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People Around Your Town

I remember when I first moved to our little town, which isn’t so little any more. During that time, we only had one stop light at the bottom of the hill. Most days, you would see The Whistler standing not far from the stop light, whistling and waving at people who drove by. I think he was around 50 or 60. I never did find out much about him, but I’d always wave back at him. In return, I was rewarded with a big smile. He’s since passed on but I still think about him from time to time.

The other person who has caught my attention is a woman who walks everywhere. She has a strong sense of sadness and solitude about her. No matter the weather, she walks to where she needs to go and she politely refuses rides from those who offer one to her.

She hasn’t always had this sadness. I have a memory of her, running with her son in town one day. They were both laughing and obviously enjoying their time together. Not long after that day, I noticed she was alone. And has been alone since. I imagine her son is grown by now. I heard he was taken from her and lived with his father.

The story goes, her daughter was killed in  car accident and she was never the same afterwards. I don’t know if there’s any truth to the story. When I see her sadness, I can’t help but wonder if it’s true. I’ve seen her at the store and while she won’t engage in conversation, her red lips will smile demurely.

I long to know her story. Just to sit, have a cup of coffee, and listen to her story. I learned a long time ago, sometimes people don’t want your help or  your sympathy. Or even to be bothered.

And although I don’t know her, I do worry if I haven’t seen her walking in awhile. My worry was eased when I saw her a few days ago. Walking down the road, in her slow, deliberate gait. I like how she’s never in a hurry, never seems to rush.

Or maybe, she has her life the way she wants it. Quiet, no drama, not much fuss.

Either way, I pray she has peace in her life, mind and heart.

Is there someone in your town you don’t know but see a lot?


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