Sometimes things don’t work out quite the way you would like.
As you know, I’ve had a lot of issues with work lately, and, for those of you who follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve been spending in inordinate amount of time and money trying to figure out what is wrong with one of my wee dogs. My finances are fairly depleted, but, even though I’m short of money, I am still better off than many.
Today is cold and rainy and I really didn’t want to leave the house. However, I had an early morning doctor’s appointment a few towns over and, since I had some time, I figured I might as well get a few errands done while I was out and about. As I was pulling into the Empire of Walmart (I know…don’t judge me), on the corner stood a gentleman with a tarp and a sign and a very wee dog. Well, you all know I’m a sucker for small dogs, so I glanced at his sign. It said: “I don’t want a handout, I just need work. I have 2 children.”
Sadly, I have no work to give him and I don’t hand out money, but I asked if there was anything else he needed. His family was in dire financial straits. He lost his job in November and they were hoping they didn’t end up on the street. I asked him if they had enough food (barely). There is so much hunger in America, especially in lower income family and our system is a complete mess, so I told him I would be back shortly.
I’m sure you know what went through my brain.
I picked up staples, and bread they could freeze and use at a later time (I love the bakery “half off” day), plus some food for the wee dog. I even picked up two of those little boxes of Valentine chocolates with the cartoons on them. Every child should have a Valentine’s Day. Since it was pretty cold and crappy out, I stopped by the in-store McDonald’s and picked the gentleman up a large hot coffee and two of the breakfast burritos; he should at least have something to keep him warm,
Twenty-eight dollars and six bags later, I got to my car…and then it finally dawned on me that this gentleman might not have a way to get all this back to his residence. Nonetheless, I went back to his corner and explained my dilemma. He said his wife was in the McDonald’s across the street getting warm and filling out paperwork for food stamps and to try to get medical help for their one daughter who is very ill, but Texas has refused treatment.
I don’t know what the hell possessed me to think this, but I offered to drive her home with the several bags of groceries and bring her back (my daughter would be screaming in my ear: “OMG you know what happened when you do that! I watch Criminal Minds!”). They lived about 3-4 miles from the corner on which they stood; they had no car. They had walked in the cold and rain to get to where they were.
The apartment was very run down and looked as if it might have been a place of business back in the 1940’s. I could see where there were holes in windows that had been covered up with cardboard. I waited in the car while she brought her things up. When she returned, she was so gracious and there were tears in her eyes. All they wanted, she said, was a hand up. A job. Something they could get to be sure that they could keep their children and wouldn’t be homeless or separated.
Her name was Monica. His name was Don. I wish I had been able to give them more than some bags of cheap ass groceries.
Two weeks ago I thought my world was crashing down around me and that everything sucked. But I’m here, and I have a roof over my head. I have a job, even though my hours have been cut. I have those things…whereas these people have nothing but each other. I think we need to keep that mind a little more. (And I usually don’t say this….but go share the heck out of this post….encourage kindness!)
Blessings from the Hearth.