Monday, January 11, 2010

An old entry in my journal: tough resignation and acceptance

Last week as I sorted through my books, my old files and other office junk deciding what to keep, what to toss and what to pass on to others, I came upon an old journal.  Actually, it was a cheap composition notebook, the black and white, marbled covered variety. 

The notebook contained only one entry.  Not sure how it ended up on the shelf, put away as if nothing else could be written on its pages. 

Here's what I wrote on November 30, 1995:

Day before yesterday, I transported 5 "Christmas Store" employees to Randy Mayeux's offices to help him move to a new building.  The four women who crammed themselves into the back seat warmed up about 1/2 way over and began to talk about life and the weather (it was amazing!) and most importantly, their kids and grandkids. 

One of the women was 29.  She had 7 children, the oldest 11, the youngest 2.  She commented to us in a very routine manner that she always kept her children in  the house after school.  "They know to come in, get a snack, get their baths and watch TV." 

Her reason for the tight regime:  too much violence in the Dixon Circle area. 

"Last night a gal was murdered on our parking lot," she commented without much emotion, expecting no real response. 

The others in the car responded with similar stories, but as if such was an accepted, expected part of life in their part of the city.  I've witnessed this attitude before in Oak Cliff at Gladewater Rd.  It is a survivor's mentality & I expect about the only way to make it through. 

But in each person there was a strength & a resilience to keep going and to provide good things for the children.  I was amazed again at the nobility and power of the heart of these folk.  I'm not sure what the "solution" is. 

Later that day, I met with [one of our big supporters].  When I told him of the situation with the family, he said, "Is there  any way we can get her out of there?"  Again, his heart was so right, but his thinking was not fully aware.  The solution is not to remove people from the places of danger, but to transform the place[s].  To remove that mother would be to significantly diminish the quality of the neighborhood.  We have much to do here.


Anonymous said...

Fifteen years on, what is OC like today?

Daniel said...

It's hard to remove someone from a bad situation. It's even harder to redeem that situation.

Anonymous said...

Amazing -- a lot has happened since then, but some things never your right-on instincts about people and what needs to be done (and what does not need to be part of the "solution.").

Randy Mayeux

personal journal said...

We never realize how valuable the things we write in our journals can be.

Larry James said...

DC is not much different, but the surroundings are beginning to change thanks to DART and to new business partners like PepsiCo/Frito-Lay and the efforts in the Frazier community.