Wednesday, November 22, 2006

"Bless you"

I did something last night that I have never done before.

I was on my way to get something to eat.
I realized that my feet were cold, so I turned on the heat in my car. The temperature has been much cooler the past few days and it was about 39*F.
A few minutes later I came to an intersection and stopped at the stop light.

There it was.....I was struck with an emotion that came over me and filled me up.
I saw a man standing on the grassy area holding a cardboard sign.
I could not read the sign, but I could tell he was cold.
He was wearing a ski cap and had just zipped up his coat.
He had that look, the one of dispair.

I have never never never contributed to the people that stand on the side of a highway, advertising or asking for money. I know that many of them are not destitute and have contrived ways to acquire funds from people.
Many of them can make a pretty good living doing this.

There was something irrepressible that told me I had to help this man.
I do not normally carry much cash, but I reached in my purse and pulled out my wallet.
When I opened it, all I had was two $1 bills.
I rolled down my window and he approached my car.
I held out my hand with the two bills flapping in the wind.
He took them very graciously and said "bless you".
All I could manage to say was "good luck".
I rolled up my window and a moment later the light at the intersection turned green and I drove away.
I started crying almost uncontrollably. I kept thinking about this man.
I was thinking how hard times can be for me sometimes, but even during my toughest times, I have a soft bed and a warm home.
Then I could not help but wonder what this man's story was.
How did he end up on the street?
Does he have any family or friends?
How does this happen to someone?
I also thought about Thanksgiving and wondered what he will give thanks for.

I do not regret giving the man a couple of dollars, in fact, I wish it could have been more.
This situation, this man, has made me reflect on my life and has helped remind me of the things and the people I am thankful for.

I am thankful for my family, my friends, my job and so many things in my life.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Have fun and be safe!

Love to you all,
Lee Ann


rastaman said...

You are a woman with great compassion! Happy Thanksgiving!

Peace and hugs to you Babygirl


AndyW said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ellen said...

You described the very thing I did a few weeks ago... and I had no regrets either. For some reason, it was something in the person eyes that said so much more than the sign he was holding.

You are blessed to have such a big heart... and we are thankful for knowing you.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Osbasso said...

There's nothing here that's very surprising. Your generosity is going to come back to reward you!

Have a great Thanksgiving! LY

The Husband said...

great post lee ann! heck, i almost started to cry.

have a wonderful turkey day.

Anonymous said...

You are such a tender heart! I have been struck this way from time to time and I think it's good you followed your heart. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving sweetie!

Edge said...

That's compassionate, but with the amount of social work and charity organizations there is no excuse for this man to be begging. I know he could start his own business with a broom. Absolutely! Every Chili's restaurant has a petty cash drawer as do most restaurants. It would be nothing for him to barter for food or for $5 or $10 to sweep the back porch or clean up the garbage area. He can parlee that to a small cash business now and then and stay at a homeless shelter.

His story may be sad, and I feel for him, but he doesn't have to beg.


BeckEye said...

That's sweet. But living in New York/New Jersey has sort of made me immune to people begging for money. I generally have none to give anyway!

Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

I wonder about people on the street all the time.

Came by to also wish you Cheers and a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Having recently been in this situation I shall thank you on behalf of that man. Most people look at you as if you are a piece of shit, but every once in awhile you get someone who is compassionate. God bless you Lee Ann.

Foto Man said...

Thank you for the $2 . I was working undercover that day .

Happy Thanksgiving !

Anonymous said...

Hey LA- I think what you did was a perfect act of human compassion. Sometimes we have to let go of the reservations we have against charity because there are times when people will take advantage of it. The heart will sometimes show us things are head is uncertain about and we should listen...I'm glad you did...Happy Thanksgiving

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving baby doll!

Fred said...

Wonderful story, Lee Ann.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

MIA said...

Thats what its all about, pay it forward. Happy Thanksgiving Lee Ann
xo mia

Jason said...

Very noble of you. Happy Thanksgiving.

josh williams said...

Enjoy and thank you...

Bunyan, Paul Bunyan said...

I would have bought you a turkey, if you wanted me to. Happy T day Bunyan

coach said...

Are you sure it's not Kramer of Seinfeld ? I heard he is begging now ....for forgiveness !

HAPPY T. To You !

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving Lee Ann.

You made a difference today.

Anonymous said...

pass the gravy and have a nice thanksgiving!

barefoot_mistress said...

That is a lovely Thanksgiving post Lee Ann, and we all need to be happy for what we have!
Have a lovely holiday!

amera hearts said...

i give money those people, but only when felt inspired to. here in seattle there are ton of people on the streets and they brag that they make good money.

happy thanksgiving. kisses and hugs.

FortuneCookee said...

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

Happy Thanksgiving ... Cookee

Anonymous said...

Hey Lee Ann,

I tagged you!

Heather said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Lee Ann. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. What you did for that man was beautiful.

hotboy said...

What a nice story! Counting your blessings is dead positive. I do it a lot! Hotboy

Metalchick said...

Hi Lee Ann,
That was very nice of you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

robmcj said...


The ability to reflect on our own lives and our actions is what separates us from the animals.


Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Lee ann

Anonymous said...

I think that was the best thanksgiving post I've read. And you're right - sometimes a little dose of reality does us good - all of us.

Happy thanksgiving, Lee Ann x

Gyrobo said...

Yo, gee, Happy, like, Thanksgiving, dude!

Also, you're a good person.

Don't ever forget that, even if the government brainwashers try and make you into a cyborg assassin.

BuccoTom said...

Good for you babe. A little self reflection is good for the soul and certainly worth a couple of bucks. Hope your Thanksgiving was spectacular. **muwah**

Becky said...

I can tell from how you wrote that it was very emotional for you. So sad how some people let their lives get that way... I don't have so much pity as I was a drug addict before and I know most of them are self inflicted homeless people. The only ones that can't help it are usually just crazy. It's very sad never the less. It's hard at times not to let it get to you. I hope you had a good thanksgiving honey!

Cinderella said...

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

The Appalachianist said...

See there, I knew you had a heart.

Menzies Milngavie III said...

I say!

How wonderful your experience must have been.

In this part of the world, $2 would be equivalent to a windfall to many, many people. In the villages away from the towns, whilst there may sometimes be sufficient food, there is often little or no actual cash.

Your gentleman by the side of the road is a poor man, but he lives in a (relatively) very wealthy society. That same wealthy society needs to strive to distribute its wealth more equitably.


ticharu said...

Ah dang it Lee Ann! How can I be my snide and cynical self when you post tear jerkers? I have to go dry my eyes...

Anonymous said...

You know, we were driving back from a weeklong holiday trip, on the NY Thruway in Queens tonight heading toward LI, when I spotted an utterly dirty pitiful guy sitting on a plastic milk crate with a sign in the middle meridian of 6 stinking highway lanes under a smog-filled overpass.
I was in F'ing deadly traffic and could'nt stop for him if I could.
-So what you did took real determination and courage-
Your a true human being darling..

Those poor lost souls...

angel, jr. said...

What a touching story. I think sometimes intuition can tell us when someone really needs something. Somewhere, on Thanksgiving, I'm sure he was thinking about you too--and your kind gesture.

twolf1920 said...

Love Dat LeeAnn! Please move to MN!

Anonymous said...

Such a compassionate and caring lady you are. Most of the time I try to figure out if the people are ACTUALLY in NEED or if they are there to make money. Local news in Dallas sent a guy out once dressed down to "beg" for food and he ended up averaging like $40-50 an hour:O