There he sat slumped on a park bench
that stood beside a main road in our town.
His head hung to one side.
He appeared dead.
His dirty blond curly locks flipped carelessly in the breeze. The hair on his head hung as though his teenage halo of hasty decisions had slipped just a bit.
His left hand remained clasped to hold the syringe to a vein in his right forearm.
Vomit stained his royal blue t-shirt.
“He’s dead!” I thought.
“Wait, go back!” I shouted to Philip. “He’s dead, I think he’s dead.”
Philip whirled the car around as a lady jogged along the sidewalk near the bench.
She never looked toward the frail and pathetic young man.
All I could think of in that moment was his mother…and the love she probably felt a few short years ago as his tiny
eyes looked into hers and his little lips cooed with contentment.
Once upon a time he was an innocent baby.
Philip, Tiffany and I quickly decided that I should call 911.
They arrived fairly quickly.
By this time, the young man had fallen to the ground.
The paramedics gathered his “supplies”.
The officer handcuffed him.
They placed him in the ambulance.
The lights flicked on and a parade of emergency vehicles escorted him from the scene.
That was the first time I called 911 that week.
It still haunts me…the young man…the situation…the desperation.
The park bench was now cleared.
Cars continued down the street oblivious to the scene that had just unfolded along the path.
The second time that week that I called 911 is another story for another time.
But I wonder about the boy and his mother.
I’m sure I’ll never know the end of the story.
I need to be ok with that.
I didn’t know him. Or why he was there.
All I know is that he needed help.
I have friends who have children struggling with addiction.
And except for God’s grace it could be you or me…all of us are one choice away from destruction. Just ONE choice.
What path are you on? Where are your choices leading?
We have an old piece of furniture that I love, a secretary, it’s definitely vintage and well past its prime. I’m considering getting rid of it. When I bought it a few years ago from a friend’s consignment shop, the thing that really drew me to it was a piece of paper taped to the inside, that states:
And so the days turn. The seasons change.
Decision after decision processes us along,
through the good and the bad.
I’ve learned in life the bad gets all mixed up inside the good
and you can’t always separate it.
You have to look for and celebrate moments of joy
and look for the “extra” that’s hidden amidst the ordinary!
So the boy was taken to wherever they took him.
And I went home with the ones I love to my safe and cozy nest.
I wondered, could I have done more?
I am only one…I can’t do everything…but I can do something…
What would you have done?