This should not be construed as a “poor me” article. It isn’t meant to be seen that way; rather it should be an insightful message to those more fortunate to have people around them that care, that are concerned, and are aware of mental status.
The Fourth of July. It used to be such a fun day when my husband was alive. We did all of the things that people do on the fourth; BBQ, watch the fireworks, and, when legal, even had our own show. Frequently we would take the boat out and catch some fish for homemade ceviche or sushi.
He’s been gone almost seven years now and the Fourth of July is only another day; a day of keeping my dog calm because of the assh*les that insist on shooting off fire crackers all day by the beach. Shadow doesn’t mind the fireworks – Sea World in their infinite wisdom of continuing with their polluting noisy 9:50 pm show – has allowed him to become somewhat immune to the percussion’s he feels every evening. Oh yeah, he still tries to get away from it, but he is much better than my other dogs that tried to get under the carpet to hide.
No, this is not about Shadow, but about all of the lonely people that have no one to celebrate with.
The pain of hearing what a great time can be had by all; the angst of having no one to share the day with; the despair of knowing that in celebrating our great country there is no one to share it with. The veterans that fought to help keep this country great are sleeping on the streets and fear that some idiot will come by and throw gasoline on them and set them on fire.
The knowledge that if it wasn’t for the monies they will receive from collecting all the empty cans after tonight’s festivities that they might not have a meal to eat tomorrow, when all around them tonight are the smells of barbecuing meats. The realization that once before, in another life, they, too, participated in the celebration.
This is about the depression that comes so often when a person is ignored to the extent of almost being invisible.
This is about the “have nots” in contrast to the “haves.”
This is about the lack of compassion; the “man’s inhumanity to man” that we hear so much about. Yeah, these people are mad. Much of that “madness” is justified; a lot of it isn’t.
But maybe we should try to be more understanding of the lonely person sitting on the wall; maybe instead of dumping that last piece of meat in the trash that we offer it to a veteran not as a “handout” but as a genuine gesture of compassion.
Maybe we should not be quite so self-centered and stretch our vision to the periphery of life. You know why? Someday we might be in their shoes – or sleeping bag.
Someday we may yearn for a friendly smile; someday we may wish that someone else had stretched their hand out to us. Someday.