ROSITA

ROSITA
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

I'm drawn to her.
She's seated at a table keeping mostly to herself.
In her 70's, she wears the hardened look of one who's familiar with a difficult life.
Her eyes are hidden by large dark frames, her long black hair falls loosely over a well-worn winter coat, and her Native American roots speak with apparency.
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I grab a cup of coffee and plant myself energetically beside "Rosita."
I invite myself into her life with a few basic questions and the door swings wide open.
She's lonely.
Rosita lives in a one room studio apartment on a hard side of town.
Her personal possessions fit comfortably into a backpack.
She's held more jobs in three months than I've held in my lifetime.
She likes her children and grandchildren but finds it impossible to identify the names of the multiple fathers involved.
Rosita's life is riddled with hard stuff:
Stiff drinks, cheap cigarettes, dirty weed, late nights, and staggering men are all part of Rosita's vocabulary and defining of normalcy.  
Hmmm ...
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The "Banquet" (meal provider for the hungry in downtown Sioux Falls) has been Rosita's "lifeline" for as long as she can remember. Here, she finds safety, warmth, hospitality, and a level of treatment and respect she doesn't receive other places.
Here, she feels at home and is treated with dignity from this curious concoction of individuals she calls family.
Here ... she experiences love, care, and stability.
I try to look with Rosita's eyes at the assortment of individuals defining family and feel privileged to play a part in it over a single meal.
How wonderful, this ministry called the "Banquet."
We make a difference in one another's lives, one individual at a time.
The way we love,
the way we serve,
the way we give ...
it matters.
Find your "Rosita", my friend, and participate in family.
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