I was out and about a lot today and was sure I’d have numerous opportunities to give away another hundred. But the opportunities seemed to come and go, and the right moment just never materialized. Finally, I was on my way home. It was getting dark.

A tall woman in a dark coat crossed the street in front of me. Her pants were too short, and an expanse of ankle was visible at the end of her thin legs. A weary slump in her shoulders, she made her way down the street. With barely a moment to consider, I found myself pulling over and jumping out of the car.

I caught up to her and said hello. She gave me a sidelong glance and a quiet greeting in response. I saw that she was wearing men’s shoes which were clearly ill fitting.

I asked if she was okay and she stopped and looked at me with clear dark eyes. She took a deep breath and her eyes filled with tears. “Do you need anything?” I asked. There was a hesitation, then she said, “I’m on my way to the dollar store. I have to get some toilet paper. Is there any way you can spare a couple of dollars?”

“I can help you out,” I said. “Times are really tough, aren’t they?” She said yes and then she smiled the sweetest smile. “I’m just trying to hang in there until things get better,” she said. “I have a place to stay, I just need a few necessities right now.” What came next caught me off guard.

“How about you?” she asked, peering at me intently. “How are you doing?” A gentle smile lit up her tired face as she waited for me to answer. “Oh, wow,” was all I could say at first. “I’m doing fine. I’m really fortunate, thank you.”

“That’s good,” she said with a nod. “That’s good.” I reached into my pocket for the hundred I’d stashed there hours earlier. “I hope this helps a little bit. It’s a hundred dollars.”

“Oh, my god! Thank you!” she cried. She grabbed me in a big hug and said it sure would be a help. Her name was Claudia. She didn’t want her picture taken but I snapped this as she walked away.

Claudia

 

 

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One Response to How About You?

  1. Tess Gallagher says:

    Hi dear Jill, Of course I have been reading and catching up to your lovin giving and this one was especially sweet. I am reading some I have missed now. Really nice to be home from Ireland and enjoying my mom’s rhododendrons. Today I am taking some to her grave!
    Lots of love, Tess

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