This morning, I woke at 4 a.m. and ruminated of all the things I need to do, my endless list of failures (real and perceived), and offered a mid-level lament. After a terrific weekend with good people and one good dog, I was coming down to the realities of what needs to be done at home and at work and what I hope happens some day soonish.
Yoga helped as did an accounting of all that I am grateful for; not a full accounting because we don’t have that kind of time.
As Lindsay had us move through a few slow standing triple salchow-ish poses, early morning people walked by the studio’s front window in Aggieville. Among them were two young men – roughly Kenan’s age – who appeared to be carrying their homes with them on their backs. There is more to what I saw as they ambled by a few times and my mom-heart broke.
Later and on my way to work, I looked for them, but the young man who had lain across from the RCPD substation appeared to be gone and the other young man might have hiked back to the river trails.
Troubled at missing them…no scratch that. Troubled by a few families likely not knowing how their children are doing or where they are, I rerouted to work and munched one of the protein bars I’d set aside for them.
Compassion with timely action can be a catalyst for transformation and life. Sadness without reasonable and timely action is just sympathy or worse – pity. Instead of acting on what I knew to do, I dinked around at home this morning until it was likely the young men had already moved or been invited to sleep/eat elsewhere. Instead of the water and protein bars I could offer them, I missed them.
I had been afraid of screwing up when I spoke to them so I lollygagged.
Though I wanted these important people to know that someone saw them – I saw them – a mom saw them and cared for them, I let fear mutate compassion into pity.
Fear of not doing the right thing trumped doing/offering anything meaningful.
With this in heart, I made it to the office where soon a coworker from upstairs handed me the note in the picture above. This note was one Kenan had made for me years ago when we were on our own and I was floundering. I remember that time well of floundering and failing – much like I felt this morning. We were freshly on our own as a three-person family and I was demoralized, had too much to do, pay for and sort out; and not enough resources to make it work.
And Kenan made that note for me on the back of Snoopy sticker sheet. He left it out so I could see it in our little colorful home near the university. I cried when he gave it to me.
When my colleague handed that long-gone sticker-y note to me today, I cried again – a mixture of gratitude and wonder and thoughts of two young men whose families may wonder where and how they are.
How did my coworker happen to have Kenan’s note? Last year, I cleaned out the last of my art supplies – supplies which used to stretch across my room in built-in oak shelves – and gave them to her for her girls to enjoy. A while back, the family found Kenan’s note among the art bits.
And today, with the full-on feels already cranked to 100 percent, the note came home to me at the building with the purple light.
I cried when I missed those kids and chance to say, “I see you,” this morning.
I cried when the note showed up and I felt like the universe was saying, “I see you.”
Tears returned with bittersweet news from around the world.
What a morning.
So grateful I get to “P.S. keep the stickers.”
Don’t let fear keep you from seeing, listening or loving another. And keep an eye out for when the universe winks your way.
Derring do, pals.