Tonight I was driving to a Tim Horton’s following a meeting with a new parent. To digress, I like the herbal honey-lemon tea. While crossing Telegraph and Maple in Bloomfield Township, Michigan, I saw an elderly man cross the street and stand at the corner. He appeared to be waiting for the bus. I spent twenty minutes in the Tim Horton’s due to a bit of a line and only one employee and when I left, the elderly man was still standing at this corner.
So, I swung around and did a Michigan left and drove to where he was standing. Clearly this man had to be in his late seventies and wore a parka and scarf. He not only looked freezing, he had to be freezing from standing in the cold. I asked if he was waiting for the bus, and he said, “yes and there it is.” I asked where he lived and he said, “on the east side.” I gave him $40.00 and told him to save it for a cab and he wished me “Merry Christmas.”
I will admit to watching him get on the bus and then began to cry. Like many, I worry about those on the street who have no transportation or even a place to live. I think about the thousands of stray dogs and cats freezing in this unprecedented stretch of sub-zero cold. And I wonder how many people and animals will die because we don’t have the community resources to help them.
….And then I wonder who we are that we allow this to go on. That we allow people of all ages and especially the elderly, the disabled and the poor to stand in freezing temperatures waiting for buses with limited routes and with not enough in their pockets for a cab or even a call for help.