a clanging cymbal, just a bunch of noise.  That equals a great big zero to me.  Perhaps going back to square one would be helpful.

    I could easily argue that the mental health center was responsible for Joel's death as well.  They had been stricken with a blindness. However, I saw it.  I was too busy.  Joel still might have died, but he would have had more dignity than lying dead on the side of the road. 

    I have to bear the blame on this one.  Time to wake up and strengthen the things that remain.  Always help.  you just never know.  Rickie

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    That's right, Glass, my name is Glass

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008, 5:00 AM [General]

    I used to know a man named James Glass who went to the local mental health center in the town my family lives in.  James was a young man, basically illiterate, but he was able to get good paying labor jobs.  he loved rock music and partying.  When he was with a friend one day, they were riding in his car and James, being the rebel he was, didn't wear his seat belt.  When they crashed, James went through the windshield head first.  A serious head injury.  He recovered physically but mentally he was never the same.  he could no longer work.  he could take care of his physical needs, but managing money, the fine details were beyond James.

    When I met him he lived in a group home for people with head injuries.  James was like a bull.  He was hard to deal with, and always resented authority.  The group home gave up on James.  The mental health center moved him to town, in an apartment that they kept rented for their clients.  James went through numerous roomates.  He was difficult to deal with.

    James loved life.  he loved food and women and rock music and beer.  I saw him at the fast food joint one day.  he ate 5 hamburgers.  He and a friend went to Dairy Queen and he ate 4 footlong chili dogs.  He had a witness.  He frequently made lewd comments to women, but when he saw me sitting there he would say, " Oh, I'm sorry Miss Rickie, I would never talk that way around you.  you are a fine lady.  i have a lot of respect for you."  He did.  he never made any rude comments to me.  We had plenty of enjoyable discussions, and he was really rather funny.  but I did not laugh at him to his face.

    james began to drink heavily.  he was picked up for public intoxication, had to go to court, and pay a fine.  The counselor had to go with him, and she didn't like that.  He still drank.  the apartment complex warned him to stop.  One day they saw him on his balcony with a beer in his hand.  The sent him an eviction notice.  James went through many case managers. They had to manage his bills and help him buy food.  he became increasingly beligerant.  One by one they threw up their hands.  Finally someone from his family came to try to help.  James had no respect for him, and he could not do anything either. 

    With the eviction date looming, James' counselor knew she had to send him somewhere.  The group home would not take him.  The housing authority would not take him.  he was a danger to himself, and probably others.  There was a place for people like that, the state mental hospital.  but that would have required a lot of work to have him committed.  Instead, the counselor found a room and board home in a large city in a county outside of their jurisdiction.  She managed to secure him a room there.  It was not a half way house for the mentally ill, just a room and board.  James was going to be in the big city on his own.  The mental health center washed their hands of James and he was gone.

    That was in late fall.  We had a particularly bitterly cold winter that year.  One night, about 10 pm, I got a call from a friend of mine.  She said "Rickie, they just said on the news that a man named James Glass froze to death outside of a boarding home.  Do you think it is our James?"  I said " O God, Rhonda, surely not."  the next day at clinic we had to ask, as the information was not volunteered.  It was our James.  He had gotten drunk in the night, and the boarding home was locked, and James had no key.  he did not try to get someone's attention or go in through a window.  he just laid down on the ground and died.  The hospital tried to revive him, but he was too far gone.

    One more death on the hands of the local mental health center.  had James been sent to the state mental hospital he could have detoxed off of alcohol ( and probably drugs too). they could have dealt with James there.  To be honest, if James had plenty to eat, no responsibilities, people to talk to and women to look at, he was a happy man.  James loved life.  He would be alive today had the mental health center done what was right and what they easily had the power to do.  Instead they wanted him out of their hair and they let him slip through a big crack.  James had no advocate.  He was at their mercy and as a result of it he is dead today.

    I sometimes feel James near me.  I always ask him, "James, why didnt you tap on the glass and wake someone up?"  He always saids, "Glass, that's right, that's my name, James Glass...'  over and over.  They took your body and they took your mind, but even in death you still have your name.  We miss you James.

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    no comments please

    Monday, November 3, 2008, 7:53 PM [General]

    Well, I noticed that noone commented about Joseph.  I'm sorry Joseph, I guess if it doesnt touch you personally, then such a story with a tragic violent ending brings out the hard case attitudes in people.  Instead of seeing the mental health center as the true villian, they just think you are a menace, glad to get you off the street, after all you are a murderer.  I dont know.  My motto is live and let live.  People can think what they want to think.  I know the whole story.  I remember you Joseph, and I remember the young man who died needlessly, for he was my best friend's cousin.  I'm sorry Joseph.  You are truly the last, lonely, and wretched.371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99c
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    My friend Joseph

    Sunday, November 2, 2008, 4:38 PM [General]

    I have a friend named Joseph.  He was mentally ill and lived in a group home in the city where my family lives.  Joseph was illiterate, could not read and did not know his numbers.  But a nicer person you could never meet.  He was always well groomed and well dressed.  he was quiet and soft spoken, and when he did speak it was always something kind.  He managed well as long as he had close support, and someone gave him his medicines. 

    The day came when the mental health authority felt that Joseph could live independently with close support.  He was moved into a government apartment near many of his other friends.  They loved to get together on Saturdays and eat breakfast.  Joseph always did the cooking. 

    The time came when budget problems caused the mental health center to transfer many of its closely supported clients into outpatient status.  They would still counsel them and let them see a Psychiatrist, but it was the responsibility of the client to get to the office.  They did not come by daily and pick Joseph up and take him to the center and give him his medicine.  He could not read, so he could not look up public transport's number in the phone book.  None of his friends had cars.  He had no family in the area.

    Joseph began to deteriorate.  He could not get to the clinic, or even call them.  He did not take his medicines.  he could not read the medicine bottles.  he did not know the names of his medicines, the doses, or when to take them.  he began to look unkempt, and wander around town amlessly, unshaven, oddly dressed, in his own psychotic world.  Noone tried to help Joseph.

    Joseph knew he was in trouble.  The other thing he knew was where the drug store was.  He knew he needed some medicine.  This was his last chance.  He was walking on the edge of a blade.  He went to the drug store.  There was a long line, and the pharmacist was slow.  Joseph was agitated.  The man in front of him turned around and tried to calm Joseph down.  Joseph pulled out a knife and stabbed the man 17 times, the bloodbath ending up in the parking lot.

    When I heard who had died, I was shocked, for I knew that family.  They were good people.  I asked who did it.  I was told the name.  I was sick.  People began to tell their stories to me about Joseph, his amless wanderings, his unkempt appearance.  I was so sick.  I still am.

    Joseph was charged with Murder.  He spent a year in the county jail.  No bail.  He's not there anymore.  I guess they sent him to the state hospital for the insane, and Joseph will never be free again.  i am certain he is medicated now.  I know his gentle heart.  I know he grieves for what he did.  I grieve for what was done to Joseph.  He simply fell through the cracks of a pathetic, non caring system.  They knew Joseph's weaknesses.  Monetary concerns were more important. 

    One dead, one incarcerated for life.  Neither had to happen.  so sad to fall through a crack.

    This song is for Joseph.  it is called  Last, Lonely, and Wretched.

    You're tired and you're poor, you long to be free But in this God-forsaken land you find no home, no family, On the many roads that you wandered, since the day of your birth You've become one of the last, lonely and wretched. 

    Your Hair is matted, your face and hands are dirty and the years that you've toiled must number somewhere near thirty, the deepening of a sadness broke finally into madness You are truly one of the last, lonely and wretched.

    Your eyes are wild and frightning, at the same time they are blessed, and I wonder if God died, turned his back, or only just rested, as you walked our on the seventh day, through the big gates, and on your way to become the last lonely and wretched.

    For once you were a child, your cheeks were red, you were well fed, you laughed and played till you got weary, ran to your mother, when you were weary.

    But somewhere you were forsaken, alone I'll not bear the blame, and somewhere all was taken, your mind, your body, your name,

    Forgive us our unkindness, our desertion and our blindness to you, the last, lonely and wretched. forgive us, All the last lonely and wretched.


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    songs are prayers

    Sunday, November 2, 2008, 7:32 AM [General]

    I used to sing anything.  then I started living in songs.  It was so strange. Noone ever told me.  I had to figure it out for myself.  so now I just listen now that I know that songs are prayers, and you must be careful what you pray for.  Love to all, Rickie Lee371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99c
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    Dreams interpreted.

    Friday, October 31, 2008, 2:46 PM [General]

    A back track on an evolutionary process in a world, perhaps symbolic in nature.  Perhaps one at the beginning not so wise to bestow odd gifts, like the pestilence from Pandora's box.  A messiah had come, whether a real one or just one in name, indicating that times had begun to deteriorate and that there was a need for a Savior.  But the forced worship indicated a falsehood to it, as I was rescued by an angelic helper.  In the end, many climate changes had occured and the few people left were forced to live in fear of small but deadly creatures, who no doubt evolved from those cute little bugs given by "Pandora."  More later.

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    My Halloween dream, the end, the middle, and finally the beginning

    Friday, October 31, 2008, 9:06 AM [General]

    I had this dream this morning.  the first scene.  The land was covered with water, as though the sea had taken over and covered most of the land.  People found small dry spots and built homes on them.  We travelled around in speed boats.  There were small but deadly creatures that dwelt in the water and would eat into the foundation of the houses, finally breaking in the homes through the floor.  Once they broke into the home, it had to be abandoned.  there were crews that went around checking homes to see if they were being compromised.  The homes were lavish, but we had no way to fight these small deadly creatures. 

    Then I was in another scene, having the feeling of moving back in time.  I was in a teaching/worship setting.  We were learning to pay homage to a deceased messiah.  We had to wear certain clothes and go to a certain place to worship, and if you didnt go there were deadly consequences.  You had to wear a blue and white dress.  I looked everywhere but could not find the right clothes.  A helper appeared to me and took me out of that place...

    Then, the final scene, again sensing that I had travelled even further back in time.  The only water I saw was a small creek bed.  When we completed a lesson, we were rewarded with the gift of an insect.  I got a small blue and white lady bug.  When you turned out the light, the bug glowed.  The "leader" came in and opened up a box and all sorts of these creatures flew out.  There were many children around.  I did see one frog. Some of the insects had long legs.  We turned out the lights and they were flying around and glowing. They all had an enamelled look, all blue with yellow dots.  I woke up then.

    A dream for Halloween morning.  Love, Rickie Lee

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    hard times for others

    Thursday, October 30, 2008, 6:32 AM [General]

    sometimes I can get wrapped so wrapped up in my little problems that I forget there are people in our country who really have hard times.  The approach of winter and the Holidays is not a time of joy for them, but rather a time of stress and anxiety.  The costs of heating fuel, mortgage payments, gasoline prices are just the begining of their worries.  The unecessary practice of providing expensive meals for people who cant afford it is a source of anxiety.  The families with children who have to beg for toys for their children that they just cant afford to buy.  I always hear the term "the stress of the holidays..." I thought a holiday was supposed to be a joyful time.  Why is it stressful? Is it truly necessary to go into debt to buy gifts so as not to offend someone cause its Christmas time?  Why do we put ourselves through this?   I have been around children on Christmas who would say, " I had nine gifts.."  the more gifts, the better they feel.  They can go to school and say, I got nine gifts, how many did you get?  And why lie to children about a Santa Claus?  that's not real.  Why not tell them what Christ,as is really all about?  Tell them Jesus was born in a barn and laid on hay and they were poor.  Santa didnt come to see him.  I have always enjoyed fantasy in literature, but when it causes stress and anxiety and hurt feelings, I just dont see any point in it.  When people ask me what I want for Christmas I always say "nothing."  Thats because it is not about gift giving, and that is a fact.  If they press me I say buy socks or underwear.  They look at me baffled.  Sorry.  I dont buy the current mindset, and I am sorry if this makes anyone angry.  Its the truth.  Everyone always says " I'm glad the Holidays are over..."  If you didnt make yourself miserable trying to live up to false expectations, you wouldnt be stressed out and miserable, and that is just a fact.  So, when I am asked what I want, you can rest assured I will say "Nothing.  make a donation to a soup kitchen."  They wont do it, but at least I tried.  Peace, and have a happy holiday.  Later Rickie371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99c
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    divine intervention

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 11:25 AM [General]

    Hi, I woke up with a headache again.  I prayed, and now where the pain was is hot heat, energy, and the pain is gone.  This is a feeling I have felt before in other areas of my body, but never in my head.  I take it to be The White Light of the Holy Spirit.  any comments.  This is a blessing to me.  Love, Rickie Lee371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99c
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