Bob and I were taking Nolan to school Friday, and there was a car stopped in the middle of the street, hazard lights blinking. I think Bob's first initial response was" that's a great place to leave your car".
I noticed all the cars just swerving around the car in a hurry to get where they needed to be. When we pulled up next to the car, I looked in and noticed a woman sitting there, eyes closed, and her head sort of to the side. I thought something must be wrong with her. I told Bob I was going to check on her.
The light was red, so I hopped out of the car and knocked on her window,no reply, I knocked again harder, no reply, so I thought I will try once more and then I am calling 911. The third time did it, she slowly lifted her head, turned toward me and rolled the window down. I said"Mame do you need help?, she said"yes". I could tell she was crying. "Do you want me to call 911, do you need medical attention?", "No, I have run out of gas and have been here for awhile, no one will stop and help. I am having a really bad morning. I don't know what to do."
I looked in her car and could tell she was probably living out of it, so I said " We will turn around at the corner and my husband can help get your car out of the way. I will be right back." by now the light is green and people are wanting me to get back to my car so they can leave..
So, we turn around, it took a few minutes, so I was thinking, I bet she is not expecting us to come back. We did. I dropped Bob off at the corner, and then took Nolan down the street to his school. Bob with the help of another guy, got her car out of the street.
By the time I got back, the car was out of the way, and the other guy was going to get her some gas. She was very grateful, and didn't ask, but Bob gave her some money. She had been sitting in that car for an hour. She was at the end of her rope, when we came by. She had decided to sit there and think of a way to be "done" with it all. She had no hope, that anyone would help, or even stop.
It was amazing to experience this first hand, how our economy has drastically hurt so many of the working class people. Here was a woman around 38 yrs old who had been able to take care of herself, and then suddenly finds herself unemployed and homeless. But more than that she was hopeless.
I realized that I live a comfortable secure life, where so many are fighting to survive. I feel sadness that we live in a world where no one stops to help anymore. Every one is too busy to notice, when there is someone right next to them , screaming ,desperately for help.
I wonder how many people I have passed by on the street that are in this situation. Afraid, alone, depressed. How many of my own friends? family members? have I gotten so wrapped up in my own life to not take notice of what is going on around me?
In my neighborhood last year an older couple committed suicide because they had no way to pay their mortgage. They had lost hope. Yes, it is all around me. It is all around you.
It is time for me to live for something other than my self, other than my own self indulgences,it is time for me to start living self less . I am going to look around and see what the needs our in my community, and start contributing to the solution. I am going to live with my eyes wide open, not with my head stuck in the sand.
Each one of us making one small difference together, will make a big impact and give people hope, and encouragement. I never want to look at another person so hopeless again, so beaten by this world, and know that I have done nothing to help.
This woman, who was so hopeless, smiled when she said goodbye. I wish she knew that she gave me so much more, than we gave her. She gave me a new perspective and appreciation on life. She gave me hope.