Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Mother's Day. I'm feeling a little down. There will be no cards or flowers or dinners out or even burgers on the grill at home. My boys don't do holidays.

I do holidays, at least a little, and I'm going to Colorado Springs to have brunch with my mom. I grab my keys, head out the door, and then I see him. David.  He has mowed my lawn for years. His mom lived down the street for over half a century. He lived with her, at least most of the time. Recently, she moved into assisted living, and he's living on the streets. This morning, he looks like he has probably been out all night. He is more than a little rumpled. Wearing a backpack. A sleeping bag hangs from the handlebars of his bike.

I never know what to say to him. Everything seems so trite when he is so lost and so alone. We talk about the lawn. It needs cut. I ask if he will see him mom. He tells me he won't. I think it's probably a pretty long bus ride across town. He tells me he wants to find a church to try, and I tell him there is a new one at the school down the street.

I want to do something, but I don't know what that would be. We make plans for the next yard work, and I tell him to take care. Wave goodbye.

I have to make a quick stop on my way to Colorado Springs. I have some boxes that need recycled. They are too big for my bin, so I want to drop them off at a recycling dumpster at a park not too far from my house.

And then I see them. The car is from out of state, and loaded down with boxes on the seat and a luggage rack on the top. A woman is in the driver's seat, small children are in the back. She looks old to be their mom. Maybe her grandchildren?  I wonder if they are living in the car.

I drag my boxes out of the car and walk around the back of their car to put the boxes in the dumpster. I almost run into a man, pulling a royal blue shirt over his head. I know those shirts, they are the uniforms for a local amusement park, and many of our parents work there. I wonder if this man is trying to support his family on the barely above minimum wage pay most of the workers earn.

And again, I do not know what to say. I make small talk. Say it's a beautiful day. Say there will probably be lots of people at the amusement park. He wishes me a happy Mother's Day.

I drive away, wondering how I could be so ungrateful when I have so, so, so many blessings in my life. Starting with a roof over my head.


Ramona said...

My heart aches for David and the family in the car. Your words show how much you care. It is so difficult to know what to do. I hope you had a nice brunch with your mom.

Ona said...

Perspective. And kindness. That's what I read in this slice. And a good reminder.

Linda B said...

It's like those words from perhaps Mr. Rogers: You can love anyone if you take time to know their story. You can still have those feelings too, but I'm glad you found another way to look at it, too, Carol. I say Happy Mother's Day to you! And thanks for the very thoughtful post.