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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

And along came a stranger ..

...homeless doesn't define who you are...
..along came a stranger..
I was in my garage when I heard a faint knock on my door, after asking who he was I opened the door. He greeted me with a warm smile holding a bottle of Mountain Dew. He had no tools, or lawn mower, and he came on foot. "would you like me to mow your lawn?" he asked...
It was obvious from the height of the grass that I definitely needed his help...the teenager that had been doing it, flaked out, and I hadn't seen him for weeks.."yes", I answered..there's a lawn mower and trimmer in the garage"..
He got right to work and I was amazed how polite and anxious he was to please me...I was surprised that I felt the sincerity...I might not have earlier in my life. I could have called a service but wasn't thinking about it at the time...It's not usual for me to open the door for a stranger..but my gut told me that we needed each other. And we did. After the grass was cut and trimmed, he climbed up on my roof and fixed the gutter guards and performed other much needed work I found for him to keep him busy...I talked to him as he worked..I was anxious to know more about this quiet man, I wasn't concerned about his outer appearance. I learned that he had lost everything to his misfortunes in love...drugs had taken his wife and all his possessions... He didn't have a home, car, money, but what he had was hope. I was inspired and as he left I knew that I would see him again.
A week later he appeared again and said he was ready to help clean my garage. A chore that I was putting off for quite a while...and I had mentioned to him when he had been there last time..As I stood by and told him what to dispose of and what to keep I was once again surprised at how happy this man was.no possessions to speak of, but that didn't seem to matter to him...his smile and attitude almost made me ashamed that I had been pouting about my plight silently for weeks....alone and afraid. He asked if something was bothering me and how I was feeling, when he saw the heart monitor I still sported...I told him that I had been startled the night before and awoken abruptly by a banging on my door. A man was yelling and saying over and over again "hello"!!! in a tone that had me sitting up in bed with my cats in a stalking position... they too had heard it. I remained frozen while the solar lights that surround my home stayed lit..when the lights went out I crept around the home and peeked out the windows..no one.
He seemed very concerned and said that I shouldn't be alone..The garage was stifling and I found myself getting light headed and needed to lie down..I had been having cold sweats and some palpitations. I pressed the monitor on me and called the EKG in for them to record, but not before Jim made sure I made it to my bed, and he ran out to get me Gatorade...I needed electrolytes and he wanted to help. He brought me a wet wash cloth and we waited to see if the doctor read the EKG and would call me if needed..he didn't ! I was feeling better..later that night I received a call from Jim that he didn't feel comfortable and couldn't just let me stay by myself after what I told him about the incident the night before and worried also about my health ...he insisted on sleeping in the truck he borrowed. I protested, but he wouldn't take no for an answer. I couldn't let him sleep in his truck though he tried to convince me it was ok. I asked if he wanted to shower and I gave him a clean shirt and a pillow and sheet..he slept on the couch and I slept for the first time in a week. When I woke up he was gone and all the stuff we were going to take to the dump had magically disappeared. He had graciously taken it to the dump, without even telling me.
The next day I spoke to my cousin, and she hired him and let him stay in her Dad's house that was being renovated. He had passed away and she needed help. Now he has a truck and he is working a steady job...
(I have since put in an alarm system!)
I keep thinking that if he didn't have that job that day he knocked on my door, where would he have gone? He might have gone back to the crack house he left when he left his wife....though I will never know, it made us both feel needed, and that is what mattered...
Don't judge a book by it's cover. If I had fixated a bit more on his tattered and dirty clothes I might have been inclined to say no. But I have learned that when you have an instinct about someone and they have a kind smile, and an eager spirit don't assume the worst.. there is always hope.. He was my angel...
look around you and be kind. You would be surprised that miracles CAN happen..and so much more..he renewed my spirit and helped me look at myself in a different light..if he ever needs my help, I will be there for him as he was for me...with a warm bed and hot meal..and cash in his pocket.
Labels: Homeless, hope, kind smile

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