Rose, A Fragile Flower In My Friend Garden

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Today, I met an unsuspected friend.  As we were walking along, we heard her crying off in the distance.  We stopped at the shuttering sound of her words.  ”I don’t want to live anymore, I don’t know what I did to deserve this in my life but I can’t handle it anymore.”  We paused, in our steps, and listened as the fragile lady sobbed to someone on the other end of the phone.  We were sad for her and the words she had rigidly spoken to whoever was listening.

Our feet could not move as if we were stopped in time to listen to the hurt in her voice.  We stood, pondering what we should do, not wanting to interfere and seem nosey in her business but deep down we knew she needed a friend, just someone to talk to, even if they were a stranger.   I didn’t want to see her face on the news or hear that she perished that night.  For one life deserves to live just as much as the next.

After talking about it, we decided to walk over and see if this hurt-stricken lady wanted to talk.  I picked a yellow cal lily flower from the nearby landscaped building and said, “This might cheer her up a bit.”  My friend agreed that it might help.  As we got closer we notice she was sobbing with her head down, no longer on the phone with her brownish-beige, little dog.

I walked up to her and handed her the flower as she looked up.  I then asked, “Are you okay?”  She responded with, “Who are you?”  And I replied, “Just a friend walking by.”  She said, “No, I am not okay.”  And started to cry again.   We sat down next to her as she sobbed and told us of how she did not wish to go on in this life.  She was sixty-two and recently made homeless and how other bad things had happened to her and she just wants to go home, just like Dorothy  says,” there’s no place like home,” if only she had a home to go to.   I was deeply saddened by her story and so was my friend.  I am sure whatever she had done in this life wasn’t bad enough for her to feel this badly and to leave her dog and herself homeless, living in her car.

We spoke for a long while about life and the reasons for things happening that way they do.  Life is not fair at times, her dog is old and it’s hard for the dog to live in the car. We talked about our kids and the joy they bring.   We discussed how people are different and how she had been judged because of her difference, but I only saw a human in need of a kind word and a hug.  She is a good person, I could tell, she was smart and knowledgeable about a lot of things.  She had her identity stolen and has no family here, but does in other parts of the country.  She did have a little bit of money, but needs a home.

After talking for a while and giving her dog the rest of my water, we looked up some shelters in the area.  My friend got a pen and paper from a volunteer sheriff who happened to be driving by.  He suggested that our new friend go to the police station and they would be able to help.  She declined, but was interested in going to the shelter we found for her.

As we got up to greet the officers, who kept driving by, we realized we didn’t know each others’ names, We introduced ourselves, and found out her name is Rose, but goes by Zoe, (pronounced like Joe) which happens to by my daughters’ name (but pronounced like Joey.)  I was surprised when she said that, she even knew that Zoe is Greek and the meaning is life, which is why we named her that.   We walked together to the edge of the sidewalk.   She thanked us for stopping and taking the time to talk to a total stranger, which most people would have ignored.  We wished her the best in life and told her everything would work out, just stay positive.  We gave her hugs and pats to the dog and went our separate ways.

Sometimes in life, you just need a friend to tell you it’s going to be okay, even if that friend is a total stranger.  Life is too short to ignore the warning you might hear off in the distance.  Always trust your inner feelings.  And lend a hand, even if it’s a kind word of encouragement and a hug.  You never know who’s life you might have saved that day.

Best wishes Rose,

With Love and Light, from your new friends…