After work yesterday, I got on the Scotlandville bus and rode to the main terminal where I transferred to the Highland bus to get home. A lady ended up sitting near me. She had straight, thin, wispy red hair with bangs, pulled behind her head with a clip. She had on a white t-shirt under a light blue sweater that gaped a little at the buttons and a pair of khaki slacks that were too big for her. She looked to be maybe in her 50's and looked like she didn't have a lot of money. With some soft, minimal wrinkles, had a few small scabs on her face and forehead. Her happy brown eyes sparkled and she was alternately very quiet or talking to anyone around her whether they answered her or not!
I started thinking about her, and praying for her in my mind. "Lord, I don't know if she has anyone in her life who treats her kindly and loves her. Please let her know YOUR love. Please send people to her to show her Your love. And if there's something You want ME to do, please just tell me."
Looking over, I saw that this lady was bent forward with her hands covering her face. She was rocking back and forth saying over and over, "Mercy, Jesus. Mercy, Jesus. Mercy, Jesus."
Later in the ride, I noticed she had on bright green fingernail polish! I couldn't really guess her age, but wondered if maybe she had a granddaughter or someone who decided to paint her nails green. That, I decided, was a perfect conversation starter. :)
"So where'd you get green nails?" I asked her.
"From a bottle." She smiled and laughed. "It's cause I GO, girl!! Green means GO!" She laughed more. This lady had a great personality!
She continued, "That's what I told the lady when I bought it at WalGreens. 'Go, girl!' And it's also green for St. Patrick's day."
"Oh that's right," I said. "That was only last weekend and I had already forgotten!"
She said something about her medications, maybe for diabetes or blood pressure... how they were so expensive and she couldn't afford them. Then she perked up, looked at me and said, "The other day I was out in a store parking lot and this guy walked up to me and gave me $40! He said, 'God told me to give this to you' and just handed me $40!'"
WOW,I thought! God is ALREADY looking out for this lady!
I asked her if the money was enough. She looked at me, and I added, "To get your medicine."
Her face immediately brightened into a huge smile! "Every one of my medications!"
Then she added, "That's scary...".
"Scary?" I asked,
"YEAH that's scary!! Can you imagine?
Momentarily confused, I was not afforded the time to ask for clarification.
She burrowed forward. "It'd be nice if He'd throw me out a HOUSE! Ha!"
"You don't have a house?" I had been wondering that.
Leaning forward as if she was confiding in me, she said, "An APARTMENT. I have an apartment. I want my OWN HOUSE. Not where I have to deal with damn property inspections every six months, make sure I'm not messin' their sh** up."
I would LOVE to have my own house too,I thought.
Moments of silence passed. All of a sudden, she burst out: "I just wish I could find my TEETH!"
She laughed. I noticed then that her bottom teeth were in place, but she sure was missing teeth on the top. I wondered if her bottom teeth were real or if they were dentures, but decided that was not my business and probably would not be cool to ask.
She went on to describe to me how the floors in her apartment were "like a hospital" - contextually, I took that to mean tiled, smooth and very hard. She told me she dropped her dentures on the floor and they broke right in half.
"$500 to replace 'em. FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS! Can you believe that? It'd be $250 to fix 'em, but I don't think they can fix 'em. I don't know. Five hundred dollars."
I wondered if she had Medicaid... wondered if Medicaid paid for dentures or if they were considered "cosmetic," perhaps, or not vital enough for government money. I didn't say anything.
We chatted a little more. I enjoyed her company and even thought we could become friends. When I got off the bus, I introduced myself. "My name is Nicole." I extended my hand.
She took my hand briefly and smiled. "I'm Sharon."
I like Sharon. I hope I see her again. Please pray for her! God provided her the money for her medications; of COURSE He can provide the money for her teeth!
One thing I did learn from Sharon was to keep a good attitude and laugh, even if everything in your life isn't just the way you want it. Sharon seems to be able to go through the rubble of everyday life and pick out things to smile about, things to laugh about, and reasons to be friendly to people she encounters. I want to be that way, too.
I hope I run into her again. :)