Sunday, March 03, 2013

gratitude is a two-way street

well, this happened atop the overpass or walkover bridge near my wife's office building.  i was to meet her there and i needed to use this to crossover to the other side of the street.

there was this middle-aged lady who laid sprawled on the cement floor right in the middle of that overpass.  lady was unkempt, long, greyish hair was uncombed, her face and arms sun-burnt;  clothes were filthy and torn in places.  she laid there with eyes closed.  she had her face towards the sun. i was so sure she really planned it this way so the sun's rays can shine over her face and that passers-by can see it's ragged lines and its pained demeanor.  her left hand was over her shrunken belly and her right hand was extended outward holding her plastic begging cup.  this was her office.  on that day, she chose this site to do her begging.

then i noticed this two.  a young mother and her boy, around six years old.  both had just come up the stairs on the opposite side.  they were just a few paces from the lady beggar.  boy was holding a twenty peso paper bill in his small hands.  he was hesitant to go near the sprawled beggar.  no, not hesitant, i'd say, he was scared. of the lady beggar.  just lying there on that cement floor, unmoving, looking sad and dirty and helpless at the same time.  the mother was egging the boy to approach the beggar and drop the bill on the plastic cup.  he had this determined look on his face but still he could not will his feet to take some steps.  his mother took him by the shoulder and nudged him nearer.  he clutched tightly at her sleeves.

lady beggar had noticed this commotion near her and pulled herself up into a kneeling pose toward the two.  i saw her smile beseechingly at the lad and nodded her head towards him beckoning him to come near, coaxing him to give her the money.  she dropped her plastic cup by her feet and extended both her arms towards the boy, palms upward.

mother and child were near her now and the boy found the courage to approach the lady beggar.  he dropped the money in her outstretched palms and immediately ran back to his mom.  the beggar flashed him a wide, toothless smile.  a thankful smile. a joyful smile of gratitude.  twenty pesos will be a big help.  way different from the few, small coins in that plastic cup.

young mother and son looked lovingly at each other.  as they walked past the lady beggar, she was still nodding and smiling at them. finally, i saw the little boy flashed a  smile towards her.  young mom smiled at her too.  i feel those smiles are smiles of joy and gratitude also.

for the lady beggar with the ragged face.  for allowing them to help her this early sunlit morning.