ruminating

For years, I have been aware of a particular lady. Why she has made such an impression on me, I am not certain. I first became aware of her when I was around 5 or 6. I cannot be certain of the year, but I remember that I first saw her outside the old Sedano’s supermarket where my mom used to shop for groceries when I was very young. My mom stopped frequenting that store when I was about 8, so it has been a good long time. The lady I speak of must have been in her late 40s or early 50s at the time. She was begging by the entrance to the store and I remember my mom offering her what change she had as we made our way to the car. Perhaps it is because I was so young that it made such an impression on me, or perhaps it is because I continue to see her around the city. Always she looks so downtrodden and poor. I wonder how she came to be in the position that she is in. I cannot say for certain if she is homeless, but the ever darkening tan that marks her skin is evidence of long days spent on the streets. I’ve seen her all around town, near intersections, outside stores, by malls, always holding her hand out for a bit of spare change. Sometimes years pass before I see her again, but when I do I cannot help but wonder what her life has been like during those intervening years. I’ve been aware of her for over 20 years. Always I wish I could do more to help her. There are times when I don’t have any money on me and I regret the fact for days. She reminds me of my grandmother, similar in stature and appearance; I imagine what my grandmother’s life would have been like under similar circumstances.

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Author: gricel d.

writer. librarian. cat lady.

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