homelessness-americaYesterday I told Albert that I have been worried about him. Most Wednesdays I see him in Chicago on the bridge at Adams between Wacker and Canal at 2:45 PM. But for the past two weeks he has been absent. Last week I was a bit early for my train, so I hung out for a short time and circled both sides of the bridge to be sure he was not resting on the ground. No Albert, however.

I cannot say I was reassured to see him yesterday morning; Albert never looks well. His twisted foot and back have led to an odd gait that over the years has taken a toll on his demeanor. He still smiles, but mostly to please rather than in pleasure. It seemed yesterday that he had some sense of wonder in my worry and my expressions of concern.

It is heartbreaking to know that he cannot count on me.

Less than 30 minutes later, I came face to face with a young woman apparently walking to work. We had both been looking down at the uneven pavement on Washington, just east of State Street, I to avoid broken bones, she to navigate her way with cerebral palsy. When I looked up I saw one of those faces that sticks with you. She could not know that my expression of surprise was about her breathtaking beauty, but I hope she had a clue. Not two yards later I was crying on the street, thoughts of my late husband flooding my awareness, sudden, unbidden.

Paul and Gary 031814It is heartbreaking to know that Paul could count on me to be there at the end, but still he died alone.

I hate that perhaps the best we can count on is doing our best, even when it is not enough. Community requires that we depend on one another. But for what specifically, how much, and with what chance for success?


4 thoughts on “Trust

  1. Each and everyday we’re faced with difficult challenges. Worry or not in the end the outcome is still unknown. Grievance is a hard thing to over come. As in the world we live in has away to show us out Past, Present and the Future. I Love You


  2. I don’t know if you are familiar with Avalokiteśvara, but you clearly possess universal compassion. For your grief, I wish you 11 heads and 1,000 arms to continue to hear and respond to the plights of others. Focus on the process of responding over the outcome of the effort.


  3. First, thank you for once again sharing you heart. Second, I’m not sure it’s about success, rather intent, follow-through and heart. All three of these are how you lived your life with Paul and how you move through life on a daily basis – and that my friend is always new and good. xoxo


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