Two days ago, “Rose” barely made it up my steps. Her legs buckled as she stepped onto the deck. She swung the bag she was carrying off her shoulders and it landed with a thud against the wooden deck. 

“I just don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m so tired and scared out here. Suddenly I’m all alone.”

She wiped  the tears off of her boney face. She was losing weight again. When she was off the streets last year, she was eating and she was almost looking healthy when her life began to unravel.

Harmony House got her off the street after a tough year on the streets. Heroin and meth took her down slowly the last decade. 

After she got the apartment, things began to look up.  But she began using again. Her apartment was always busy and her and her family was screaming….a lot. The neighbors began to complain. 

Then last fall, things really began to get worse….she came home to find out her brother found their mother dead in their bathroom. The death was ruled an overdose. 

The roads of people got worse. Rose had too big of a heart to turn people away. She had been on the street and knew how it felt to have nowhere to go. 

Then this Summer…she arrived at rock bottom. She lost her apartment and her cousin the same week. Her cousin had always been there for her. She could count on her for a meal or to get out of the cold when things got bad. 

Her cousin was also lost to drug use. Her death rocked Rose immensely. 

Two weeks later her brother was arrested. His bail for all of his charges was $96,000. Rose says he is facing thirty years. Rose cries, “He was all I had left. He always had my back. Without him, I am out here all alone.”

I know people have to be ready for recovery. She has been stopping by when she sees me on the deck. I quietly remind her there is a way out.  She looks at me and wipes away a tear. She says, “I know. Winter will be here soon. I need get into recovery.”  She stares down on Fourth Avenue. Looking into the distance she adds, “Maybe tomorrow.”

Tonight, I stand on my deck looking over 4th Avenue  After hitting 90 degrees yesterday, there is a chill in the wind tonight  it is the first day of Fall and the cold breeze reminds us Winter will soon be here  

i haven’t seen Rose in two days  I pray that yesterday or today was tomorrow  




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