Volunteering at My Brother’s Table: Facing it All


Selfie before Lunch Service at MBT
Selfie before Lunch Service at MBT

Pre and intro MBT Service

The above picture shows a somewhat already tired me because I had just had another emotional morning. I began the day at the bank finalising the closure of his account. Oh, this system is one of its kind!!! I wouldn’t bother writing more on this but … whatever right?

And so by the time I finally got to MBT and helped to get the lunch ready, and get myself ready to face the guests (I found it really humane they were officially called guests – those who came for the ‘free’ meals) of the afternoon, I was the way you see me…

The afternoon service went on well, and I was indeed the one handing out the yoghurts (he had told me he loved the yoghurts most). Let me not write about the date on some of those products, nor my trauma at first being assigned the thrashing of others…

I nevertheless ate what they did, so I could sort of feel like they did even just for that moment. Many heads are bent and some replies to your hello are either barely audible, nor do others attempt any sort of response…

Visiting his Last Abode

Selfie inside Gaby's former apartment building
Selfie inside Gaby’s former apartment building

MBT is 12 minutes walk from Gaby’s last abode. I went there with the hope of talking someone to let me into the building. That happened as planned, and I braved my way right up to the door of his last apartment. Simply put, when you get on”Welfare”, your actual Welfare may as well be constructed by yourself in either the Past or Future tense…

Gaby's former apartment, Exactly 507 N°124 Green St Lynn MA
Gaby’s former apartment, Exactly 507 N°124 Green St Lynn MA

I would have loved to get in there but the new occupants weren’t in/or they didn’t answer my knocks (wouldn’t blame them either way)…

I spoke to some neighbours and those who could spare of their ‘precious’ time to talk to me, told me the following:

  1. ya all mind your business;
  2. death is common; and
  3. Life used to be good – they had stories

MBT Round 2

I returned to MBT for the dinner service, and it was a different setting. There were some other kind of ‘guests’ from some sort of jail who had to do community time under supervision. I almost left because their supervisor was outright mean to me. And then there was more waste+too many volunteers so it seemed…

Just as I went to sit down to be one of the other ordinary ‘guests’, and started to talk with some lobbyist for Homeless Veterans, Housing projects and some new drug (ha America wouldn’t stop to surprise me – lobbyist everywhere), the overall volunteer co-ordinator asked if I could help out with the hot meals…

I therefore did serve our guests once more, visualizing my brother in the line. Two of them were outright so pleasant and said they liked both my dress and I. Overall, the evening group were more ‘jolly’ although I noticed some faces from the afternoon…

After an exhausting dinner service at MBT
After an exhausting dinner service at MBT

Overall, it was an exhausting day but one I am glad I survived once more. I am also happy I did volunteer, and hmm the lessons and experiences all put together make this leg of my trip a most memorable one. I am emotionally letting flow to face reality more and more squarely…

Epilogue

I took the bus back home. I wanted to be able to say at the end of my stay in Lynn, that I walked some of the streets he did, took the bus to some place he did, and got picked up from his place just like he often was by our wonderful uncle and family…

I am now ready to continue my soul searching into Vermont where I will at last visit Pammy my heroine. Ah life, Pammy who just regained her voice barely 2 weeks ago, just lost it again today…

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2 thoughts on “Volunteering at My Brother’s Table: Facing it All”

    1. Hi sweet, thanks for your comment. Indeed, I give thanks for these days and take nothing for granted – just like in your last post. Am glad you found me, am yet to be good at finding like minds 🙂 Let’s keep exploring on our various journies right? All the best

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