With temperatures in Muskogee, Oklahoma falling below 0° in the winter and reaching highs over 110° in the heat of summer, it was no wonder that Rebecca decided to come to Gospel Rescue Mission after spending the last year living in her car. Piling herself with several blankets in the frigid cold and occasionally cranking on her heater when she had fuel in the tank, the winter was pretty rough on her, but not near as difficult as the summer would prove to be after a stint in the hospital battling multiple health conditions. But life wasn’t always this rough for Rebecca.
She had a long-standing relationship with a guy she cared very deeply for. Although they had chosen not to live together anymore and both got their own apartment, they remained very close, even choosing to live in the same apartment complex. While her health kept her from being able to work consistently, her creativity and knack for crafts helped her support herself. She could take just about anything and make it beautiful, but her specialty was dream catchers. From old metal plant holders to broken lamp shades, she could weave the most intricate dream catchers out of all kinds of things. “I’ve always tried to look at things from outside the box,” she told us as she reminisced about her designs. Unfortunately, even her best hand-crafted dream catchers wouldn’t be able to stop her worst nightmare from coming true.
Her boyfriend’s health was quickly deteriorating after a stroke left him physically unable to care for himself, so Rebecca stepped in to help. It wasn’t long though before the stroke took its final toll on him, and he passed away, leaving Rebecca alone, without a home, and without any income. She had a few things of her own, and she had a vehicle, so determined to make it work, she set out to live in her car for as long as she could manage. Her inability to work though put her at an extreme disadvantage. She had a van, but no money for fuel. She sold what little she had to try to keep herself afloat, but it was very challenging. The oncoming winter months and frigid temperatures didn’t help either.
Just when she thought she couldn’t handle anymore, she wound up in the hospital fighting for her life against the deadly disease, MRSA. When she came out of the hospital, her body wasn’t the same. The cold temps of winter that she had barely been able to stand were giving way to warm hot days that were absolutely unbearable in her condition. Having had to stay at GRM once before a long time ago, she knew she had a safe place to hunker down until she could get back on track, so after being released from the hospital, she came here.
It wasn’t too long after checking in that she ended up back in the hospital for a few more days, but the last two weeks have been going pretty well for her. She is unable to work a full-time job and without any government assistance, she is in a tough place. That hasn’t got her spirits down though. Her plan is to get back into selling her dream catchers and to apply for housing while she is waiting for her social security benefits to kick in. She still has a long road ahead of her, but for now, her health is doing better, she’s in a safe place shielded from the heat of summer, and she still has a dream to chase.