I drive the same route to and from work everyday, the majority of the time on autopilot.
A recent detour due to the ever popular orange barrels caused me to pay more attention than usual to my daily commute.
Each day for a week I have watched a woman dressed in bulky layers move her life across the busy road in two grocery carts. She pulls them both to the curb, waits for traffic to clear a little and then moves one across the street. She makes her way back to the remaining cart, all the while trusting that neither cart will be stolen or damaged in her absence. She gingerly makes her way back across the road, dodging cars like Frogger. Once both carts are in the same location again she stands looking forlorn, defeated. She shakes her head and talks to herself. I cannot begin to imagine the words that she is using. Is she comforting herself? Cursing her life? Thanking her Deity of choice for having made it safely across the Highway to Hell once again?
She makes me ponder my own life. She reminds me of the beauty that is in my life.
She also gets me thinking.
What is in her carts that she daily risks her life to cross them in the busiest of places. If I were in her shoes what would be in my carts? Pictures of my children? Mementos I’ve gathered over the years that remind me of my children, of my honey? And where did my family go? Why am I without them? Or am I without them? Are they somewhere keeping safe and I’m out earning whatever living I can? Have I lost my job like so many others? Did we lose our home to foreclosure?
Hundreds of thousands of people are in her shoes tonight, sleeping next to their carts of things they hold dear. Praying to their Deity of choice for a change for the good, for the weather to be mild, to catch a break.
Tonight I think of her and I count my blessings. I have a partner in this life who I love with all my heart and soul, who is my best friend. I have 2 beautiful boys who are the reason I rise every single morning. They put the smile on my face and expand the love in my heart more than I ever thought possible. I have an amazing extended family. People who love me and support me, who are there for me no matter what. I have a job I love. Sure there are things I’d love to change a little about my life, about my job. But, I wouldn’t trade any of what I have.
I send my story to you tonight so that you may take a moment to count your blessings. There is something out there for each one of us to be thankful for, even if all that you can find is that you have a roof over your head. I know many of you who come here daily and I know you have so much more than that in your lives. Please count your blessings as you never know when you may lose them.