Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Welcome Home…and An Idea Taking Shape

This is what I came home to in the wee hours of the morning Sunday night/Monday morning (click on photo to enlarge). Our flight out of LaGuardia was delayed, so I didn’t get home until after midnight. These sweet little notes were posted on my bathroom mirror from Livvie. (Yes, I have a grass green bathroom and I like it that way, thank you very much. I also have a grass green bedroom, a terra cotta melon great room, a butter yellow girls room, and a light purple guest room, just in case you were wondering…and what the heck, while I’m at it, the outside of my house is sky blue with white trim, aqua doors, and pink porch ceilings.) As much as I enjoy NYC, I miss my family so much while I’m gone. The girls called me every day and wanted specific details of what I was doing at that very moment, including what I saw, heard and smelled around me. It was a true exercise of the senses!

I also came home with a book crystallized in my head. It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and a conversation I had with a homeless man on 5th Avenue helped it all fall into place for me. I’m drawn to those sitting on the ground for some reason, and I always stop and talk with a few that look capable and willing to carry on a conversation. I want to know their stories; I want to know how they got to this point in their lives; I want to know their wishes and their dreams. And I’ve seen that many times, just someone sitting down and talking to them, someone recognizing that, “Yes, I do see you there and, yes, you do matter,” can make a world of difference to them in ways that we may never be able to imagine.

The man I talked with Saturday was a Vietnam War vet who lost both legs to the war, but I heard no bitterness in his sweet soulful voice while we talked, only gratefulness for the conversation and the Coke I bought him. He had a beautiful black dog with him (yes, you know the dogs are always going to suck me in), and I was touched that he made sure his dog had everything he needed when he himself had so little. So there we sat…he in his wheelchair and me and his dog leaning up against a 5th Avenue purveyor of finery neither he nor I could ever afford, and we had a lovely chat. I’ve found that if you open yourself up to strangers, even those that most everyone else intentionally ignores, you often find blessings and reminders of how much you actually have to give to this world, and how much others can give to you. Remember my friend Franklin Fung Chow?


Campbell Jane said...

What a sweet welcome home and post. I admire you for taking the time to stop to speak with someone less fortunate and as you said so often ignored. I hope this post inspires others besides myself to add a little sparkle to someone's day.

granmamimi said...

Oh Kelly, that was wonderful message! Just to talk to anyone..especially a stranger..wether poor or of means, is so wonderful. Everyone has a story and I always come away blessed. When I was in college I spent 1 and 1/2 years in WVA with the poverty program. I came home so humbled and thanful for all the stories, love and caring the unfortunated had to share! None of mine could begin to compare to theirs!

granmamimi said...

Just reread my comment and could not believe the errors in spelling and grammer...I am now embarassed...that will teach me to not go over what I wrote!
And I was a teacher..LOL

lori vliegen said...

welcome home......it sounds like you had a good trip, and i know your sweet family missed you (those notes on your mirror are the sweetest!!!). and your story of your new friend has truly touched my heart.....you always have the BEST way of expressing yourself, sweet miss kelly!!!! xoxox, :))

Karen Faulkner said...

Lovely post Kelly.

Roben-Marie said...

I enjoyed this very much! Those sweet notes make my heart sing...what love!

Thanks for the reminder to stop and take the time to notice those who might otherwise go overlooked! You are a gem!