Meet Linda and her loving memory of Sonny,
Her story started with two words in a single message “I’m homeless”. We respond with a hello and the messages slowly continue back and forth as some tentative trust was built. It took some time to build these bridges, but we eventually learned her name was Linda and her story started being shared. The following is a precious story of life events and memories of her beloved Sonny. It is told not in person or on the phone, but instead it arrived by text messages over a 3 month period.
Linda started in June, “I'm just writing things down as I remember. It's been a long 62 years. I never knew that was our last day together. Had a great day and a lot of fun. We had visited my grand-daughter and spent time at her house then went on to see others because we had been gone from Pennsylvania for a long time. He was so sweet! All day he kept telling me that I was beautiful and that he loved me. I said maybe u need new glasses.”
She continues the emotional story, “I heard him get up, then we all hear this big boom. He had fallen so hard. Do ya know that boy brought Sonny back for a brief moment? I had no clue that it was his heart. My grandson, my poor baby. He can't seem to move on. That was his Papa, and although he tried to save him, he too, watched the life drain from his Papa’s body”.
“My life turned upside down and twisted all around. So cherish every moment that you have in your life. Cause in the blink of an eye things can change. I'll write more later. Kind of brought tears to my eyes remembering”.
The texting slowed while she was working through health issues in July but she kept in contact: “Once I got back here, I was able to function again. I think cause here is where the most recent memories of him were. It was good for the first year. I paid rent. I'll never stay anywhere unless I can pay. - August first will be a year since I have been homeless. I don't know how much more of this I can handle. I'm a strong woman, but I'm tired”.
And then story came full circle in August, “I didn't talk much about being homeless but my story should show lame ass people that it can happen to anyone. I never ever worried about becoming homeless. I raised my kids on my own and we had a home. So the people that think that their crap doesn't stink should be watching for karma, she's wicked and will give them what they deserve. Remember to cherish every single moment with those you love... We were not promised a rose garden. And when all odds are against you. Hold on to each other always”.
I felt that this story didn’t need anything else. It's all right here: trauma, grief, bereavement. Life steals from you in many ways and sadly, no one takes the time to hear other people’s stories and understand that there are many paths to being without a home. And then the path back is also not an easy one, even when you do everything right.
I deeply want to thank Linda for trusting and sharing with us a little glimpse into her life and what its been like. Can we give her some love, hope, and encouragement please?
Join us in being persistent in seeking solutions that help all parts of our community, including our unhoused neighbors. You are invited to our upcoming Walk A Mile in Our Shoes awareness walk October 6 where we can gather and get to know each other and share perspectives and hopes for better housing justice for all. Register for the event and order your fundraising t-shirt at
~ Ren & Adam