There are people who you will never forget. This is usually said about the momentary brush with that superstar, your parents, your family, and people who impact you. It is rarely said about victims, shadows and the fringes of society. Yet for me those people are ones I never forget.
Recently I had a day that was tinged with those frayed edges that politicians blame for all of the ills of the world. A woman who was homeless and most likely due to her mental illness threatening in one voice to kill herself, the other voice begging for help. I saw her. I heard her and I called for people who could help her. I will never stop wondering what the outcome for her was. I like to think she ended up in one of the rehab programs. Maybe she will end up a neighbor. I have seen her before but never close enough to hear her pleas. I was laying down to sleep, disoriented from the sort of nap that only comes with Chronic Illness. Exhaustion forced it and it leaves you groggy and hung over. I woke up from that fog as someone screamed. A woman in the night shouting for her god to save her. I do not know if that god heard her but I did. The scream was cut off, a male voice, then a cry revealing she had been stabbed. I called the police. I listened, fearful for her. 911 put me on hold, which is always a nightmarish sensation. Those seconds mattered. Tick tick tick, I felt her life ending. Luckily they picked up and with in a half an hour, which could be fatal still, she was in an ambulance that wailed into the night carrying her to what I hope is freedom from her terror.
I will always think of these women and wonder. I will also always think of the homelessman who I used to feed when I could and often sent Maxine out with water for him. I gave one of my waterbottles over so he could stay hydrated. He disappeared after turning up burned from the sun, obviously on the edge of death. This was before the hottest days.
I do not know who all reads this blog, which is why I am writing this. I have been the unseen fringe, the homeless, the abused, the victim, bleeding, starving dying. People did help me. I will always think of them too. This is a once a day thing. I can only hope that they help others. I think they will. So who is it you think of? Who do you remember? Who is in the fringe? Are they missing? Are you missing to people?
I know I am missing for some lives, but I must be to survive. I will always wonder about the stories of those I see and I do wonder about those who I have disappaered on. It is what must be done at times. So I suppose this is my hello, a goodbye that was never said and a pondering on the future. I could have been those women, after all. Someday they may end up reading this. I heard you and saw you, you matter. I keep saying these words to people because everyone needs them. Make someone unseen seen, show them they are alive and matter.
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