"Frankie and Mindy" sounds like the title of a romantic movie. And, in a way it is.
It was the evening of April 9th, 1984. Much of our country was glued to a television set, as the legendary Johnny Carson was presiding over the academy awards show at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The evening's momentum continued to build toward the announcement of the best actress award. With no emergencies at hand, the nurses and doctors in the labor and delivery department at Kaiser Permanente gathered at the television set in the common area. Suddenly, one of the expecting mothers needed immediate assistance. Mindy M., one of the junior nurses, was dispatched down the hallway. A few minutes later, Mindy would help deliver the very first baby of her career. When Mindy would later reminisce about the joy she felt at that moment, she would say, “I remember thinking how sacred a moment is this, I was the first life to touch this life in this world.”
In 1990, after delivering nearly one thousand babies, Mindy suffered spinal degenerate disease. Thus, she could no longer continue her promising career as a registered nurse. Unfortunately, her troubles did not stop there. Mindy later began suffering from a mental disorder, which meant that her husband Frankie, a hardworking and experienced salesman, would have to give more and more of his time caring for Mindy.
About eleven million adult Americans suffer from severe mental illness, according to the Substance and Mental Health Services Administration. Our government provides a vast network of assistance for many who suffer from disabilities. Unfortunately for people like Mindy, there are gaps in the system. In Mindy's case, she no longer can earn a livelihood; she and Frankie are unable to subsist from the nominal government help which barely provides enough for two of them to eat, especially after partially paying for her basic medical help. They can hardly afford the gas for the van which has served as their residence for the past four years.
The first time I met Mindy and Frankie, I was taken aback by the grace in which they have accepted their dire situation. Clearly, this is one of those cases where people must rely on the generosity of others for their modest needs.
As I have shared here in the past, I was taught that every encounter has deep meaning. At times, situations are placed before us to provide us with an opportunity to step to the plate -- to be there for someone else who needs help.
As the Holiday of Passover nears, the time that will mark the 3,325th anniversary of the end of the enslavement of the Jewish people from Egypt, we are called upon to consider how we can assist others who are enslaved by their predicament of utter despair.
The generous people at Feed Your Soul are currently assisting Frankie and Mindy with the goal of finding suitable housing and helping them meet their monthly living needs.
An important part of the yearly Passover observance, is the reminder that each of us is enslaved in one way or another. When we take the time to help someone else out of his or her “slavery” we actually to experience the first steps of our own personal exodus.
With the image of Malibu as an enclave for the super-wealthy, I realize the plight of Frankie and Mindy is at odds with how Malibu is otherwise known. But the reality is that sadly, there are over 50,000 homeless people In Los Angeles County, – and even Malibu -- has homeless.
These are people right here in our community who do need our help. You can be a part of this goodness and kindness by clicking here. Please make sure to put in the description “Frankie and Mindy” All monies allocated will go directly to assisting them.
Frankie and Mindy may not live a carefree life the way movies portray romance. But there is something precious in the way that Frankie has given up his life to care for Mindy. His devotion should be an inspiration to all of us