Sunday, December 24, 2006

Bittersweet Evenings

Last week Brian and I went to see a play downtown. After it was over I went to the bathroom and bumped into a homeless woman I have spoken too several times before. She has always been so sweet and I recognized her right away and asked her how she was doing. She wasn't doing well. She looked a bit sickly and told me that she had been wearing the same clothes for three weeks and she stank and how hard it was. It broke my heart. I gave her a hug and promptly emptied my wallet. She cried. I cried and wished her well and left. It was all I could do to maintain my composure until I got back to the darkness of the parking lot and our car. As Brian closed the car door behind me I started to weep. I looked at all the little families walking to their BMW's, the little girls in Christmas dresses heading home to their warm and comfortable lives. How can that woman see that every day and still keep smiling? How can she not be overcome with anger and resentment at the unfairness of it all? On the way home I talked with Brian about what I could do the next time I see her. I suggested taking her home, letting her have a long soak in the tub, a good meal and some clean clothes. But then what? Send her back into the cold? It's hard to know what to do.

I decided that every chance I get to help someone like that, I will take. And in the meantime I will do my damnedest to appreciate every moment I have, every comfort I experience and every privilege I have not really earned. Tonight I am grateful for my family, my lovely husband life. It's the least I can do.

No comments: