Just got off the phone with my wonderful and loving daughter. She it is who is wise beyond her 28 years. She who can heal whatever it is that ails me. And not with a cup of green tea to warm my insides, although she does that too, but with sentiments that wrap themselves around my oft-times troubled soul.
Without going into details, suffice it to say my normally blissful life has been upended by something that occurred decades ago. While I’d been able to move on with my life, the event was there like a rock secured to my ankle which I dragged around with me…everywhere. For a long time I barely noticed it was there.
But it was there.
Resolving issues through compromise is always my preference. I’d like to think I’m no different from other folks in that regard.
It’s not my style to pretend like something never happened. It’s like glossing over the truth. And if I learned anything from the 12 years I spent in the daily company of Catholic nuns…TRUTH above all else!
What I didn’t assimilate until I was older is that the truth can hurt…real bad.
I recently decided to stop ignoring that “rock” and see if I could break free of its hold once and for all.
My daughter’s words of encouragement were enlightening.
She reminded me how far I’d come in living my best life. As far as the “rock” was concerned, she felt I’d had the best of intentions in trying to be rid of it, and that I no longer needed to agonize over it.
My “light bulb” moment was when she reminded me of how I felt when I decided to buy coffee and food along with a $25 gift card from Starbuck’s for a woman I thought was homeless. What I chose to ignore was that the woman wasn’t dressed exactly like one might expect of a homeless person. In fact, she could have been the poster person for what the homeless could look like…poised, almost like a model…modestly dressed, but still fashionable-looking…hair done in dread locks, and impeccably clean-looking …face made up, even more so than mine.
Of course I didn’t see these details until my daughter and I were standing in front of the woman, gifts in hand. What had caught my eye, and my heart strings, from the distance was the shopping cart behind the woman which looked to be loaded down with all that she had in the world.
How could I leave, packages in hand…loaded down with Christmas gifts for my loved ones, when this poor woman stood there in the cold and rain as countless shoppers passed her by, sometimes only inches away from where she stood?
Upon approaching the woman, my daughter spoke first offering the coffee, sandwich and cookie that we’d bought. We were caught off by guard by the woman’s quick response…”I don’t take food from people I don’t know.” Needless to say my daughter and I were totally thrown off, and took a bit to recover.
While I tried to ascertain her circumstances, ever so carefully choosing my words, the woman asked who we were, where were we from. She wanted to know what ethnicity we were. When told we were Hawaiian, she said she’d lived in Hawaii and asked if we knew someone she’d known there.
Trying to process the conversation as we stood rooted in place, still clutching our donations, I couldn’t decide if the woman was legitimate or simply conning us. Unable to think straight, I offered her the gift card which she took. Without acknowledging our donation, she continued talking. At which point I wished her well, eager to extricate myself from a situation about which I wasn’t quite sure.
To this day, we’ll never know if the woman was homeless or if she was simply trying to solicit cash. And yes, I did agonize over whether or not I’d done the right thing.
Why? Because a number of years ago I gave a guy $20 after he told me his hard luck story. A few days later he told me the same story, not realizing he’d already hit me up for money before. And at the time I gave it to him, my girlfriend, who was with me, told me she thought I’d been scammed.
My daughter explained that just as my intentions were good in wanting to give to the woman, so too were they good in removing the “rock” that continued to weigh me down. She went on to say that I’d gotten rid of the “rock,” and that I needn’t dwell on whether or not I did the right thing. Rather, that I needed to return to…living my best life.
…i think i’ll do as she asks…for my sake…