Nichole mailed K and informed her that mother in law passed. We had no idea actually if she'd even get the email as contact with her now is sparce. I also wrote her a brief note. I didn't expect the response that she sent. She was of course very saddened by mother in law's passing. She was the only real grandmother she had, although my Mom did her best to fill the role too whenever she was around K. And let's face it, if Norman Rockwell were to paint the perfect grandmother.......I think he'd have chosen mother in law. Unfortunately their situation has not improved. Now I don't know whether they're in East St. Louis or West St. Louis, so I don't even know if they're in Illinois or Mo. And honestly, I don't think K does either. Enormous city and she's use to a fairly small one. They're still in the homeless shelter........and I'm gathering from what she's telling me and from what she's not telling me that it's not the world's greatest place to stay, yet it's off the street and she's stuck it out. First I need to put in here that 10 yrs ago when I brought K here I'd more or less talked her into it......sometimes I still wonder if I'd unintentionally pushed her into it.....or made her feel like she was being pushed into it. But she had never actually asked to come. I'd offered yet again and she'd accepted. And I don't really know if her husband had a hand in that or not. He could've been pushing her hard to come here to get himself out of the hotseat.........or not.......who knows. Not once in all the time we've talked again has she asked me for a thing, except to stay in touch. She did ask if there were any jobs in the area.......and I told her the truth, they're as hard to find here as they are there. Maybe more so as ohio is pretty bad off right now. Sometimes the way she'd word things made me wonder if she was hinting.......but she never once asked. Well, that has changed, sort of. This last mail she is clearly miserable, lost, and afraid. She said I hadn't been hearing from her because her husband had pawned his laptop so the kids could eat. She had gone to the library to mail me. She said he's doing odd jobs for the shelter to earn bus fair to look for jobs. Then she added that it's the first mature thing he's ever done. But added that it was too late. At the shelter they're not allowed to be together. She's gotten used to him not being around. She said when they do see each other he makes the extra effort to be affectionate but it doesn't meant anything to her, doesn't make any difference. She said the shelter has made her grow up..........and I got the impression she is looking at him differently these days. The shelter they're staying at is being closed for not having a proper license or somesuch. All the other shelters are full. It means back on the street for K and the kids who are just starting school there. At the end she said she wanted to be with her family, that she missed us all so terribly. She wanted to come back and earn our trust back and restore our faith in her. And as much as I've worked hard at hardening my heart against her...........that got to me. I have always believed that most people deserve a second chance. If it were easy child or Nichole I'd move heaven and earth to find a way to get them home to help them. I'm really torn about this tonight. That doesn't mean I'm going to do anything rash. I'm not the same person I was 11 yrs ago. But I'd be lying if I didn't admit that it's got my Mommy heart hurting. K messed up big time all those years ago. But honestly, does that mean she has to pay for it the rest of her life? And yet I have no clue how I could help her even if I wanted to. They can't come here, we've neither the room nor the money. We are seriously barely scraping by ourselves. I don't think I can even afford to send her money........even 20 bucks right now. She didn't ask to come here, she asked to come to a nearby shelter. But all the shelters here have been over full for months. Even the churches are overwhelmed. Our food pantries are bare.....they're volunteers have taken to standing outside of the grocery stores begging for donations. It's really sad. If she could come to a nearby shelter........I might be able to make sure the kids had food in their stomachs. Growing up poor teaches you to make huge meals that cost basically nothing. But she'd still be on her own as far as finding an apartment, job, and the like. I don't even think many of the services she had used last time still exist due to the state being so overwhelmed. There are moments when I really hate being the mother to grown children. I have been where K is now. And it hovers major. I have felt that totally alone in the world, the hopelessness of it ever getting better of anyone even giving a d*mn if it did or not. Ever had instant mashed potato soup? My kids had it 4 days straight while staying in a shelter. It was the only thing they had left after having been over crowded for an extended period of time. And yeah, a decision I made at the time is what put us in that position. My Mom "helped" from a distance, sort of......and in the end wound up renting her house to me because there was no where I could afford to rent in a half way safe neighborhood. Major growing up period in my life, and not so fond memories either. I can't just bring K here and "fix" it for her. Nor would I try. Even if she did come here it would have to be to a shelter. As a family we would be her support system. That's about it. Help the way we help each other, but she'd be on her own for the rest. I did just show the mail to Nichole. Her gut reaction was to go get K and the kids immediately. But she also realizes we can't just do that. So instead she's asking an ex teacher of hers who is a pastor and big on helping in town ect if he has any ideas. For all that K has done..............she has never before asked for help, asked to be with the family. She hasn't asked to live with us, hasn't asked for money, she just wants to be near us. I think perhaps K has reached her rock bottom. I haven't answered her because I'm not sure what to answer her. Her hopelessness and utter despair jumps out at me in the email. I don't want to give her false hope. But this is especially hard for me because I've been where she is and I know exactly what it feels like. So we'll do some checking and not say anything. Doesn't hurt to ask around. Odds are we won't be able to do a thing. But Nichole is already onto the fast track of locating nearby shelters.... Don't know where this is going........don't even know if it's going to go anywhere. Just sort of using this as a way to sort my thoughts and maybe get some feedback.