His clothes were filthy, tattered, and his face looked awful. He was missing an eye, and was as repulsive as you can imagine. What should have been an eye was a gaping hole and oozing sore.
He was perched under a tree near a shopping center, in a fetal position wrapped in newspapers. He appeared to be asleep. I left him all the money I had in my pocket and placed it near his head. It was about 12 dollars and some change. I noticed he didn’t have a hat and I was wearing a beanie, so I placed it near the stash and left.
I smiled to myself as I walked away because I imagined his face as he awoke and saw his new found surprise.
I also thought to myself, “This was once someone’s baby boy.”
Then, I thought of my uncle Ronny. He was a fun uncle when I was growing up. He taught me how to fish and would make me laugh. He was the first to introduce me to the song, “Splish splash, I was takin’ a bath,” as he flopped a fish he caught back and forth into the pond in Texas we had chosen that afternoon. We laughed so hard, I began to cry.
Those moments will last me a lifetime.
Later, I heard that my uncle became a heavy drinker. My mother told me at one point, he had lost everything and lived under a bridge in a refrigerator box. I felt sad to hear that news, yet it made me much more compassionate towards other people I saw as homeless.
I have often wondered how close each one of us is to being homeless. One bad decision, one bad choice, one small step away from that box under the bridge.
So, in my current life, I have volunteered at the Rescue Mission in our local town, and I am planning a large art show this year where booth fees with go to the homeless mission here. I urge everyone to give to their local homeless shelter this year. The following video I produced myself at home which took me many hours. I hope it will touch you enough to have you look up your nearest homeless shelter and give to those less fortunate than we are.
Here is the link to my video! https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KarenMaryCastranova/posts