Starting over from scratch

I lived in a close friend's house for nearly twenty years until recently. We both went through a lot over the years but we were always there for each other, thick or thin.

She had dealt with a condition that made it difficult for her to walk or use her hands for several years. Last year I left my job last May because she needed help getting in and out of her wheelchair, going to the bathroom or bed, taking her pills and so on.

We had a dog we adopted in 2010 and Vicky was his mommy. She spoiled him rotten because she loved him so much.

In July of last year she died at 65, the second best friend I've ever had. It was unexpected and fairly sudden. It was aggressive liver cancer that spread to her gallbladder bladder.

The last time the EMTs took her away, I heard her last words. Our dog was shut in a room and she could hear him barking. She said "Sparky...Take care of my baby."

A few days later, the doctor called to say she had 4-5 days left. Early the next afternoon that became 4-5 hours. I made it to the hospital to say goodbye. An hour after I got home, they called to say she was gone.

The house was in her name and was included in her will as part of an estate. I kept things paid with money I had saved then in August the funeral home called to say she had left me life insurance that paid for the service with some left over for me.

I immediately began looking for dog friendly apartments and work. Her nephew and his family moved in, he was supposed to split costs but never did. Meanwhile, I tried to find someone my dog and I could move in with. Vicky was the only close friend I had in Indiana though and I have no family here.

Anyway, no luck for months then I had an offer to move to New Orleans. That was earlier this spring and money was getting low but I made the leap with help from friends and family.

I had known the person for quite awhile and was comfortable with the idea although I didn't know how my dog would get along with their pets. Stayed one night, the next day one of their pets jumped on the kennel my dog was in, he went crazy. The person told me to leave that day. Turned around and went back to Indiana.

Looked for shelters, none that took dogs, few for men. Alternated sleeping in my car with my dog in a church parking lot and a former neighbor's property. One night it got down to freezing and it was supposed to the next night too. 

I made the decision to give my much beloved dog up for adoption that day and five hours later took him back where he was adopted in 2010. Cried saying goodbye, cried off and on all day. I still have dreams about him and it's difficult to see his picture. Some people say maybe I'll get him back but that's a pipe dream.

Stayed with someone I knew for a few days but it was not working out because I was uncomfortable with his lifestyle.

Called a local homeless shelter on the morning of May 17th, one bed left so I made the leap and this is where I live now.

I'm desperately low on money and the registration etcetera for my vehicle expires in a few weeks, almost $90. I have a 1/4 tank of gas with $13 to my name.

Job interview in a couple of hours and if hired, I'll burn almost $20 a week just in gas getting there and back. At least two weeks if I start there before I get paid. If not, I'll still need to drive.

Regardless, eventually I'll have to pay for everything here at the shelter although I can pay here by doing work here . My cell phone will need to be paid in under a month as well and that's my tie to the outside world.

Tried donating plasma to raise some money but the place is balking because I used to have seizures, even though the last time was 1992.

It just seems like the deck is stacked but some short term funding could go a long way, especially being able to drive to interviews or jobs. Just once I would like to take one step forward without taking two back. People I know on social media try to encourage me and I'm trying but it's a struggle with little to no support.

So much for keeping it short, it's no easy task.

Anyway, I'm just a guy trying to get back on my own two feet again and there has been so much happening so quickly it's been hard just to stay organized but I know my priorities. Shelter/food, work, income and eventually self-sufficiency.

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David Klink 
South Bend, IN
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