Three weeks today, I came across the Paramedics wheeling away a homeless man that had sadly just past away. The security guard had placed his hand out to stop me, as they turned the gurney around to place it in the back of the ambulance. At, that moment, things slowed down as I looked at other people passing, I was the only one to acknowledge what was going on. I stared at his small collection of items. Amongst them, a Tim Hortons cup, a couple of ornaments, and a piece of cloth laid on top of the few milk crates stacked over a grate.
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen someone living in the streets near death or past, every time it hits me harder and harder.
About a week ago, Peyman and I were out and about downtown when we past a man lying on the grate. It was Peyman who spoke first, and said “I have shoes that I could give him”, after noticing his bare feet tucked under near to him. Instead we decided to at least buy him some soup before heading home to get the shoes. We bought some hot soup and approach him.
“Thank you, but please keep it for yourself. I’ve had five people buy me meals today and I’m so full. I know if the soup gets cold I will not eat it. Please don’t waste it.”
It was then that Peyman offered his earlier idea of bringing him a pair of boots.
“No thank you. I already have shoes” He points to a pair of nikes with socks stuffed in them under his ‘pillow’ “only took them off because on this grate it’s just too hot!”
He was an inspiration to Peyman and I. He had so little, but found happiness in what he did have. I’ve been raised to feel this way, but sometimes I too, want more then I need.
Now, I could speak forever about the people living on the streets, and how many with homes, endless amount of food, cars and well anymore more then the basic necessities to survive (basic being food and shelter) consistently either don’t care or misunderstand what being poor really means. I could get political and talk about the way mental health is dealt with – but I will not.
Instead, I hope you may find a little inspiration. That before you leave home in the morning, and when you arrive back at night that you take a deep breath and feel happy. Happy for the simple rewards of your hard work. For food, shelter and people who love you.
xo Later diamonds.