Shelly sat depressed. In her over stuffed chair she ran her fingers through her unkempt hair. Next door, Hank sat smiling. His wheelchair he had moved at a snail’s pace; but now sitting in the sun shining through his living room window.
Shelly got her two elementary school children on the bus. Finally, peace and quiet allowed her to focus on herself and to recognize what she didn’t have and what she thought she needed.
Hank had been up for almost two hours. He almost fell trying to slip one leg then another into his pants. He spilled some coffee on his clean shirt, and knew he only had one clean one hanging in his closet. It would be three more days before his home helper would come to tidy up his apartment and do a load of laundry.
Shelly had a nice home. It wasn’t very large. It wasn’t in a top-dollar living area. Her husband had finally left and sought out a woman who wanted to live life. He had tired of trying to boost a soul who refused the help. She covered her eyes and wept.
Hank watched a young mother pushing her baby in a stroller down the sidewalk. He reflected back to when his own wife did this. Married to Maggie for over fifty years, he had plenty of good memories of his life he had left. He lost his dear wife two years ago. He had sold his small home and had invested into the apartment he resided in now.
Shelly looked at her rut of a life. She had no degrees. She did have a gentle touch when holding a paint brush in her hand; but who cared, no one would be interested in petty paintings.
Hank had eaten, but still seemed hungry. Maybe a snack was the thing that would hold him over until the knock at the door arrived with his lunch. He wheeled his chairs with his weak hands. Hands that had once turned ground over. Hands that had planted one seed at a time to provide food for their pantry on those cold, winter morning.
Shelly knew that she needed to get dressed and take a trip to the grocery store. The cupboards were sparse with food and the freezer almost bare. The more she thought about the trip, the bigger the task seemed. Maybe peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids tonight?
Hank locked his brakes on his chair. He struggled to stand at the cupboard. He pulled out some saltine crackers and peanut butter. He had forgotten the knife. He smiled at himself as he recognized his alert mind wasn’t the same as it was a few years ago. He sat back down and unlocked his brakes. Opening the drawer and pulling out the utensil, he began to spread some peanut butter on each cracker.
Shelly tired of looking everywhere and seeing nothing. She got up from her chair and headed towards her bedroom. She stood in the doorway and looked at the empty bed. The floor held a couple loads of dirty laundry. She laid down .
Hank finished his snack and put everything back in its rightful place. He headed back towards his window where he watched life moving. He saw a dog catching a ball his owner was tossing. He watched the birds flying over the park. He heard the sirens. The sound came closer. The EMS pulled up next door. He saw an empty stretcher being taken in. He noticed a body covered with a white sheet being taken out. He thanked God for being given at least this day today. He prayed for the lost.