Thursday, March 4, 2010

I am haunted by someone

Unrecognizable person sleeping on bench on sidewalk, elevated view

I am haunted by someone I saw this morning. This person was standing at the corner of my road and the county highway with a sign asking people to stop and talk. I was, as always, running late so I waved slightly and drove on. I have felt guilty ever since. This person is so lonely they’re reaching out to anyone who will stop.

Several years ago, about this time of year we noticed a woman in a pickup pulled off onto the side of the road. Day and night she was there. Concerned that she had nowhere to go, I called the authorities and they said, “Oh we know who she is.” And still she stayed on for about a week.

The following year she was back again for about the same amount of time.

It turns out after some investigation that the woman this morning with the sign on the corner has been arrested several times.

So now I find myself asking how this happens to people. What is their story that landed them in these situations of loneliness, homelessness, depression? At one time they were someone’s child. Once their parents have died is there no one left to watch over them? How do they become the lost people they are?

This woman has a home. But the guilt sticks with me. I’m afraid to get involved. So I become one of the drivers that pass by. And still I am haunted.

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