Things I Learned from R. B. (May 10th, 2020)

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4406)

Episode 14

We stayed in Sacramento as long as Sacramento stayed with us.

Although I’m uncomfortable with the comparison, I must candidly admit that our family was a little bit like musical locusts. We moved into an area, found out who might be interested in having us share our talents, and after about six months, we established some lovely relationships—but had eaten through all the crop of possibilities.

Since we had decided to keep working at our mission instead of becoming merely “gainfully employed,” we had to make a decision.  Truthfully, our landlord was requesting that we give deep thought to the matter. It was tough.

The guys were a little older and it was time for them to be settling in somewhere to begin their own lives. One of my sons met a delightful lady whom he loved dearly—and has ended up being his wife for twenty-five years. He hardly wanted to leave her to go back to being a traveling man.

We talked it over as a family, voted as a family and we left our home in Sacramento as a family.

We weren’t sure where to go.

To the west was the Bay area of California—from where we had just come. Not many prospects there.

To the south was Los Angeles, where dreams go to die.

To the east was a lot of Rocky Mountains before arriving at a lot of rocky land.

Above us was the Pacific Northwest, where we had not spent much time.

Also, R. B. was there.

Communication with him after the Thanksgiving holiday had been spotty, but the vibrations from his spirit were tenuous, and sometimes even a bit frightening.

I made a decision on a whim and then convinced my family it was a great idea. I didn’t do that very often, but I thought Washington and Oregon would be good for us and our music—and we might be helpful and nurturing to R. B.

When I shared with R. B. that we would be coming up, he was less than enthusiastic. I understood why—he’d dug a hole for himself where he was partially comfortable but wouldn’t be happy for others to see him inside the tomb.

I went anyway.

However, R. B. did provide one immediate blessing.

A fellow he knew had a five-bedroom house on a cul-de-sac in Tacoma which he wanted to rent—and he would give it to us for only five hundred dollars a month.

It was beautiful—at least, to us.

For the first time in their whole growing-up period, my sons would have their own rooms. (Usually in motels, it was a corner with about two feet of space.)

We settled in, scheduled a few things and the money started rolling in our direction. We had decided to pay rent weekly, so every Monday morning, after our weekend’s adventure, we drove to our landlord’s house and gave him one hundred and twenty-five dollars.

He thought it was cute—but I knew it was wise. I was aware how quickly money disappears in a family of five.

Although my sons were disappointed to leave Sacramento, the prospect of this new home with a huge garage did ease the pain.

We wanted to stay for a while. We wanted to see if we could help R. B. escape his depression and loneliness.

For it had been a year-and-a-half since he had held a job. He was living off credit cards and finding that they, too, were much like the locusts.

We tried to love him, but R. B. was unwilling to see us very often. He was horrified at the prospect of us beholding his living situation.

We had come a long way to a foreign land—to have shelter but feel very foreign.

I did not know what was going to come of our quest, or if there was some doorway into the heart and life of R. B.

 

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