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March 6, 2017: A Wing and A Prayer

My job, such that it is, has many components. And sometimes it has components that I don’t feel like acting upon. But I know that I must, especially when it involves (as it does in this instance) life and death matters.

Pete and I have friends who we’ve known now for over 30 years. Bill and Nancy Fuller lived two cabins down from us when we lived in Fairbanks, on Cloudberry Lane.

Bill had two children, Billy and Emily. Bill Jr. committed suicide in his early 20s. Emily is still alive and has two children, Jarett and Jasmin. She also began to show signs of religiosity. Bill, her father, was an avowed agnostic. Jasmine is now

Nancy Fuller

close to 20 years old. She was a freshman last semester at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She dropped out at the semester’s end, was missing in action until recently when she resurfaced in Denver, Colorado and is now in a homeless shelter there.

I talked to Emily yesterday. She says that Jasmin refuses to contact her. And she’s praying to Jesus that things work out for her daughter.

This is a really bad situation. I wish I could let the matter drop but I cannot. I always liked Jasmin, we got along just fine. And she was the apple of her Grandpa Bill’s eye. They used to practice violin together. After Bill died, Jasmin gave up playing.

What to do? I contacted my cousin Dennis who is a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. His area of expertise is homelessness. He told me via email to check out the Denver Homeless shelter websites. He added a cautionary note which is that there’s nothing we can if Jasmin doesn’t want to talk.

Okay. So I am going to first try and find her. I hope that this is easy and that Jasmin is now on to bigger and better things, and being well cared for. I talked with our friend Sean about her situation some time ago – he said something about her being hospitalized. This, given the situation, may be a good thing.

This is potentially beyond tragic. Jasmin is young, smart, a good writer who has it in her to make the world a better place. And if no one does anything, she might suffer the consequences. If she was older, and a deadbeat, I might feel different.

It’s odd, how sometimes people who are brilliant, creative, energetic, fall by the wayside. We here in this country really feel most comfortable with those who appear to be normal. Normal is our norm.

I learned from my cousin Dennis that many become homeless because they have no familial or friend-based support. They lose access to the couch and it’s all downhill from there. I am, in this instance, family. And we do have a couch though Jasmin is deathly allergic to animals, so she could not stay here and feel comfortable. So I’m now getting going on seeing what I can do about this.

Next: 66. 3/7/17: Tenacity

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