Yesterday, God had more than one encounter lined up for me, but the one I’ll share with you now is the one with Lee. When I walked up to him, he was asleep, slumped in his chair. I’m so glad he has a chair to be slumped in, but at the same time, my heart wants him to have a bed. I gently woke him, and he rose to give me his seat..such a gentleman. While he situated himself on the ground, I sat down, and we began to talk.
He asked how the dancing went, how Easter was, how my weekend went. I filled him in on everything and thought…what do I do now…ask him how HIS weekend went? It’s so hard for me because he’s on the street, but I’m learning that, even though he may not be happy where he’s at, he’s content, so I asked him how his weekend went.
He talked about wanting a shower, so he can put on his new clothes. I told him how I’ve already spoken to the kids about that and how he’ll be able to come get cleaned up on Saturday. He opened up about how he has dentures and how he’s had the same set for over forty years and how he’s never once used teeth glue. I was amazed (and still am). He even likes his teeth clean, so as we were talking, he turned to take them out to make sure nothing was in them. I was glad he opened up to me more.
Somehow, we ended up talking about growing up, and I found out how he’s the oldest of six…five younger sisters. When he mentioned that, he rolled his eyes. He said he would come home from school, grab his gun, and say he was going hunting, just to get away. Many times, he wouldn’t even hunt. He’d find a good tree to lean against and take a nap in solitude.
I asked him if he had friends growing up. He said no but that he had a good imagination and was able to entertain himself, so he didn’t mind being alone. He said he tried to be like everyone else: live paycheck to paycheck, be married, etc but that it didn’t work for him. His passion was cars, and once he focused on that without any distractions and started saving money, his life was good. He’s only bought things on credit once or twice. He’s bought cars, a home, a condo, all with cash. His ability to save was why he was able to live off of his savings for four years.
He really planned to die before his money ran out. That was what the doctors had told him. It didn’t even dawn on them that they might have been wrong. Now, he’s in the park, too old to work. His body isn’t able to keep up with his mind, so I believe he’s just waiting to die. He’s not fond of the system at all and doesn’t care if there is money waiting for him at the VA. He said his sister went there for migraines. They gave her medicine. Turned out she had brain tumors and died. Yeah, he holds a grudge.
Today, I’m going to take some sandwiches for us to have a little picnic. There’s a part of me that wishes I had a lot of money or a bigger place or…[sigh] I’ll just keep giving him what I do have…lots of love.