Inspired by Loss
My friend Jack had short brown hair, which he kept neatly cut. He did his best to take care of his appearance. He took good care of the donated jeans I gave him and to wash up in several different places.
He rode a new red bike that I gave him (donated by Walmart through my partnership with them). He was so happy when I gave him that bike. We met at middle Town Pump. I told him before I left to make sure his trailer fit on it. It warmed my heart to watch his smile spread across his face as he attached the trailer. I stood and watched as he rode away, knowing that pride filled his heart. He had something new.
For two years I would see Jack every week or two. Sometimes when our paths would cross, he would pretend that his name was that of someone in the bible. He would ask me if I knew who that was, or where that person was portrayed in the Bible. His small bible was black with the pages showing years of use. I saved it from being accidentally washed several times being washed. He was often too busy sharing his amazing stories instead of cleaning out his pockets.
His clothes were clean and tidy. I gave him several pairs of donated jeans and shirts (the same donated clothes I offer all my guests). He used the hygiene items I gave him to wash up in several different places. If I had not built up a close friendship, I would not have known he was homeless. Ok, maybe the bike with the trailer would give me a hint. I was always so impressed by how to put together he was. I never pushed much about his life outside of the laundromat. I keep that attitude with all my guests. If they would like to share, I will listen without an agenda. His kind positive heart is what drew me in. The trials and tribulations, he had to go through every day never came out of his mouth. He shared stories of helping others when they needed help with broken-down bikes, picking leaves up with different “neighbors”, and helping elders carry their laundry in when the load was too heavy for them. His smile, oh that smile spoke many words. He had and spoke the word. He probably could recite the bible front to back. This is the Jack I knew…maybe it is not the same Jack as you. Maybe it is. I am thankful for my friend Jack. I don’t know who was luckier to have the other. I am pretty sure it was me.