I FELT A WRENCHING SENSATION IN MY HEART... SOMETHING PULLED SO DEEPLY FROM MY SOUL... I BEGAN CRYING INSIDE... IF I COULD HAVE KNOWN THEN, WHAT I KNOW NOW...
BY GLORIA FAYE BROWN BATES
I was watching tv when I saw something about the 'invisible homeless'. I knew about homeless people who are in every city living on the streets, hidden out of view in tunnels, alleys, and places normally not frequented.
I know it touches my heart because these people brave the elements 'every minute' of their life. Can you imagine that? Every minute, second of their life. It hurts my heart so much. People and animals have to suffer so greatly in this world just to survive the weather... and 'man'. There's always something to prey on the weak.
Here in Raleigh, I got to see on tv one of the faces... of the invisible homeless. It shocked me, and made me sit upright. The cameras panned to a SUV...to an attractive black lady who appeared to be in her late 30's ...maybe. She was sitting under the steering wheel, tucking blankets around her body. She had on a toboggan framing her pretty face... though ..something was wrong. Her face was filled with stress, her eyes filled with tears.. I could see she was cold.
I 'felt' such pain inside for this woman... she said she slept in her car. I had the impression that either she parked in different places, or maybe her car didn't have gas to go. I stopped 'my life' for a few moments to 'really feel her'.... I felt her helplessness, her grief for her broken life. I really felt this so deeply from my soul when I saw....
I didn't get to see all that transpired... but, I did see that something really good and special was given to this woman.... I watched her burst into tears and I watched and felt her emotions on her face as she hugged a woman... her eyes were closed so tightly, and the tears..........
Oh, the tears were streaming down her face.. whatever was given to her meant the very world to her. I saw how her face had wrinkles around her nose and eyes... from the 'raw emotion' ..... my heart actually 'squeezed hard, I felt something pull inside my soul, I felt pain for this woman. I am sitting here 'wanting to cry my heart out'.... she reflects others we don't see.
You won't believe this... on Raleigh's Channel 5 (WRAL).... they showed a preview of this same woman sitting behind her steering wheel... and said that tomorrow evening one can hear about 'Raleigh's Invisible Homeless', people who are living in their cars. I want to watch this very much.
It hurts me so much... because think about it... it wouldn't take alot to make you and I .... have to live in our cars. Unless, you are most fortunate to have alot of money these days, and good health... people like you and I are only... a few weeks, or months from being homeless. Only 'a little money' ..... separates us from living in our cars.
I was just thinking that this old world is so full of pain as well as joy... I think I've known alot of both... maybe just a little more pain than joy.... life isn't the easiest financially.... we are like alot of people, young and older... not really that far from .... being homeless. I've thought about this alot in a 'very real and honest way'. I don't pretend to be anything but, me..... I have my pride but, it's in the most honest way now, as I've grown older.
I always think to myself that 'now'.... if I 'fall on my face'...... that the fall hopefully wouldn't be quite as far... if 'I've never pretended to be something I'm not from the beginning'. I would hope someone would have compassion for me, knowing I'm real, and so 'imperfect'.
I think back to my youth... how haughty, arrogant... (I hate to admit that... I really do. 'Who in the hell did I think 'I' was'?).... snooty I was at times. Like my beautiful clothes, shoes, cars, money, home, my looks 'made 'me' better ....than anyone.
I see members of my 'family', people I know ...doing the very same thing.... 'now'. 'Who in the hell do 'they' think they are'? I 'see myself' in them... nothing can touch them to make them know 'now'. It will take years to 'wake them up'.... just as it did me....... material things are most important ...now.
'Looking down' on someone who is less fortunate.... is most important now... because that's what it takes to make them feel 'big'. If they do give.... they want the whole world to know what they did... so, they can be thought of as so giving and wonderful.
They can't give in a quiet, meaningful way never wanting 'credit for giving'... they want their name there... so, they can be thought of as 'doing their part'.... they don't see that at the same time as giving... they are embarassing, making someone feel little by wanting to be 'loud about giving'. And..... of course, the person will take it because they so desperately need it, and smile with ... a red face. I've been on both ends... at one time or other since I was nine years old... when I began to learn ....'needing'.
I had a big heart 'then'.... but, it wasn't 'big enough'. I wasted so much time being like that.... 'flying high'. The higher I flew, the 'farther I had to fall'......... and .... fall I did. I fell hard... in disgrace, shame, embarassment many years ago. Yes, 'who in the hell did I think I was'? I deserved what I got.
I just saw on tv again... about watching the invisible homeless tomorrow evening at 6:00 pm.... I got to see again that same woman with so much emotion on her face... tears are streaming down my face at this very moment... I could feel deeply for her... more than my words can say.
I wonder if I 'feel so deeply now'.... if it's because I should have years ago.. and when I 'had alot'............ I could have made more of a difference than I did. I wonder if my words could 'touch a younger person/people'.... while they 'have everything in their life... money, youth'.... to reach out and help someone. I've wasted so many years.
I can say that even not 'having everything now'... I do reach out, both Skip and I... and help without asking if someone needs it. If possible ...we 'just reach out' when we have extra... sometimes, we do without to help.... nothing can match the joyous feeling inside when .... giving.
I don't (neither does Skip).... care about all the 'glory and credit' for giving... we do it quietly.... only 'we need to know inside' ... what we did. No one ever has to... only whoever receives... sometimes 'they don't know where the help comes from'.
It 'doesn't matter where it come from'.............. as long as it comes to make a good difference in someone's life when they need it. Aren't we all so thankful... when 'out of the blue'........... just the right things fall into place for us? We sometimes wonder 'how did that happen'..... what's more important is 'that it happened'... sometimes, it saves our lives.
I know all this ....'now'. I don't care if no one ever knows what I've done in my own way.... I do what I can, I 'let go' and go on with my life. I never expect nothing back... never. I think alot of times this kind of knowledge comes with age..... it would be a very smart, caring young person who learned this lesson early in life. Life would be so joyous for them if they learned it early.... I know it would have made my life more joyous..... I could have created so much happiness where there wasn't any............ if I had known.
I know..... 'now'.
Colors As I Go
grief (32) only child (4) Scary (2) Boiled eggs (1) Distrust (1) Don't call me Faye (1) Dying (1) I hate to be called Faye (1) I'm afraid of the dark (1) Middle age woman (1) Pain that reaches the soul.. can't be seen (1) Running (1) Where did my youth go? (1) dying in a beautiful way (1) life is fragile (1) light on my path (1) my son (1)