I kind of missed my birthday this year. I guess I was so busy with work and ensuring everybody was fine at college (COVID, ya know!), that it just slipped by. But, something that happened on my birthday continues to swirl in my mind. So, I guess that means I’ll give it to you. 🙂
A few days before my birthday my daughter and I were on a walk and saw what looked like a person, completely covered up in a blanket, sleeping on the ground. The blanket was so distinctive and colorful that I remember wondering where the person got it and who was wrapped up in it.
On my birthday I took the dog for a walk along that same path (Yes, we got a dog and that topic could take up 1,000 blog posts – TBC). As we walked, I saw a woman sitting on a bench near where we had seen someone laying, wrapped up in that blanket. As I looked more carefully, the person on the bench had the same blanket I saw the other day. And, I saw the woman was eating a cupcake.
She looked up as I got closer, I smiled and made a comment that the cupcake looked good. She told me it was her birthday and that it was a birthday cupcake. She barely made eye contact with me.
I mentally paused for a moment – and told her it was my birthday too. I also said that I loved her blanket and she told me it was from her “mama.” I said I had some special things from my “mama” too. I noticed what looked like her belongings in a cart. I didn’t want to intrude but at the same time my heart was breaking. I told her happy birthday and as I turned away, she said “you too.”
I have no idea if she was homeless. But, as I left, I began thinking that being homeless is not just about not having a home. It’s also about not having your community of people who are there for you on your birthday and on a daily basis. There’s no safety net. It’s about living a life that maybe you didn’t originally choose. Maybe a life that you have no idea how to turn around. It got me thinking – how can I help? Living in my COVID cave has left something to be desired and maybe it’s time to do something. This, my friends, will be part of our continuing discussions.
Thank you for all the birthday wishes! I really loved them all! So, my birthday wish for all of you is a year filled with powerful experiences.