It would be impossible to write this post without sounding like I'm blowing my own trumpet, because the events of the two (short, I promise) compassion stories I'm about to share with you, were born of my own compassion. But, it's not MY horn I want to blow today... Ignore my horn! :o)
A while back, November-ish I think, Hubs and I were on our way to post some letters when we passed a homeless guy. He was sat on the pavement; head down, eyes closed, huddled.
Within moments of passing the man I was kicking myself for not stopping, and knowing that we would be crossing his path again on our way back to the Co-op I asked Hubs if he had any spare change in his pocket. He dug out what he had. It wasn't much.
The mans reaction when we stopped and handed over 'not-much' was smashing. His face lit up instantly. His expression a mix of surprise and... actually I'm not quite sure about the and; relief with a hint of joy I think.
At this point he had already made my day!
We said goodbye to the man and crossed the road to the Co-op, stopping first at the cash point just outside the store. While I was waiting for Hubs to withdraw the money we would need for our shopping I noticed another (elderly, frail) homeless man sat just to the right of us, outside the bakers.
I turned to hubs, and was just about to ask him if we could spare anything else, when I heard... "Come on mate, up ya get, I'll buy ya some breakfast." followed by a mumbled, (inaudible to me) reply.
I turned toward the voices (as nosey people do ;) and then watched in awe, as he (the man we'd just left on the other side of the street with not-much to his name) gently helped the somewhat bemused elderly man to his somewhat shaky feet.
Turns out not-much, as far as Mr Compassionate was concerned, was enough. More than enough for two!
I turned back to hubs, and under my breath, asked, 'Can we spare a bit more?'.
After adding a-little-bit-more to their not-much , we said goodbye to Mr Shaky and Mr Compassionate. They, one held up by the other and both smiling, shuffled off in the direction of the nearest cafe. We, also smiling, disappeared into the co-op to get the food we needed to cover our own meals that week.
Someone once said (Mary Poppins, I think), "Enough is as good as a feast."... Well then, I hope my Mr Compassionate, was served 'enough' fit for a king!
Some weeks later; the week between Christmas and New Year. We (me, Hubs and Littlie) were on our way to The Book Shop in Town (to spend Littlie's book-vouchers), when we saw another homeless man, sat on a concrete step between two shops. Eyes to pavement. In a world of his own.
He looked up, startled, when hubs approached him, and was just about to accept the coins offered when he suddenly pushed Hubby's hand away, exclaiming, "No, I can't!"
At first I thought we'd offended him, hurt his pride, but then he gestured toward Littlie (in her wheelchair) and said, "Disabled, I can't take from disabled, it's not right."
His reaction took my breath away. He was so sincere. Clearly, more concerned for us than for himself. Choked up even.
We're not well off by any means, Dear reader, but we had, just days earlier, enjoyed Christmas dinner (and pudding), by fairy-light-glow. Opened gifts. Eaten sweets. Watched Christmas TV... Together.
We have a roof over our heads; food in the cupboards. Hot water, home comforts, warm beds... Each other.
We're a long way from concrete!
Anyway, I, made brave by HIS compassion; took the coins from hubs, approached the man myself, and said, "please take it. It's not much, and I promise you... we have enough."
The man (I wish I'd asked his name) took the coins from my hand and said 'Thank you'.
As we turned to walk away he called out, 'Wait'. Then he stood up and shuffled towards us, saying, (addressing Littlie, but looking between us and her for approval), "Let me give you something; can I give you a kiss, Child." then gently, (as gentlemen do) he leaned forward and kissed Littlie on the cheek.
The Mum-in-me (without meaning to) had mentally clocked his grubby beard, queried germs, made a mental note to dig out the wet wipes when we were out of sight.
The ever-present-fear-in-me was on edge, not quite sure, fingers-crossed. Because, well, that's me.
But I didn't stop him. Nor (amazingly, for a germ obsessive such as me) did I wipe away his gift; his compassion (his 'enough'), when we were out of sight.
They didn't amount to much; the coins we gave him... they never do.
But there was love (and compassion) in the giving, and an unspoken; 'I-hope-it's-enough'.
Much like his gift to us!
Thank you for allowing me to share
I wish you enough.
There are so many #1000speak contributions, from bloggers all over the World.... I encourage you to check them out if you get a chance, I'm sure you'll find some that resonate with you.
You can do that by following @1000speak on Twitter or by checking out the '1000 Voices for Compassion' Face book page Here
My God, I needed to write today. Yesterday. All of last week. If ever there was a ramble (or 10) waiting to come out, it's now.
I've spent hours in front of the laptop attempting to unravel my muddled mind, but absolutely bugger all has made it as far as the keyboard.
How does that work exactly... with a head so full of blogger-fodder. A head so full of feels.
In a nutshell; because nutshells are easy... I feel like I've been picked up and thrown back to May 2015. I'm depressed-scared-overwhelmed. Exhausted. Withdrawn. Hurting.
I thought I had it under control; The-Grief. Turns out I don't.
I cannot. I CANNOT accept!
I've pondered taking a complete blog/social media break, but I don't really want to do that. Cutting myself off completely isn't the answer; as I've discovered this week. Too little can be as harmful as too much.
I think what I need to do for a while is write freely. Write without worrying about edits, readability... blog-worthiness
So. Over the next few weeks I'm gonna continue with my Wordless Wednesday and Just-a-Quote posts; because they're (almost) effortless to put together.
Today I'm going to (in a minute) throw one of those My-10-most-popular thingies at you... assuming they're as easy as I imagine they are to throw together; I've not done one before.
Next week (all being well) I'll be sharing some of my favorite other-bloggers with you, and I'm hoping to write something for the 1000-Speak movement on the 20th.
In the meantime I'm going to be throwing thoughts to paper; any which way they come... writing-doodling-painting. Make a start on my Dear-Dad journal. Read; other-bloggers, and my long list of kindle saves. Have a go at putting some of those blogger how-to's that I've been pinning for months into practice. And rest!
I'll still be around to read/respond to your comments here on the blog (though perhaps not same-day, so bear with me).
I'll catch up with you, dear Twitter-Facebook-friends, on the not-so-down days, and join you, dear fellow-bloggers, for the blog-share parties as and when I can.
As for you, dear readers-just-readers... Thank you (assuming you're still here) for reading.
And Thank you, dear All-Of-The-Above, for supporting-encouraging-comforting me this past (awful) year. x
Okay. *Takes a breath*. Lets have a go at this 10-most-popular-thing. Actually, lets not. Let's do 8; multiples of 4. Because... the 4-thing.
Once upon a time, (1970 to be exact), in a children's home in England, run by an order of nuns called The Poor Sisters of Nazareth... there lived a very 'special' little girl. She was a tiny little dot who had short cropped hair, and the bluest-of-blue eyes. Her beauty, often overlooked, was breathtaking.
At five years old, such as she was; she was unable to feed herself, she couldn't walk, she couldn't talk, her understanding of the world around her was extremely limited, and her behaviour would have tried the patience of a saint (or nun, as the case may be). Read More
I really enjoy these blog share memes. I've met some great people, read too many good-reads to mention, and received lots of encouragement with regard to my own writing. What's not to like :o) Read More
#4 Still Afraid... and the Line's Still Fine. I originally wrote the following piece in 2013... I'm sharing it again today, edited only marginally, because almost 3 years on there is STILL no change for the better... Government are STILL ignoring campaigners... Disabled people (those who have survived the sustained attacks) are STILL afraid! Read More
If I could live anywhere... Oh I'm so glad day dreams are allowed... If I could live anywhere, (anywhere, any time, any dream) I would choose 'Walnut Grove'... Except I'd have Pa build me a proper oven, cause I'm buggered if I could bake like Ma bakes in a tiny little hole to the side of the fire place. Oh, and I'd be needing an inside loo... how Ma manages to poo in that tiny little outhouse; in THAT skirt, is beyond me. Read More
#7 Is This Tired... Fibromyalgia? A few months ago, I had a severe pain/mobility episode, during which my back/hips went out of alignment and I was left virtually unable to walk for a period of around three weeks, it's not the first time this has happened, and as (over the past 18 months or so) I have experienced ongoing (though less severe) pain in other areas, and a variety of other (random) symptoms, my GP made a referral for me to see a rheumatologist. Read More
When other mental health sufferers say they are ashamed (many of them are, for one reason or another) I'm usually the first to respond with - "You have nothing to be ashamed of, you can't help being ill" - and I mean it!
However, I'm afraid it's a case of 'Take my advice, I'm not using it', because there really is no other word than 'ashamed' that describes how I feel, overwhelmingly so, and have felt for a very long time.
My 'shame' might not be rational, but it is 'my' truth, and that's what this space is for. Read More
NB: #8 was actually written toward the end of 2014. I've included it in 2015's most popular list because it is (according to stats) the most viewed post of 2015.