Please Know...

As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.


Thursday, January 9, 2020

Always Read the Fine Print!


 Philadelphia[1],
the City[2] 
of Brotherly Love[3],
evicted[4] 
homeless[5] 
people[6].



[1] Philadelphia:

·         Philia is the type of intimate non-sexual love most people practice toward each other. This Greek term describes the powerful emotional bond seen in deep friendships.  It conveys a strong feeling of attraction.

·         Delphia: a girl's name meaning "the womb"

o   Womb: a place where something is conceived and nurtured and that offers protection and shelter.

o   Conceived: to form an idea or concept of something in your mind… to think up something such as a plan or an invention that could be put into action… to produce something from the mind such as an emotion

o   Nurtured: to give tender care and protection to a young child, animal, or plant, helping it to grow and develop… to encourage somebody or something to grow, develop, thrive, and be successful

o   Protection: the act of preventing somebody or something from being harmed or damaged, or the state of being kept safe

o   Shelter: a structure or building that provides cover from weather or protection against danger… an establishment providing temporary accommodations and food for people in need or without a home

·         Philadelphia: The birthplace within our nation conceived and intended to nurture protection and shelter and so much more in a spirit of deep friendship and attraction.

[2] City: an urban area where a large number of people live and work

[3] Brothery Love: showing feelings that a brother might be expected to have toward his sibling

[4] Evicted: to force somebody to leave a place

[5] Homeless: persons without a place or home of any kind

[6] People: human beings considered collectively or in general

Human Beings: inspirational and made in the image of God… worthy of dignity, honor, respect, and love.

**********





Monday, January 6, 2020

Determine To Try


When it comes to boxing, I'm thankful to Jerry Lewis for providing this perfect impersonation nine years before I was born of me being a boxer in a boxing ring.



This past Christmas, as she sat in my car, Rose asked me to close my eyes.  I did so.  She reached around my neck and clasped a man's boxing glove pendant necklace on me.  As she did so, she said "Thanks, 'Dad' for fighting for me."

A couple days later, a coworker at Recovery Centers of America in Devon and I were discussing Kensington as he remembered it from his childhood days and growing up there.  He reminded me of how "Rocky" was filmed in many locations around there.  As a Jerry Lewis-style boxer myself, I think I had repressed those thoughts of a Rocky-style boxer having filmed some silly inconsequential movie series[1] in my area of attempted service.

A couple days after this conversation with my co-worker, I had professional interaction with a man bearing the name of a famous boxer from somewhere in our nation's history.[2]

Why is my decade starting with a boxing theme?

I've come to love the men and women who find themselves living on the streets of Kensington due to being in their addicted phase of Substance Use Disorder.  Theirs/Yours is a boxing match like no other.  By her Savior's planned journey for Rose, she introduced this boxing theme to me.  My co-worker fine-tuned it and now I introduce it to you…

Rocky and You: an inspirational human being made in the image of God who is worthy of dignity, honor, respect and love and who carries the diagnosis of and dealing with the consequences of Substance Use Disorder.

You are in a boxing match!  The national champion of death and destruction whose name is "Substance Use Disorder" is devouring thousands of its opponents each and every year.  Thousands of people are permanently "knocked out" with Substance Use Disorder's world-famous death punch.  Other boxing opponents of Substance Use Disorder, First responders, and others step in as referees to administer Narcan and save hundreds of Substance Use Disorder's opponents. From Substance Use Disorder's perspective, you are just one more ready to be permanently knocked out by this seemingly unstoppable presence in your life.

Rocky was an insignificant bro on the streets of Kensington.  He loved little animals and he had his eye on a homely pet shop employee named Adrienne.  He tried to make a living by boxing and extracting money from people who owed others. 

One day, an odd set of circumstances rolled his direction and he found himself being offered the opportunity to box with the current national boxing champion.  Lots of self-doubts convinced him that he could not do it.  Adrienne, now his girlfriend, always stuck by him while allowing him to make the decisions for his life.  When he doubted, she didn't disagree.  She supported his thinking process. 

One day, Rocky decided it was time to train his body and prepare to box this national champion.  He wakes up early on this morning of decision, drinks six raw eggs steps out his front door, stretches and sets off on his first run in training to box the national champion.  He had no idea whether he could or could not beat this internationally known opponent but he decided to try.

As he steps out of the door of his rented home and starts to run down his home street, it's dark and dingy.  No one notices.  He just starts to run all by himself.  As he runs, light begins to shine.  In time, he makes that famous run up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Between that first run out of his rented home and that run up the steps, he pounds on punching bags, raw meat and an occasional actual human opponent in a boxing match. 

If you so choose, in your training for taking on your opponent, the national champion of death and destruction, "Substance Use Disorder", through professional counseling, you will (metaphorically) punch the stuffing out of a punching bag as you recall the heartbreaks and violations of so many against your soul.  You will beat the tar out of raw meat as you recall your biological father refering to you as such as he had his way with you.

If you so choose, when "Substance Use Disorder," this national champion of death and destruction, tries to box you back into relapse, through the training that you've done thus far and with the support of trusted friends, you will beat your living opponent into submission as you refuse to be defeated in your conquest toward your new life.

Since the closing of Emerald City about a year ago, I've been focusing my visiting efforts in the area of Kensington Avenue and Somerset Street.  I often park on Ruth Street at Somerset Street.[3]  Whenever I park on Ruth Street, when it's time to leave, I drive to the end of the block and turn right.  I've noticed this house on the end of the block that has a large open field next to it.  I've often thought that if I ever moved to Kensington, I would like to live in that house.  It's close to the action and has enough open space to satisfy my soul.  As it turns out, this house that I've admired for the past year is Rocky's rented home.  The people who I visit, some of whom read these blogs, can be found living on the street on the opposite side of this same square block.

In this movie written by and starring Sylvester Stallone, he determines to try to defeat his opponent.  He leaves his rented home at 1818 Tusculum Street and jogs unnoticed into the darkness.  When he gets to Kensington Avenue, he turns right and then out of camera view.  This first run would have taken him right through the east coast center of what is now Substance Use Disorder's boxing ring, the intersection of Kensington and Somerset.

Rocky made his decision on Tusculum Street to try to beat his opponent as he was living in his rented home.  I encourage all of you who know this boxing ring to consider taking the challenge of setting off on your training.  Rocky did not know when he ran down Tusculum if he would succeed but he determined to try.  It will be hard and you can do it!   You can determine to try.









[1] HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHA HAHA HAHAHAHA
[2] I'm keeping that very vague for privacy reasons.  It was not the actual famous boxer.
[3] The people I've come to know and love know these streets very well as these streets have become their grass roots safe injection site.