"You wouldn't believe what he did Ms. Marshall!, this morning he put the water in the sun so it would warm up before I washed my hair!" Those words were expressed through a smile of decaying teeth and wrinkles as we were waiting for hair cuts. Haircuts for Ms. Valoree and for Mike--miracle worker Mike. She told me she never had a professional cut before. She was giddy and grinning from ear to ear. The ladies at Great Clips were so sweet. They recognized her as the "smiling for our troops" homeless lady. Extra effort was being made to make them both look extra special. As I watched her and Mike's hair being cut and styled, a gentleman waiting for his son's hair cut, approaches me with a lowered voice and a warning. "I want you to know that I almost turned the other way when I saw these two in here...." as he flashes his police badge, " I know a lot about them and I won't go into detail about it.. " what? theft? drugs? alcohol? abuse?...thanks for protecting my delicate ears. "But I want you to know this is refreshing. Its good to see this side of humanity. Its good to see good things happening and attempts for change happening. Just want you to know this was good to see." I gave him a half smile.
Valoree could not stop talking about how light and bouncy her head felt. She did not remember the small pleasure of clean and groomed hair. Everyone gave us an audible farewell--everyone but the cop. They even walked out with a generous donation from the stylist of 10 packets of expensive shampoos and conditioners. I got a discount.... :-)
So in the last two days it has been busy. Clothes and shoe shopping, doctor appointments, pizza, Viva burrito, slurpees and more doctor visits. It had been over 10 years since Valoree had seen a doctor. She found out info she didn't want to know. She was scared and nervous. She is realizing how her husband, who passed away, kept her down. How he kept her afraid and abused and homeless. How she gave up her 3 children for him. Its as if Ms. Valoree is waking up. Waking up from a deep sleep of 17 years of abuse not counting her oppressive childhood.
She went home with sunscreen, face lotion, perfumes, pretty bra and a nail maintenance kit to mention a few. Make overs are on next weeks schedule. Mike got a little help too. Being homeless for the last 3 years has taken a toll. Shoes and clothes and a second chance is what he needed. Determined to take Ms. Valoree out of the desert and into a home, we brainstormed job options. He is hopeful and good.
A miracle has occurred. I heard Mike say several times, "Its gonna be OK baby.." and she'd answer,"alright baby, I trust you...". Love. LOVE IS AWESOME!!! Love is the driving force in change. Love from others, love for ourselves and most importantly love from the Savior. Love is changing Ms. Valoree!! Woo hoo. Powerful. Miraculous. This leads me to reflect on the love in my life. The way it motivates and inspires me to be better. To be more than I am. To serve and thank God every day for my family and my incredible friends who surround me and lift me up. With love, truly all things are possible. Thank you for your love. XoxO Til next time.