As some of you already know, my wife’s mother continues to heal after having emergency surgery a few weeks ago.
Ever the doting daughter, my wife packed up our two youngest, Michael 8 and Kamryn 17 months, and headed to New York to help her mom recover. Partly because she’s always been devoted to caring for others, but mostly because her mom is a 58-year old toddler who can’t or won’t take care of herself.
I guess the surgery was a pretty serious deal as they rarely use the term “emergency procedure” for something routine. They had to remove part of her small intestine, which I know is arousing many of you, and now she walks around with a colostomy bag attached to her hip. It’s a painful recovery process, but on the plus side, I get to call her a bag lady without it coming off like an insult.
Heather recently called to inform me that she’s been asked to stay through Thanksgiving because the doctors can’t do whatever it is they’re wanting to do because her mom won’t do whatever it is she’s supposed to do. Add in the fact that our 14-year old will be visiting his grandparents for the week of Thanksgiving, and I’ll be all alone.
I can’t even visit my parents for free grub because they are flying to New Jersey to be with the rest of the family who’s ignoring me. I feel shunned.
Rather than sit around the house wallowing over my loneliness I decided to volunteer my time at a homeless shelter so that I could help others. I figured, what better way to spend the holiday if I have to spend it by myself?
Only one problem…they don’t want me.
I have been rejected by every shelter and mission I’ve called. Even Meals-on-Wheels isn’t a big fan of the fact that my car isn’t a minivan or flatbed truck. I then offered to come in the day before Thanksgiving to help with preparation but this wasn’t needed either.
I am worthless to the homeless. According to one shelter, “Everyone wants to volunteer on Thanksgiving so we are turning people away.”
I think it’s kind of sad. Not that people only want to volunteer on major holidays, but because I had no idea so many other husbands were also being abandoned by their families on Thanksgiving.
I understand that some show up to volunteer on holidays just to clear a year-long build up of a guilt, but I’m legitimate, baby! I figured Thanksgiving would be a labor-intensive day and hoped that my presence would be welcomed. Oh, how I misread the needy!
Well, I’m not giving up. I vow to find a way to help someone, somewhere this Thanksgiving. I just need to figure out who will have me.