One of the most heart-wrenching things I do all year is put together the gift list for the office’s “adopted family”. This year we got a 22-year-old single mother of three girls under 6, asking for new bedding and dishes. I tend to pad the gift lists a little – I’ll make sure you get the things you asked for, but there may be a few more tags requesting toys and clothes and gift cards than on the original list. Everyone deserves to have some festive joy, and if I can help make that happen .. well, maybe it’ll make up for the slow people I viciously mow down in the mall when they stop for no reason in my path.
The list is sobering as always, though. May I never forget that this woman’s life could have easily been mine – it could be any of us. All that separates any of us is our collection of experiences: go left instead of right at a crucial point in your life and suddenly you’re homeless, or choosing which child gets to eat today, or relying on the kindness of strangers to keep a roof over your head.
Now I am sad.
Although to be honest, that could also be due to the weather and my brain going south on me.