I forgot my keys at home the other day because there were workers in my apartment when I left, so I didn’t have to lock the door, so I didn’t realize I didn’t have them. Unfortunately, when I returned, it was after 6pm and the office was closed, it was also a Saturday and yep, the office is closed on Sunday. Meaning the office couldn’t let me in until 2 days later. I live on the third floor and there are no windows on the front of the apartment. No possible way to break-in without the help of Spider-Man. I do have a little hallway type porch to the entry door that I use for storage mostly.
Luckily, I remembered that about a month before I had given my extra key to my housesitter when I went away for Thanksgiving. I knew I hadn’t gotten it back yet because I am going away again in a couple of weeks. So I called and he had just gotten to work, it would be 5 hours or so before he could come let me in. I just sat down in front of my door listening to my dog inside and pondered my situation.
I spent some time thinking about being Homeless and being on the streets as I sat there in the chilly air. At least I had a home on the other side of the door. At least I had a porch to sit on and at least I had left some blankets by the door that didn’t make it into that day’s laundry haul. I also had paper and a pencil to draw, water in my cart and I knew I would be fine. I had plenty to think about and keep my brain occupied. But this is not the point of this post. The following is what this post is really about.
I was passing out water that day and I was on the Bus home with my empty cart. On the front of my cart is a sign that says “Donations accepted – Any Amount – for water giveaway.”
The woman across from me on the bus was reading my sign and digging around in her bag, she pulled out some Christmas candy and said “Here, please take this because you are always giving to others. I don’t have any cash but take this and know that I see you. This made me feel a little weird, how did she know? She also saw that.
Then she said ” I remember you, I saw you this summer when it was 116° and you gave me 2 bottles of ice-cold water, which I had badly needed, I was close to passing out. I didn’t have any money then either and you told me it was the joy of giving that paid for my water. I will never forget your kindness. I see you around town and you do this many, many times a day and always with a smile.”
I was humbled, blessed and a little embarrassed. I was so grateful for her kind words. She went on “You don’t know how much that smile means when life gets so very hard. Please accept my gift and know, I see you and appreciate you”. I responded with something along the lines of “And I honor and appreciate you.” I thanked her for telling me and her gift that I accepted.
It was with much gratitude that I pulled the Christmas treat out of my pocket and had myself a little dessert while I waited for my key hero.
It still brings tears to my eyes to know that someone was able to see the truth of who I am by my actions and not my words. Integrity is an intention of mine as well as humbleness. This kind of gratitude makes standing out there in the weather, very much worth the effort, all though it’s not a requirement or even a request. It’s like the cherry on the top of your cake. Nice to have but not a necessity to the enjoyment of the dessert.
As I ate my treat, I thought about how there are many others out there on the streets who will have to stay out all night in this 40° chilly and moist air. There are others that wish they had keys to lose. I used to be just like them not so very long ago. I have many blessings in my life. I am so grateful for where I am today, doing what I can, with what I have. I am honored by the gratitude of others. I am humbled by human kindness.
Thank you for reading my story, and may you always remember your keys!!! or be smart enough to hide one outside the door.