The 4th of July for me was a day that started with a huge hassle. I n the dead of the night a smoke detector went off because its battery had gone out. It made a shrill beeping noise. I had to take down three smoke detectors and do trouble shooting to find the one with the problem. It ruined my sleep. I was exhausted after that. I had my swim workout and drove Elena to work. I came home and was physically and mentally exhausted. I had some crackers and cheese with wine and rested for some hours. I reflected that 16 years ago I started the morning sleeping on a floor in a church in San Jose, California. I assembled all of my humble belongings and put them in the back of a pickup truck. Some staff member drove me to the Glen Willows apartment complex in the Willow Glen area of San Jose, California. I went to the apartment manager and got my key. The Inn Visions staff member helped me to load my meager goods into the two-bedroom apartment. All I had to sleep on was a sleeping bag but I did not care. I did not care for the first time in a long time I was not homeless. I had some hope and dignity in life. Part of the reason that I was there was the generosity of Rebecca Snyders Darr and her organization. They provided me with a $400 grant to pay the damage deposit. The following week I went back to a Catholic Church where I had slept on the floor. They gave me some nice free furniture. I got a truck to deliver it. Joao Santos later helped me to pick up a king-sized bed at a non-profit in San Jose, California. The bed would not fit in the elevator. We had to haul it up to the stairs. I started out working two part-time telemarketing jobs and riding a bicycle. Three months later I started a job at Telewave, Inc that would last for 8 years. Almost 13 months later I met Elena. She came to live with me in that apartment in early February of 2001. Some weeks later we had our wedding ceremony in that apartment.I have never gone back to the world of homelessness. That is what is special about the 4th of July for me.