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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Gracie's Story.
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Friday, February 29, 2008

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Life, as viewed by a homeless person.

Gracie was introduced in "Kenna's Story", about a young teenager trying to make a difference in destitute people's lives.

My name's Gracie. Gracie Milsap. Never mind my age; that's not what's important. I live on the streets in Fort Worth, Texas--yup, jus' me and my little dog, "Peekers". We two against the wide, mean world, jus' us.

I am homeless. I used to have a real nice home, but my scoundrel of a husband done lef' me for a much younger woman, leavin' me with all the bills. I couldn't pay 'em so I lost ever'thing; now I am out on my ass on the streets, tryin' to survive.

The only thin' I have left is  my little "Peekers". If I didn't have him, I'd a died long ago.

Bein' on the streets is no picnic. See, I have to fin' where I can sleep wit'out the police runnin' me off, or if it cold, stormy out, somewhere I can keep dry. People look at me like I have a terr'ble disease; they don't want me hangin' 'round.

I don't know why people don' want to help an old lady like me. I am a person too, jus' like anyone else. I just happen to be down on my luck; I didn't ask to end up in this position.

Because of my situation, I can't afford nothin'. Not even a piece of bread. I only have somethin' like fifteen cents on my person. If I find money (mostly spare change), I pocket it, try to save up to buy a cuppa coffee, or even a piece of bread; if not, I fend for myself in the garbage bins.

Well, what's a lady to do when she don't have no money?? Starve??

I have lots of health problems. Rotten teeth. Psoriasis. Cripplin' arthritis that requires me to walk on a cane or crutches if the pain really bad. Diabetes. High blood pressure. A weak heart. Let's face it: I'm a medical nightmare.

Sometimes I end up passin' out or takin' a seizure; when this happens, I end up in the hospital, but they always throw me out when they fin' out I don't got the insurance. I could go to the charity hospital up the road a ways, but havin' no vehicle, I just go to the hospital nearest where I happen to be.

Well, a few weeks ago, I met this beautiful young girl name Kenna; she been helpin' out at the local shelter where I stay sometimes; I taken a shine to her. She's smart, thoughtful, and has a lot of love in her heart. She's not only beautiful on the outside: she's beautiful on the inside. She's somethin' like fifteen or so, and I just love her to pieces.

Kenna doesn't look down on me or any of my friends. She just makes sure we have somethin' good to eat, make sure we have warm clothin' if it cold out, sometimes gives us a little money to get us somethin' at the local coffee shop. She's really somethin' right special; I consider her one of God's angels here on earth.

Well, 'bout time to get in line for lunch; if I want to get somethin' good to eat today, I'd best find a place in line, then wait 'til noon. Hopefully Kenna will be there. Take care and may God bless y'all real good!

~Gracie-The-Bag-Lady. (That's what I'm known by here by the shelter staff and my fellow homeless friends. 'Cause I gots nothin' but the clothes on my back, my dog, an' my possessions, which I keep in a shoppin' cart.)


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Reviewed by Cryssa C 3/4/2008
Reality... the reality of how blessed we are, and how tenuous that luck really is is sometimes hard to face...
You bring that reality to the forefront with your stories...the stories of the unwanted, the unloved, the disabled, the homeless...

Kudos to you...
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 3/1/2008
I have seen them all over the world, the society's own "derelicts" in many lands where promises were made before election, and promises were broken after the inauguration.
Some even have suggested about Homeless Detention Camps to take them out of our sight!!!

Reviewed by Mary Coe 2/29/2008
An excellent and powerful write. A very sad reality that so many people are homeless and living on the streets.
Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 2/29/2008
Powerful write and a sad reality for some
God Bless
Reviewed by Charlie 2/29/2008
POWER IN THE PEN!!! You're awesome, Karen. I really thought she was talking straight to me-- I could even hear her voice in my head. Beautiful, beautiful write!


I mean it, Karen. Great write. Thank you.

Reviewed by Carole Mathys 2/29/2008
You captured a piece of the street life of one woman who fell on hard times...written with such compassion.
love, Carole~
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 2/29/2008
Oh, Karen,

This one is powerfully penned. We are all one moment away from homelessness; one never knows when health goes bad; how long a job will last; how many years marriage and stability will continue - everything can be ripped out from under in one fell swoop - excellent write.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.

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