KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Let me tell you about Daryl and Darlene (not their real names), who as of Easter weekend 2015 became friends who now spend all holidays together.
There is a very interesting story behind how they first met and became friends. Sometimes miracles do happen and you are going to see later in this story a miracle did happen with Daryl and Darlene.
It is important to know that Daryl and Darlene are not a married or common law couple. They are just two good friends who have a bit in common and they spend time together. Also they live at totally separate addresses/apartments. The reason they don’t want me to use their real names is that they’re on social assistance.
Holidays should be a time we celebrate not being alone in life. However for many living in poverty holidays can be a time of lonesomeness and social isolation. This is what I wrote last year: On poverty and the challenges of the Easter weekend.
While interviewing Darlene and Daryl, they mentioned that they saw my story, We really need a 24/7 drop in centre to tackle problems of social isolation.
In this story I talked about how people living in poverty are checking themselves into the QEII Emergency, only because they need human contact that badly.
Daryl and Darlene told me that they first met on the Easter weekend 2015, and they both were about to check themselves into the QEII emergency for needing human contact.
Well, actually they had seen each other in the QEII emerge waiting room before that Easter weekend of 2015. It just so happened that on the night of Good Friday 2015 they arrived outside the emerge at the exact same time, just getting ready to go in and go through the registration process.
At that point they looked at each other and said to each other, “You know what, let’s go to the nearby 24-hour Tim Hortons and have coffee to get to know each other, instead of checking ourselves in here tonight.”
Then they said to me, “Well, we have had conversations before that night and gotten to know each other a little bit.”
So instead of checking themselves that night, they went for coffee and took the opportunity to get to know each other.
When they found they each had in common feeling lonely, socially isolated, and spending times like weekends and holidays alone by themselves, that was the starting point of them hitting off the good friendship they now have with each other.
They were telling me as part of the good friendship they have with each other, spending major holidays and a lot of weekends together as friends became part of their friendship activities they do together.
“We are glad we we went to Tim’s that night instead of cheeking ourselves into emerge, because our good friendship would have never gotten off the ground otherwise,” they say.
Oh, and here is the part you readers are going to like the most:
They also said to me, “Kendall, since Easter weekend of 2015, we never checked ourselves in the QEII emerge once, and we consider that a bit of improvement in our lives.”
Kendall Worth is an award-winning anti-poverty activist who lives with disabilities and tries to make ends meet on income assistance.
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