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A Heartfelt Encounter

Updated: May 20

The other day while I was waiting downtown for a bus, a man approached the stop, whom looked like he’d done some living in his maybe 40 odd years of life. He had a big full garbage bag with him, and he looked a little rough. As he approached the stop, he asked a youngish, very punky woman, what time it was. She ignored him but he kept asking. Finally she pointed to her headphones, indicating she couldn’t hear him. She obviously had no intention of taking or turning off her headphones to engage with him. I stepped in at that point and yelled out the time.


Not long after I heard him talking again and then I saw he was aiming it at me. I turned off my one earbud and walked over to hear what he was saying. He proceeded to tell me a story about his daughter at Christmas time. He had taken her to see Santa and when her time came to go up, a pregnant woman, whom was dressed as an elf, asked his daughter’s name. I won’t repeat what it was, but when he told this woman his daughter’s name, the woman was taken aback. After a pause, she told him it was a beautiful name and then asked his permission to name her own daughter that. By this point in the story, he was beaming.


He went on to tell me how he had dreamed his daughter’s name years ago and then found out some time after that it was an actual name. He told me its official significance. I validated how touching of an experience that must have been, for the woman to have asked his permission. How honoured he must have felt. He was standing in front of me, glowing.


A bus came, he boarded it, and we parted ways. I’ll probably never see him again and I’m sure I wouldn’t recognize him if I did. As I got on my bus, I thought about what a totally random and beautiful encounter that had just been. At the end of our conversation, I thanked him for sharing that story with me. It was moving. I felt his pride and joy as he told it. I made sure to tell him how meaningful it was for me that he had chosen to share it.


I’m truly grateful for my past experiences of addiction and homelessness as it’s given me comfort around a population of society that is often overlooked. So many would have feared him; they wouldn’t have given him the time of day, but because I did, because I felt at ease (vibes are always to be trusted over appearances), I was gifted to hear his heartfelt memory.


Although I wrote this story down in my journal after it happened, I didn’t share it publicly. For some reason, tonight, I was reminded of this touching exchange. May he and his daughter be well. 🙏✨



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5월 23일

Amy,


This is a truly touching piece and I feel so great after reading it!

You must have really made that man’s day- as he did yours!!

Thanks!

-Catherine

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