She walks up to me and says” Lady, can you spare a dime?” I reach into my coin purse and fish out a coin or two. She says: “Thank you, and may God bless you for your generosity!”
I watch her closely as she panhandles her way through the throng of Christmas busy shoppers. Not too many people bother to give her a ‘dime’ or even a look of kindness. Who knows why she has chosen this lifestyle but we have not walked in her shoes?
Later that evening, I see this lady again; sitting close to the dying embers of a fire which the city had closely monitored while the young of the area were having a weiner roast after they sang carols for all to hear.
This time, this lady was not alone. I notice as I look closer that she has a dog which sits close to her; keeping this lady warm from it’s bodily fur. In my haste, I had not noticed that she carried a white cane which lay along side her on this cold cold night.
As I think about this situation, I asked myself, “She is not your concern, you cannot take care of all the homeless who sit idly by; taking handouts and letting the world take care of their needs?”
Oh yes, I think, as I dwell on what my life has been; filled with love of family, friends and coworkers, I must see what I can do to lighten her load.
I walk up to the lady; introduce myself and ask if she would like to join me in a little Christmas spirit of fellowship by sharing a cup of hot chocolate and a donut.
If the light on her face could only be mirrored in her eyes, she would have looked like an angel. With outstretched arms, she linked hers in mine while we walked to the closest vendor with Buddy, her charming dog walking close beside her.
During our short respite; having our treat, I learned that her husband had left her to her own devices when he found out she was losing her vision. She had no family or relatives on whom to depend. Fortunately, she had her Buddy who was like family to her. She found comfort where she could from friends such as I.
I was able to find housing for her through a friend who owned a small apartment building. My new found friend would be able to receive financial assistance since she now had an address.
This new found friend of mine was able to read to others through her art of reading with braille when she was escorted to the illiterate, nursing homes,or orphanages. With this tool, she was able to supplement her income. Buddy, her helpmate has endeared himself to one and all. We have become very close over the years and it warms my heart to see how this lady has found a new way of life; no longer homeless.
NormaLee Liles ©
Used with Permission