Jakki "Be Happy Again"

Photography by    Randy Bacon

Photography by Randy Bacon

On March 12th, 2012, I got my first house - fenced in yard, new school for my oldest son. Yeah, that was a great moment I started out on. I started out in the domestic violence shelter in 2008. In 2012, I got my first house. That was an awesome feeling.

And then things changed. It was just people not doing good things. My daughter’s father ran off to Texas with another woman two months after we moved here. Then my mother moved out after a fight. The lights were shut off on me and my kids and so I had to take my rent money and get my lights turned back on. Babies can’t not have t.v.; mine wouldn't go to bed. And that started my fall. The landlord didn't have much faith in me making the rent money since we didn't have anybody now. And true enough, me and my prideful self not needing anybody, not needing anybody to watch the kids, I became a not dependable employee and got fired and then I couldn't pay no bills so I lost my house. It’s been a very long three years.

The hardest part is really with my intelligence; I've become comfortable with being homeless because living outside there’s no rules, there’s no responsibilities, there’s no priorities. For that part, it’s not that bad. I take pretty good care of myself but I feel a sense of protection from being outside. Watching everybody else’s ups and downs. Being low one moment and being screwed up the next and doing things to hurt me. And knowing that seeing them every day when I walk past them knowing that they hurt because they’ve been done screwed up for whatever happened to them for that day, I can’t not love them. I can’t not show them that somebody is there and they care. Yeah, that whole stinking love thing; people keep telling me to quit looking for it and for some reason I’ve looked for it for so long, since a little girl… It’s the only thing that I want. I could die happy or walk happy or… that’s another strong word - to be happy…. I just want to be happy again.

I do not know what my dreams for myself are right now. I know that I do wish to see myself back, head high knowing that I’ve got things together and that I can go home and I can close a door and leave it all outside. But at the same time, what’s the point in having four walls and a door when it’s empty? With no more babies crawling across the floor, no more young ones screaming, no more crying, no more giggling, no more cartoons. Nobody to cook for. I just don’t see a point. Yet for some reason I’m working on it, though. For the kids’ story of what happened so that’s not what they know of their mom in the end.

(Story chronicled in 2016)