Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Homeless Angel—Part Two

As promised, today’s posting is by a guest—Elisa Hirsch. It is a continuation of her Thanksgiving story about a time in her life when she trusted herself to the future. Tomorrow will witness the publishing of her memoir about her son Zeke's death and the grief that followed. In this poignantly honest memoir, she candidly shares her sorrow, her confusion, her anger, her despair, and the journey she and her husband took to forgiveness and renewal.
            Elisa is gifted. At the end of her story today is a link that will take you to a video on YouTube. In that video, she doesn’t just play the violin. She makes music. And her husband, Cade, does the same with the guitar. I met Elisa through the blogging world in late July of this year. Since then I've laughed long and hard when she recounts the antics of her children. Elisa, her memoir, her blog, and her music have gifted me in the past four months. This Thanksgiving I feel gratitude for that gift. It spans the distance between her home and mine.  

A Homeless Angel—Part Two
Elisa Hirsch

 I didn't want to go home. My shift wasn't supposed to end for a few hours. As I thought of that, I remembered a book my boss had asked me to read. So, before leaving, I put the book ("Illusions") in my pocket, got into my car and drove around. Everyone's lights beamed. I saw them through bright windows. They laughed and ate big mouthfuls of potatoes and yams. I wondered for a second, what it would be like to visit with them, or even with my own family if we could erase the past weeks. I wondered if the rich saints in the windows would embrace me like the homeless man had.
                I turned and went a few blocks over to where the rooftops sagged and the paint needed refinishing. The houses were small and faded with age from owners who had no money to fix them up. I pulled my car to a stop, clicked off my lights and watched one family. Tears filled my eyes. They had nothing—NOTHING. I knew because of the old furniture, crappy clothes and how skinny they were. Yet they danced around the front room and laughed. I couldn't keep from sobbing through my tears. I'd been wrong to think they had nothing. I'd been terribly mistaken because that family had love.
                As I sat there, it was a bit funny because for the first time in months, I felt peace, all because I became a peeping Tom. I no longer wanted to be the one in the window. It was nice being on the outside. I learned from their joy and happiness. I could dip into a thousand memories and none would have the power to hurt me.
                I drove around awhile longer. Slowly everyone's lights started going out, one by one until darkness overtook the city. I thought of driving to the mountains, but who knows what kinds of animals lurked there at night. That's when I decided to go to Sugarhouse Park.
                Lampposts doted the pathway there, reminding me of Narnia. A huge canopy of trees hid a tiny stream which ran through a clearing and past a long, bony bench.
                The year before, I'd go there with an ex-boyfriend. We'd somehow show up at the same time. We'd sit on that bony bench and talk about all sorts of things, for hours, even though we hadn't planned on meeting there at all. After a while we'd forget our problems and laugh together. That was before the night when he gave me his dad's ring—before I realized he was doing drugs.
                I dusted snow from the bench. When I sat down, things didn't feel right though, like death watched me from the shadows and peace couldn't stay. My heart missed something, more than Thanksgiving windows could offer. I wouldn't admit what it was, so I pulled out "Illusions," the book I kept in my coat pocket.
                I opened to one of the first pages and read the marked section. Each word affected me. It talked of a crystal river where strange creatures clung to the bottom. I stopped reading and looked at the stream rushing past. It glimmered under the lampposts and I felt as if inside the book.
                I read on. Every creature clung hard, but one bravely hoped for more. It wanted to journey along the river, although that meant letting go and leaving everyone else behind. So with courage as its only baggage, the valiant creature let go, and ended up finding adventure and himself, down the rushing waters.
                I shut the book and closed my eyes. Maybe that's how I could find my worth. I wouldn't be searching for it, I would be experiencing it, moving past the judgment and the criticism from people at church and the kids from school.  I would be wonderful like that homeless man, finding my worth in the unexpected.  I looked up at the night sky.  As long as I had God, maybe everything would be okay.
            Thus the journey began, before I left with Cade (my husband for over ten years now) and became a homeless street musician in Hawaii.

For more information about Elisa and her upcoming memoir, please visit
To hear the music Elisa shares with the Universe, 
please click on the following link 
and listen to one of the songs she and Cade played in Hawaii.


  1. I think this shows Elisa's beauty more than anything else anyone could say about her.

  2. Beautiful! Truth shines in her story. :)

  3. What a loving community we've created. I'm glad to be a part of it.

  4. This is all so beautiful, Dee; your gift of sharing Elisa's writing and music, her story, the wonderful way these things we call blogs can reach out and touch so many. I am always amazed, even more so having discovered your blog. Much to be thankful for as our our holiday of Thanksgiving rapidly approaches.

  5. I am over-awed, as I often am when reading Elisa's words. I have felt on more than one occasion, that she possesses the soul of an angel. Her youthfulness belies her deep-seated sensitivity and profound understanding of the humanness of mankind. She has insights that many never reach in a lifetime.

  6. I echo Melynda. I am crying too hard to think of another comment.

  7. When I first started following Elisa, I thought she must be around mid-30s or so. Her writing was so insightful, mature.
    Then I found out that she is a young woman in her 20s. Life has given her heavy loads, and God has given her music and words.
    This book is awesome.

  8. Wow! I have no words to add to what Elisa' story has opened up inside me. I feel that I have been blessed to find you, Dee, and through, Elisa. Thank you.

  9. I feel so fortunate to hear more of Elisa's story. Dee, you've really blessed us all through sharing her--along with her talent. She has great depth and a sensitive spirituality in her speaking. How wonderful! Debra

  10. So much kindness! I don't even know what to say. All of these comments, from the first to the last--how generous of each of you to say such wonderful things.
    How did I get so blessed to find all of you? These last few days have been some of the best in my entire life. WOW!

  11. And thanks again, Dee, for letting me guest post.

    The blogfest is now up and running. I linked your name to your story about the cemetery. :)

  12. Simply beautiful. Her courage is so striking - that willingness to sit with the discomfort and unsettled bits of her life, but the vision to recognize the beauty in simple love like that poor family. Thank you for sharing.