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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

 I know it's Giving Tuesday but I'm watching my last few shekels.

Still it's a wonderful time to talk about how I personally have benefited from the giving of others on this day, the seven-month anniversary of being laid off from my job and losing my apartment at the newspaper.

From the very first day, friends and family -- and then complete strangers -- have reached out to me to offer support. Even single women my age from across the country offered up free rooms. Um.

I have received six packs of great beer, hotel stays, the Hermitage, cash, gift cards, GoFundMe.com gifts. The response has been incredible -- and truthfully needed. I have been in dire straits before (not the band obviously) and my savings were meager, even at my age.

But the best of the giving? The emotional support.

Not only have family and friends reached out, just to ask "How are you doing?", utter strangers have stopped me in public to introduce themselves and ask the same. 

Keep in mind I have lived in Bloomington less than two years.

There's that self-loathing part of me that questions how I deserve this well-wishing but one of the few items of maturation I've learned to adopt is just saying "thank you" and wallowing in the warmth.  ("Wallowing in the Warmth" would be a great autobiography title. Better than my current choice, "What's that Smell?")

Despite the difficulties and the pain of being the Homeless Editor, I've been introduced to the incredible generosity of fellow human beings.

Just tonight, I met my benefactor of the Hermitage in the driveway and thanked him again. "I'll remember this forever," I said. "Just remember, pay it forward, man" he said. "That's what we do.

Indeed.

Peace and generosity to you my brothers and sisters.


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