Let's just say my town has its share of wierdos, drug addicts, and other types society shuns. Being a sort-of remote town in the woods, the black sheep of society can hide out here. But really, most are very kind...this mountain takes care of its own and is close knit enough that the bad guys are well known and often driven away.
So the local post office is their mecca, they sit on the bench at the entrance smoking cigarettes and begging for money. However, its like they have radar because they end up striking up conversations with me like I am a long lost friend. They are all very friendly and um, interesting. There was Charlie, who was in and out of homelessness, a veteran, run up on bad luck but a good guy. Disabled, he spent his days (when not begging at the post office) rescuing animals worse off than him. He had a 18 year old blind dog who had cancer or something, who had been left to die. I commended Charlie for being a very caring person and we chatted for probably ten minutes until hubby ended up finding me, worried I'd disappeared, and took me home. Sadly, Charley passed away about a month ago, and hs dog was scheduled for surgery that day and passed away two days later. Such stories make me sad.
Today's post office folk were a lady and her boyfriend, probably in their 40s or 50s but you can never tell. They were homeless, looking for change to buy breakfast. The lady was super chatty and gave my son a mardi gras necklace (which quikcly shoved in my pocket, saying he can have it at home where he won't lose it....really, it got a good scouring in bleach). It did touch my heart that someone with nothing gave away a small gift and, funny but sad and sweet, she said she wish she had saved the old wagon she saw in the dumpster to shine up to give to him. She then told me about being "ghetto" and stopping a knife fght st dawn (showing me her wound) and how she had eleven kids, fhe first was a miscarrage at thirteen, yes, thirteen. Wow. Such stories and people like this do make you feel blessed for what you have, and make you want to give to those without such blessngs.
The thing that stuck with me in yet again a darkly humerous but sad and sweet way is this...she offered to babysit my kids anytme, free of charge. My mama bear instinct and logic say, give her some spare change but not your children for Christ's sakes! So I gave her some change. However, after the oddity of a self-professed "ghetto hobo" offering child care wore off, I realized that even people with nothing, and a life time of tragedy and stuggle, can have hearts of gold. I've met far more well off a**holes in my life. Therefore, my lesson learned is, no matter who you are or what you have, give love, kindness, and help to others. As the Bible says, And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another just as God has
forgiven you in the Messiah.