Today was another great day. I got to meet a new friend and share some kindness and Gods love. I started to drive around looking for someone to approach. I came across an elderly woman standing on the corner not far from my house holding a sign asking for money. I had never tried to approach a woman on the streets and was a bit nervous about how she would react. I said a prayer, asked for some courage and the right words to say and walked up to this woman to introduce myself.
I shook this woman’s hand and told her my name. She introduced herself as “Dee” and seemed as sweet as can be. I asked Dee if I could buy her some lunch and sit down and talk for a bit. Dee and I grabbed a spot in the shade and got to chatting. I could tell right away she was a firecracker of a woman, and as funny and kind as can be. It’s safe to say I wasn’t nervous anymore.
Dee is 75 years old but looks and acts way younger. She was such a fun person to talk to and she reminded me a bit of my own grandma. It was heartbreaking seeing her out there asking for money. She is from Paris, France and has citizenship here in America as well as France. She came to America as a teenager to attend a nursing school in New York City. After completing nursing school and working there for several years, Dee decided to move to Vermont. She later told me she didn’t know why she chose Vermont as there wasn’t much to do there. When she got tired of Vermont she moved all of her things to Tucson, Arizona where she eventually, after many years of hard work became head nurse at one of the hospitals there. After retiring, Dee came to Chandler to be with her two granddaughters.
Dee’s husband died of heart problems in 1993. They had two boys together and a happy life. Dee herself has a pacemaker and was actually going to a clinic later that day to get her heart checked out. She also broke her back several years ago trying to move a refrigerator so she struggles with lots of medical issues and of course the bills that follow. Dee was unaware growing up there was a glitch in her taxes and she wasn’t paying enough. Now that the government realized the problem, even though it wasn’t Dee’s fault, they take it form her social security check. What she receives is not even enough to pay for her medical bills and food.
Dee said she has never done drugs although she smokes a lot of cigarettes and knows its bad for her heart. She bragged about her beautiful granddaughters ( now 10 and 6 years old) and about how much she loved them and would do anything for them. Im not sure why Dee didn’t have a job, she seemed capable of at least doing something, even if it were being a greeter at Wal-mart. Although I was curious, I didn’t want to change the mood of our conversation. Perhaps there are some things Dee hasn’t told me for a reason. Like why she doesn’t live with one of her two boys or family somewhere? Once again I wasn’t going to push for an answer…
Although Dee doesn’t look like your average homeless person asking for money on the streets, she was a person who needed help and love. I didn’t need to know her full story, it was irrelevant at the time. We had a great conversation and shared lots of laughs as we talked about our lives and about the bible. I was able to give Dee some money for whatever she needed and a brand new Bible. She reads her own every day but has a friend named “Candy” going through rehab for alcoholism who she was excited to give it to.
Dee and Candy need our prayers so please keep them in mind. I truly believe that Jesus would say to share His love and compassion with EVERY person, no matter what their situation. How cool would it be if every day, every single person in the world made it a point, to do something nice for a complete stranger? How would that affect society? It’s hard to say, but I believe it would be a step in the right direction. As cliché as it may sound, if everyone lived by the “golden rule” this world would be entirely different. Be kind to others with no hope of reward, be selfless in your daily lives. What if it were your grandma, standing on a corner asking for money?