You’re all wondering if the homeless woman liked the shawl I made her….
I had the shawl in a plastic bag from the grocery store. No frills, no award winning packaging. No, just a quiet bundle of beautiful prayer wrapped with no fanfare.
She wasn’t there. I waited a minute or two, double checked the cooler aisles in Publix to see if she was catching some air. I went back outside (I even forgot to check my weight, who cares, where is she?). After some time the sun was getting angrier with its heat, so I trekked back home, my shopping cart clanging behind me.
Yesterday morning I went back to Publix to find her absent again. I stayed for as long as I could, but then you begin to remember why we are called (I mean, they are called) transients. I couldn’t help but include myself. No matter how far away from homeless I may be, it is a part of myself that is always still present.
The ghosts of those homeless memories are the transients I pass on the streets. Sometimes they are the same dark specters I see year after year, sometimes there are new phantoms making their presence known like poltergeist, screaming and shouting and full on mad….and sometimes there is the noticeable absence of friendly apparitions that are suddenly gone. There was a vacancy in the air with her not there….
I didn’t bother to go today. It’s a grey and dreary Sunday. She wouldn’t be out in this weather. I’ll try again tomorrow.
I will tell you with full honesty, that I have already resigned myself to the idea that I may never see her again. But, this shawl will stay with me whenever I leave the house. I’ve folded it nicely, placed it in a gallon size freezer bag, squished out all of the air and put it in my backpack. So, should I run into her again, I’ll have it with me….always. This shawl will always be hers.
I’m sorry this isn’t the happiest of endings that we wanted, but…I tend to think that all that prayer spent making the shawl will find her. She may not know that I crocheted this for her, but God does. And that really is all that matters. The Universe will find a way to send those blessings to her in some way or another.
She will feel one day, in some way, how much we all loved her….
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