Thursday, January 14, 2016

Her name is Lilly.

I was sitting in a coffee shop yesterday right in front of the window looking out.There was a homeless woman and her dog across the street holding a sign that said, "Hungry...anything will help." 
As much as I hate to see people on the street. I by no means respond to every sign I see but something about this woman kept drawing me in. The more I watched her and her dog I felt like I wanted to say hello. 
Hi! What's your dog's name? 
Bailey! Well, hi Bailey aren't you the cutest!
Her boxer wiggled up to greet me and jumped up for more pets.
We both smiled and laughed at her cute dog. 
What's your name?
She looks at me kind of skeptical. I wonder when the last time was that someone asked her, her name.
I'm gia.
I say hoping to not make her uncomfortable.
I'm Lilly.
She says and we share a smile.
Nice to meet you Lilly.
Can I get you a drink? Or would you like a banana to eat?
Yes, please. 
I walk back inside and place her order. While I stood in line I started to wonder... Where does she sleep at night? When was the last time she took a warm shower? Will she eat tonight? Does Bailey have any food? 
And I wonder what her story is...
I walk back outside. Give her a mini token of warmth.
You know. The basics so many of us take for granted. 
She takes the drink and food with her dirty hands and cut fingers.
She says thank you and smiles once more.
I pet Bailey one last time.
And we part ways. 
I know some people watching me might think I'm only enabling her situation. And maybe for a moment I am. Or they might think she's a con artist or that it's her own fault. And honestly...we'll never know. But today something told me to reach out to her. So I did. And for a moment we connected. As two women, who share the same city and a love for dogs. 
I've heard that a lot of (mentally well) homeless people, just want to be seen. (franky...don't' we all) And to not have everyone turn the other way when they walk by. Although it's not much I do my best to remember that. And every once in awhile I do a little bit more. 
I'll never know what Lilly's story is.
But I do know that we all have one.
And I believe with everything I go that we all are deserve love + kindness no matter what our story is.
And I know that if I was ever in her shoes I'd hope that people would notice me. 
I share this as a reminder to myself and maybe it will help you to...that life really is amazing + simplified when we take a moment to care about one another. And that it's not about what I did to help her. It's what about we did to connect with each other. 
Wherever you are today Lilly + Bailey thank you for your smiles
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