A Humble Reminder
“I am still a lucky soul.”

It’s been a very difficult year.
I had a death in the family and the struggle with the demons of my depression and the fear of cancer recurrence were especially brutal this year. I also lost something I had believed in and poured my heart and soul into for many years. I had to bury it in my graveyard of dreams. My heart was shattered and my spirit was dwindling, when I saw something on TV that made me realize, I am still a lucky soul.

I recently saw a documentary about a priest who gives out free dinners every day to those who are simply hungry in a small country. No questions asked. A hot meal is served at 7pm, but the line grew long from 4pm. Many of them were elderly and homeless. Their hands and feet were dry and cracked and they owned no jackets or winter boots during freezing temperature. Some had laborious jobs, collecting recyclable items for cash, and others had no family or they were estranged from them and had nowhere to go. A few of them in the corner, young and old had visible scars on their weathered wrists.

Some looked lost, ashamed and beaten up by life and some just wanted to come in from the cold and avoid being absolutely alone, every day. Many came from far away on foot and everyone was more than grateful that there was someone, in an often cold and cruel world that never saw them, and some place where they can eat a hot meal with someone sitting next to them, as well as find kindness, respect, a pad on the back, and a genuine hug from a loving group of people who understood their plight in life.

One Happy Man

One man came in for a hot meal when he lost his business and family and ended up homeless. After he ate, he insisted on cleaning the bathrooms to say thank you. Even though the priest told him it was not necessary, the man grabbed the mop, bucket, and a broom and headed to the bathrooms. He did it with his bare hands wearing ripped sandals. He was more than happy to do a job no one wanted to do.  It’s been 10 years and he still cleans the bathrooms and he does it with a smile and a heart full of gratitude and happiness. He gets paid now and he has a small place to call his own and a family at the mission, who saw him with dignity, when no one else did, not even himself. He smiles at the camera and says, “I am the luckiest and the happiest man in the world.”

So, I was humbly reminded that no matter how stressed out I am with my own set of woes, sadness, and defeat, I have a warm place to call home, a meal I don’t have to stand in line in freezing temperature for, and at least one person to share a meal with during the holidays.

Merry Christmas Everyone! 

Dr. Clara 🙂