After the Last Night, by Mom

We woke up to a rainy morning after Rudy's last night out.

We woke up to a rainy morning after Rudy’s last night out.

June 8th, 2014.  Two days after Rudy’s last night outside.

Hi to the world,

Thanks for the wonderful ride.  I never guessed it would be anything like this.

Rudy and I feel like we are in shock. It’s over, but not really.  It may never really be over for Rudy.

I hope it is never over for me, either.  A friend (Sam Cook) wrote this to Rudy: “Thanks for inspiring all of us, shaking us out of our doldrums and self-imposed limitations.”

That’s how I feel, too – I feel shaken and opened up.  It’s like I am a different person now and I don’t want to go back to being the person I was before.  It’s not like I was bad, I was just wrapped up in my own life and cut off from the larger world. Now, I feel connected and inspired in a way that I never have before. Rudy decided to give of himself and serve others when he imagined a fundraiser. The world turned around and opened itself up to Rudy and our family, and took us in.

We had tents scattered around the yard on Friday night.  It was a really nice celebration. Rudy didn’t have much time to ponder his last night out, which is kind of unfortunate.   His friends were here, and he was tired.  I thought about others that were sleeping out Friday night with us and about men on D-day who slept out after a horrific day. I woke up Saturday morning to the rain and the peep, peep, peeps of goslings as our neighbors, the Goose family, walked between our tent and the pond.

That’s something else that has changed for me.  The geese and everything else out there, are my neighbors now, not just visitors.  They were Rudy’s neighbors because he was out there.  Somewhere along the line, I realized that they are my neighbors, too, despite the windows and walls that separate us.  It’s easier to know it when you are sleeping outside, but sleeping inside does not make it any less true.

Rudy and I stood looking at his bed on Saturday night and talked about how weird this was.  Then, he slept like a rock.

A reader posted a comment on the website about how it’s not just the weather that affects homeless people sleeping outside at night. There’s persecution to contend with, constant moving about, a lack of facilities and showers. We are part of the whole of nature, as Rudy discovered; we just build bigger nests. But our homes are just as important to us as dens are to foxes and nests are to birds. They provide us with shelter, security and a sense of peace when we sleep.  It is good to go out to get connected, then to come back in for security and deep sleep. We should continue to work together so that everyone has a place to sleep.

I feel so grateful today. For the wake-up call and for my children. For my husband and home and family and friends. For the support of everyone out there that responded to Rudy’s story.

May we all feel shaken up a bit, and be inspired to do something. May we all take note of our neighbors, both people and critters on this great planet, and be inspired to do something. May we all take note of the condition of this great planet, our home, our giant nest, and be inspired to do something.

Thanks again for support, for donations, for everything.  I’m glad you were part of it.


P.S.  We are leaving the donation pages open until June 30th.  We are REALLY close to $10,000 toward good causes!  It looks like about $7,ooo, but there are donations on the International Habitat page that we can’t see, plus the generous $1,000 match from the Hawk Ridge Board, so really we are at about $9,300.  Let’s push it over the top!!

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3 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    It was nice to finally meet you at the Belden’s the other day. We loved having Rudy as our “Grandma camp” counselor a few years ago! So ia Scott

  2. Tami says:

    you made me cry Gayle

  3. Jerry lacy says:

    Congrats. Very worthwhile !

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