Wednesday, February 4, 2015

My Son Joseph

So many of you ask me often what is going on with my son Joseph and I would like to tell you that he is improving everyday.

Joseph is still living on the streets but has gone through alcohol detox and has been sober for over 150 days! 

Joseph has a dog named Hunter who is this adorable, well behaved, well cared for pudgy happy little guy and because there are no shelters in the area that provide a place for both pet and people, Joseph will not leave to go anywhere.

Joseph's aunt and uncle have been able to locate a woman who wants to help Joseph and get him off the streets. I believe she is a social worker who works with the homeless and she is gathering up all his records to see what can be done.

In the meantime, Joseph has court tomorrow for misdemeanor warrants regarding people who complain about him being homeless and want him and have had him arrested for vagrancy.

For over a year now, Joseph has had a small area in front of a local store where the manager knows him and loves him. As long as he never bothers the customers, keeps his cart covered up, she has allowed him to remain off to the side of her store to sit and sleep at night.

Joseph has followed her rules, however, the drug addicts and others who steal, beat Joseph and rob from him what little he has, have caused so many issues, that the local police have told him he can no longer stay there.

We are praying that perhaps tomorrow, the judge will see that Joseph is sober and that he will be able to help them find a home for Joseph and Hunter.

I have always prayed that perhaps someone who owns an animal shelter or kennel would take him in and for room and board, allow him to help around the place, he loves dogs so much.

It is important to remember that Joseph will be 40 years old this year and that he is mentally ill and being such, he is allowed to make up his own mind about where he lives, if he takes medication, etc.

So many have beat me up over the years because he does not live with us. However, he does not want to live with us. He has many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends where he stays. He knows so many people and many people love him. One lady was leading him in a Bible Study a year ago, I saw a young man bring him fresh water and a hat, his aunt and extended family bring him fresh clothes, we provide things he needs when he needs them.

We cannot force someone to do what they do not want to do. Then again, I recently read of a woman who was held in a mental institution for over 3 years against her will. A woman who fought many years for the mentally ill. A woman whose family was well educated, whose father was once a prominent politician and who owned her own home.

This woman quit taking care of herself, she began what I know as a decompensation or...describe it as meaning that someone who has an illness that they have been compensating for (with medications, treatment, family support and all the other strategies they might be using) begins to show symptoms again, so they have “decompensated” – fallen backward from the level of compensation they had previously experienced.

She refused to take her medications, she was not bathing, she smelled of feces, her clothing was covered in food and she refused help. So, she was institutionalized.

Joseph does not need to be in a hospital, he needs a shelter at night for he and his dog that is safe from the weather, a place to keep his sparse belongings where he knows they will still be when he returns and a place that will allow him to wander.

His brother is close by and used to check on him until he lost his car, but he said he is doing well. His best day mom is when someone buys him his favorite sandwich at Subway, the dog is fed, the weather is good and people smile at him.

His brother told me the story of Christmas day he went to sit with Joseph for awhile, the young man I spoke of earlier had brought him a cooler with fresh, warm Tamales. Joseph hadn't eaten one because he still had his favorite Subway sandwich from the evening before. He shared one with his brother.

They were sitting and talking when a man in a very nice SUV pulled up and asked them if they knew where he could find some Tamales. Without hesitation, his brother reported, Joseph stood up, grabbed the cooler and handed it to the man and wished him Merry Christmas. The man drove off and what amazed his brother, was the man didn't say thank you, he had just taken food from a homeless person and he didn't say thank you.

When he told Joseph, I wanted at least one more, Joseph laughed. When he asked why he gave him the entire cooler full, Joseph told him, 'I can't eat all of them, why shouldn't his family have them.'

Thank you all for continued prayers for Joseph, we speak weekly and he is happy!

1 comment:

Shari Sherman said...

May God bless you, Joseph, Hunter, and your family. Thank you for sharing your story.