This Day, last year

November 26, 2009

This day, last year, I thought I had nothing to be thankful for. I began the day thinking I was going to volunteer to help feed the homeless… funny, later I would be mistaken as a homeless person. I had arranged it with the Salvation Army, so I thought. I was turned away as they had too many volunteers. “But I called last week!”- I guess personality traits stay even in the most extreme of fires. I tried again at the mission with the same result- too many volunteers. Didn’t they know how much I needed to see hurt, to experience others walking through life without purpose? I tried again at a church meeting the same result. But, I had the wrong motives anyway- I was only hiding from the holiday. I just didn’t want to be thankful, feasting on a flightless bird, capturing memories in digital- images of me without her, acting as if things were okay. I couldn’t- wouldn’t fake a smile. Why infect others with that sadness, hopelessness, anger?

I remember sitting on a bench downtown and watching families walk by. The sun was warm but the air was cold. I remember moving to a bench on Coffee Street because it was one of few in the sun at that time of the morning. Watching couples walk by, older- I wondered what memories they shared that day and wondered why we couldn’t. I decided to walk down to the Reedy and found a spot under the bridge and stared and thought, cried and wrote. I laid myself down for a while and listened to the families walking on both sides of the water. Its crazy how well water carries sound. What seemed two football fields away, a boy and his father were having a conversation about me. Hiding under my black toboggan and downy beard, I had to laugh as the father explained what it means to be homeless. In retrospect, I see that I was homeless.

Today, I am thankful. I made new memories today. I smiled, I laughed, I celebrated family and friends, hope and grace. I miss Carla- that will never change. Linen prayed tonight, “Dear God, mama’s gonna come down and sleep on my pillow. Amen.” Maybe it is so but I have discovered that Carla’s purpose in life was not for me, regardless of her or my assessment. She lived to glorify God, as we all do, whether we know it or not. But, I am thankful to have shared some of that time with her. I have much to be thankful for. Above all; knowledge, hope and love through Jesus Christ.

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One Response to “This Day, last year”

  1. elizabeth hoffman (hook) said

    michael… reading this brought tears to my eyes.. i think of her all the time && especially linen.. but the both of you are very tough… it will be my 3rd christmas with out my brother who was killed at 18… i dont know how i make it through the holidays, but i know that im not alone, && know that neither are you.. i know you dont think so, but she is with you, watching, protecting… just as wade is for me… may you have a good holiday season… even through your loss.

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