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Updated: Mar 16, 2018
Life teaches me amazing lessons when I least expect them and when I allow them!
After work I needed to stop at Aldi for a few items, stop for gas, and get to my warm home.
As I entered Aldi's double doors I caught a glimpse of a small frame female, hood pulled up, staring out the window. I proceeded to walk through the next set of double doors when I heard a sniffle. I turned to glance again at the small frame, convincing myself she was waiting on a ride and I sure hope they come soon for her.
I quickly gathered the items I needed, checked out and headed for the double doors to exit. Then I see this same small frame woman had moved inside where it was a bit warmer. Her hood was now pulled back, it was clear that circumstances had aged this once beautiful face.
It was a this point I knew I was to speak with her. I asked if she was waiting on a ride. She stated she had called two people but was still waiting. She then asked if I could take her. We discussed where she needed to go and the conditions of the roads.
I told her I would take her as far as the road conditions would allow me and we both walked through the double doors. She stopped me letting me know she had items outside. A full backpack and a full large tub. My guess, this was all she owned.
She was fighting tears as we quickly made our way across the parking lot. I sensed the tears we're not so much of appreciation as anticipation. She was concerned at getting snow in my truck. I reassured her it would be fine.
We headed down the road. Her asking me where I worked and me asking if she was ok. She began sharing a bit, pausing to give me directions, and when she spoke of her son her tears flowed even more. The pain in her voice as she continued to speak was heartbreaking. It was clear she knew her choices had resulted in the hardships she has endured.
We were headed to her mom's. Her son was in her custody there. She mentioned her mom would call the law when she got there. I asked if this was a safe place for her to go. She said it was. I followed that with, "this kinda sucks, I thought I was helping you."
With tears in her sad, broken eyes, she looked straight at me and said, "you are. I'm tired of running and I'm tired of living like this. This is best for me, this is what I am supposed to do."
I'm trying to process what is about to happen with her as we turn the last corner to her mom's home. She greeted us on the snow covered steps and thanked me.
I made my awkward walk back to my warm truck allowing what just happened to sink in. I seem to be numb making unfamiliar turns back to the route I had originally intended to take. I now understood her tears of anticipation.
I replayed our brief conversation and found tears welling in my eyes for a woman I knew all of 25 minutes. I think we seldom realize that the thoughts we have reflect the choices we make. It was clear she struggles with both.
I left her with words of what I hope will be encouragement one day. Remembering I still needed to stop for gas....though bitterly cold, I was grateful I am free to do so.