Last night, the Asheville Transit Authority (ATA) voted unanimously to support Asheville Homeless Network’s (AHN) request to endorse our request that the Asheville City Council provide bus passes to some of the homeless here in town. Why is this such a big deal to me? Two reasons.
First, I’m Vice President of AHN and I’ve been working on this project for a couple months. Nope, I didn’t do it alone. Like any other project, this one involved many different people from many walks of life. There was a lot of time and effort into talking with folks, drumming up support and learning what “hoops” we would have to go through to make this happen.
There were a couple of folks on the ATA that seemed to be dead set against doing anything to help support the homeless. I won’t go into details here, but in the end they did the right thing and voted to endorse our request.
While I”m setting here thinking about all this and relishing in a moment of victory, I’m not stupid. I know we only made it through the first step of about a seven step process. We still have work to do, people to talk to and things to make happen. But for the moment it feels good.
Now, for the second reason? I had barely hit the door on my way out of the Municipal Building after the vote and I reached for a cigarette with one hand and my cell phone with the other. The first person I called to tell about the vote was Vickie.
After traveling this journey called life alone for the better part of the past five or so years, it felt really good to have that “special” someone to call up and share the moment with. While I have over 2100 friends on Facebook and it’s starting to seem that everyone in WNC knows my name, it was an awesome experience to be able to share the experience with one very special person.
And Vickie demonstrated how special she is. While I rambled on for about 15 minutes like a little kid telling someone about the latest birthday present, she listened and listened patiently. I babbled some more and she knew enough to let me enjoy the moment.
Over the past five years I’ve gotten to see and shoot some pretty neat things and go to some pretty neat places. I’ve hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, sweated it out in the Badlands and photographed Hillary Clinton at a campaign stop in Iowa among other things. But at the end of the day, I’d go back to the hotel room alone or crawl into the tent by myself. No one to call and say, “Listen to what I did today…”. When I spent three days in the VA Hospital in Shreveport in April, there was no one to call and tell them what had happened.
That’s what makes last nights small victory so sweet. Yah, there was a lot of time and effort put into the proposal. But at the end of the day, I was able to call Vickie and tell her, “Let me tell you what just happened….”