A couple of weeks ago, I saw something very disturbing. A young woman, probably in her early to mid-twenties was at a fast food restaurant where one of my coworkers and I had gone for lunch. We don’t eat out often, but my coworker offers every once in a while and since she doesn’t drive, it’s a treat for her.
We were sitting there eating, and I noticed the young woman across from us. She kept looking out at the street, and was poorly dressed. It was obvious she was homeless. She was wearing jeans that were too big and too long. And amazingly, she was wearing high heels. I don’t think she was a streetwalker… her shirt was baggy and dirty and she just looked unkempt.
After observing her for a few minutes, I realized the reason for the baggy pants and shirt… she was pregnant. At least 7 months along, I’d estimate.
After a while, she and the man with her (he was at least double her age and also looked scruffy) left the restaurant to go across the street. As she walked past, she hitched up her pants several times, and pressed her hand into her back as it were painful. She chose her steps carefully, hobbling, as if her feet hurt from the high heels.
My coworker was telling me (as I’d mentioned the young woman to her) about how her church gives Walmart cards to homeless folks. That made me remember my own Walgreens card in my purse, that I’d been waiting to spend. Knowing I’d be going to Walgreens and buying impulsively, I’d been waiting until I saw something on sale that I really needed.
The man and young woman went across the street, then headed back toward the restaurant. I told my coworker I would be right back, I was going to give the young woman my gift card. She handed me $5 cash to go along with it.
I ran out and caught up with the couple. “Miss. Miss!” Finally they stopped. “Miss, I see that you are pregnant. Are you okay out here?” You’ve got to remember this we live in the desert, and the temperature was over 105F . She said she was okay, but I could tell right away that she was mentally challenged. I pressed the card and cash into her hand, and when she realized I was giving her money, she thanked me and put her arms around me, hugging me clumsily and tightly.
I just about started to cry, and wished I could have done something for her. Like take her home and take care of her. The man seemed to be okay, and I hope he was caring for her to some extent.
I went by Walgreens yesterday, and I saw a few things that I could have bought impulsively, like a chime for my garden. But I didn’t give in to the impulse, and I was glad that I gave my card to someone in need.
Poor thing, I wonder if she even knows what is ahead of her. I cannot imagine being homeless and pregnant, let alone mentally challenged on top of those two things.
It made me grateful to be in my own shoes.