Friday, June 06, 2008

Remembering Julie

One week ago Julie was found slumped at the top of a stair case just off the High Street in Swansea City centre. This wasn't in itself unordinary; Julie has been sleeping rough for many years and her life was coloured by deep tragedy and resulting addictions continued the struggle, so sleeping in a corner on a public footpath was part of daily life. Except this time she had slipped into unconsciousness and died. Her body was discovered at about the time she would have been at Zac's Place on a normal Thurs night, where along with many others she came for soup and friendship. Julie was also a regular for Breakfast on the weekday mornings at Zac's and in recent month's she had also enjoyed and actively took part in our Tuesday Tribal Gathering, (Bible Study, discussion etc). She felt accepted, taken seriously and 'at home'. it was also a place where many experienced her tender touches of kindness and thoughtfulness. On the one hand a raging, angry soul but it was easy to see why she was considered to be like the street community's 'den mother'.

A few weeks ago Glenn bathed her feet during the Tribal Gathering, (not necessarily a pleasant task I can assure you), and having been angry and disruptive moments before, she started to sing the old Sunday School song, 'Yes Jesus Loves Me...'. Indeed He did. Last night and one week on from her death, after our Thurs eve Coffee Bar our regulars and others from the street community and welfare workers walked to where she had died and placed flowers, tributes and candles. To some, Julie was a homeless addict, to others a statistic - to those of us last night, Julie was someone who mattered and will be missed.