by Jann Hurling
Can you make a difference in someone’s life today? It’s not money that is required, it’s a simple smile and actually listening to a story . Say hello, ask them their name, where are they from……..everyone has a story, embrace them and listen. Most of all don’t judge.
I saw a man pushing a shopping cart with a dog in the cart. I got excited and started to walk over to him. I watched his mannerisms and he put his head down and did not want to make eye contact. As I got closer I said” hi, my name is Jann and he would not look up. I said these are my dogs, Minnie Mojito and Sir Buddy Winston III and he looked up and smiled and asked me what their names were again. He said his dogs name was Sunny and he was Pete. We talked about his life journey and that he missed his family. He made some bad choices and I said that doesn’t make you a bad person.
We talked , walked and laughed. As we walked we got close to a little corner store so I asked him to hold my dogs leashes. I went in picked up some water, munchies and dog food. I bought him cigarettes and a big candy bar. I gave him the bag and a big long hug! And told him I will never forget him.
Driving down Pierpont I looked over at Surf Liquor and saw my homeless neighbor that calls himself Charcoal. Charcoal is a picky homeless friend! He doesn’t want left over food. I yelled Charcoal and he turned around and said hi Miss Jann. I pulled over and got the best hug ever! We sat and talked about life and I said do you want a smart water and he said…..honestly I want a Budweiser!!! I laughed and got him a smart water! He is a great guy with demons. My life is better because I have Charcoal as my friend.
I met Joey on my walk tonight! He joined me and we shared stories. He missed his mom a lot so I said let’s call her and 45 minutes of talking and crying they reunited and he is going home to Orem, Utah.
I stopped at Vons and as I walked I hear “Jann” real loud. I turn around and see Leroy and Francis my homeless neighbors, they had their heads lifted high and proud. (Which our homeless rarely do in public) I was so honored they remembered me that I ran to them and hugged them! I honestly felt that they had a purpose and a reason today and to see smiles was priceless. We can make a difference, learn a name, give a smile and give a little hope to our friends, even if homeless.