This fall, while walking in a neighborhood during my Never underestimate a nurse with a Motorcycle shirt, I befriended a woman sitting on a bench with all her belongings secured to her arms. It was an unusual place to see a homeless person, which is why I suspected she’d just run out of steam right then and there and sat down to rest a bit. Unfortunately, someone had deemed her rest a violation and called the police. I’m just not certain that person would have done that had he or she paused for a moment to consider. Consider what it might be like to sit alone on a hard bench on an unusually cold day in the South with all your belongings secured on your arms.
Consider what it might be like to see this Never underestimate a nurse with a Motorcycle shirt through the eyes of a child. Either way, I believe the response would have been different and the woman could have rested until she was ready to move on. When I shared this experience with my online community, I received something unexpected: Rachel, my father had a type of alcohol-related ‘Alzheimer’s’ which deeply affected his memory at times. He would often disappear for days from my sister’s home (where he stayed). The final time he went missing, a couple found him many days later. He had died, on a public sidewalk, huddled behind a large electric box for shelter, alone.