One of the highlights of my day working at the day shelter for homeless men is being greeted by one of the older gentlemen, Stan, or as I affectionately call him, “my Stan Man”. Usually by the time Stan and I touch base, he has read the local newspaper in its entirety and gives me a concise summary of the top news stories, and then, we will discuss some of the more interesting articles. In addition to sharing the day’s news, we also share what is going on in our respective worlds, with Stan teasing me about finding another woman to replace me, at least I think that he is joking. Today, after our morning chat, Stan flagged me down once again and slipped me the note pictured above, which was his way of asking for my help in meeting his basic needs. For me, it was more than that.
It was yet another moment when I was humbled by the simple request for items that do not generally find their way on anyone’s “wish list”. In fact, as a little girl, receiving staples, such as socks and underwear, as Christmas gifts was akin to being given a lump of coal. It still is hard to imagine getting excited about such mundane items, that is, until I saw Stan’s face light up when I discreetly handed him a small plastic bag containing the specified items. In that moment, I came to appreciate the simpler things in life. He was truly happy and appreciative to have these needs met, and when he squeezed my hand and said, “Thank you, Baby; I love you”, it was I who felt eternally grateful, as it was a poignant reminder.
It is so ridiculously easy to get caught up in what we are missing in life, much of it unimportant when it comes right down to it, instead of giving thanks for the simplest of things that really are quite significant. I never have been in the position of having to worry about having my basic needs met, so, I often take such things as adequate food, clothing, and shelter, precious commodities for our guys, for granted. Stan reminded me today that no matter what, there is always something to be thankful for and that those who seemingly have the least, sometimes are far richer than meets the eye.
That’s another story. . .
Categories: That's Another Story