two stories that made me think like this.
the first, short and sweet as it is/was, i thought about it for three days. i still think about it.
i was walking home from walgreens and there is this homeless man who sits in the corner right outside of the walgreens i go to. and, i pass him all of the time so i always say hello but that's about it, and i keep going on my way. he's in a wheelchair and he doesn't have any legs, so i've always kind of assumed he's a veteran. but once again, that's an assumption.
i have always liked him though, because there are homeless people that beg for things, and ones that just say hello. he's one that just says hello. he doesn't pitch a sale, and i almost think that's his way of saying "i know if you had the means, you'd help out," without saying a word. he knows he doesn't have to tell people he's homeless. we know. we know why he's sitting on that corner. and we know that he'll take a dollar or a meal if we have some to spare. anyways, instead he usually says hello, or something about the weather. never anything too pushy though--so i appreciate that about him.
well on my way home from walgreens i see an older man stop and talk to him. i slowed down my walk because i wanted to catch some of the conversation. i heard the older man say (and who knows why he would say this), "you don't have a home, and you don't have any legs." and in the fifteen seconds that i could hear them i caught the man's response... and it really stuck with me. he said "it could be a lot worse. i could not have a soul."
second story. i was in the grocery store on saturday and in the bread aisle looking for some bread to make sandwiches, whatever. anyways, i never really know what to buy and i don't necessarily have favorites so sometimes it takes me forever in an aisle. i must have looked puzzled or something because this woman started talking to me about which bread she eats and how it's lower in sodium, etc. she was probably late 60's. somehow her talking to me about bread led to us talking for forty five minutes. i have to admit part of the time i was frustrated, thinking things like "okay i have raw chicken in my basket, need to get home!" but i could tell that she just wanted someone to talk to, and she liked to talk. so, i listened. after all, it's just chicken.
and we got to talking about everything, in the middle of the store. what food is good to buy when you live alone, what i want to do after school, what she does for work and her travels and men and life and wow. before i knew it, i knew this woman's life. and she knew some of mine. she mentioned a few times things about living by herself, and living down the street, always being on the road, etc. i could tell (by these subtle comments) that she was lonely. i'd guess either widowed or not ever married, no kids. and i got to thinking "gosh, that is really so true. when you're at that point in your life and you're not married and you don't have kids... who DO you talk to?" i can't imagine.
so, we finally ended our conversation, and it was because she said something like "you should really go, i know you have a life." and i responded something like "not really!" and later, i thought about it and how lucky i am to have ten people to call if i want to talk about my day. it made me sad for her. when we were walking away she wished me luck and she said "you were really great to talk to. really. this was the best part of my whole day." it was so nice. she made my day too, when she said that. and immediately i felt bad for being frustrated and rushed during the conversation at times. and i learned a very valuable lesson on saturday--to always listen. you never know how much it may mean to someone.
i certainly know it made me realize how much i take for granted. having a cell phone full of friends and family to call if something exciting or bad happens.
so, two awakening sort of moments for me. and i wanted to remember them. and share them. that's all for now.