I left Jubilee May 14 and returned August 14. In those three months I traveled to and through ten states, slept the night in 16 different abodes, and visited in the homes of seven siblings. Many adventures ensued, as you can imagine. To get the full effect of the scene I share with you below, you need to know that our beloved sister died of pancreatic cancer in 2012. We miss her still, naturally. Her name was Robin.
I was sitting in front of the Santa Rosa Sonoma County Public Library on a scorcher of a day in June.
She paused with her three bags of stuff and started talking as soon as I looked up from my book.
“I just got out of the hospital. Would you have a couple dollars so I can get something to eat?”
She reminded me of myself: petite, short gray hair, sixty-something. I felt friendly toward her, but I didn’t have a ready reply and simply gazed upon her with a smile.
She gazed back, waiting for an answer, then leaned toward me and peered at me over her sunglasses. “Yes? No? Maybe?” she said in a way that made me smile more.
“Why don’t you sit down for a minute and we’ll talk,” I invited, and she joined me on the cement ledge. She hefted the bags off her shoulders and arranged them at her feet.
Her outfit was that of a person living on the street, but her orange, floppy-brimmed hat and orange patterned blouse added a nice touch. The folks at the Angel’s Attic had given those to her just now, she reported. And she was wearing a hospital bracelet, sure enough.
I said I hoped she was feeling better. She responded, “I have cancer in three…” and then closed her eyes and counted, “four, five places.” I sympathized, then said, “My name is Cristy,” but she didn’t tell me hers, only said, “Hi, Cristy.”
“Do you have a place to lay your head tonight?” I asked. No. She named a shelter, saying it was closed. “That’s tough. I’m sorry,” I said. I went into my billfold and gave her a twenty-dollar bill. I would have given less, but I only had one single and twenties.
She thanked me and stuffed it in her shirt. We talked a little more, and she made ready to leave. “What’s your name?” I asked.
To the 17 of you who Follow my blog, thanks for reading. If you can think of someone who might enjoy reading my posts, how about forwarding this to them and encouraging them to Follow also? As you probably know, I am pitching my new novel to agents and trying to plump up my social media presence. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Your comments are most welcome, too. Have you had any poignant reminders of days and people gone by? Thanks, friends!