I wish I could have been here to get the call! But I was out with a friend. I’m going to tell you what the message said but I do wish you could hear it as I did. There was SO much emotion behind those words.
The message was from my Lakota friend and she said,
Beeee, guess whaaatt!!! We got a house!!!!!!!!! Oh my God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Call me back!!!!!!!!!!
That’s right! My Lakota friends, who have been on the housing list for a home of their own for longer than I’ve known them (that’s 6 years), have finally and officially gotten a house. A home of their own.
I called her back right away. They were in the car on the way back from signing the papers. I have never, in the 6 years I’ve known her, heard so much joy and excitement in her voice. We talked about where the house is and what her new address will be. She was going to be going through a cell phone “dead zone” (the rez has many!) so we agreed to talk later.
This is what I know:
The house is half of a duplex in one of the tribal housing areas. They will have 3 bedrooms and space and heat. Not like the house they rented before – that little blue house on the hill I wrote about and showed you pictures of before. Now I don’t want you to think this one will be brand new or even in tip-top shape. I’m sure it will need work. But it will have running water and an indoor bathroom! They’ll be able to shower at home rather than at a relative’s house. They will have some privacy. They will not need to rely on relatives for a roof over their heads.
She did say one thing that puzzled me then and puzzles me still. She said, “Bee, what did you do?” I asked her to repeat it because I thought I heard it wrong. But she repeated the same thing. I don’t know why she thought I had anything to do with it (I didn’t actively do anything that I’m aware of.) but she seemed to think I had done something to help. I told her it must be all those prayers I’ve sent up over the years finally paying off.
They get the keys in a few days. Then they can move in. Right now it’s time to pack what little they have and collect some of the things we gave them when they were in the little blue house from those who had been storing them for the past year or so.
They plan to have a big dinner and have the house blessed when they move in. I think that blessing part is an especially good idea given all the problems and heartache this family has gone through.
I don’t want you to think that this family is now on easy street. They are still unemployed and living under the poverty level. But not being technically homeless is an incredible step that they have long awaited — mostly patiently.
I think I’m going to see if there’s time to get an order in to the ONE Spirit food program so they will have some extras for the dinner. I wish I could be there to celebrate with them!!
There is one lesson I learned with this wonderful call. It is just as hard to be 2,000 miles away when you get a happy call like this as it is when you get a sad call telling you there has been a death in the family.
Hugging from a distance of 2,000 miles just doesn’t work!