Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WHAT are you doing?

Ok. Let's set yesterday's joking aside for a minute because I've got something serious on my mind. You know by now that I love people. And I am not one to turn away from a chance to help someone.

Today I disappointed myself.

We live in an old neighborhood. And with old neighborhoods comes some level of unexpected activity along the way. Nothing dangerous, mind you. Just unexpected. We live close enough to downtown that there are people walking around at strange hours within blocks of us.

That being said, I'm also my parents' child. I confront issues head on. And I don't generally wait around for someone to protect me...even if I need protecting. So with Kerry being at Bible study, I didn't think twice about handling this situation myself.  (I did, however, immediately think of the well being of my girls upstairs asleep. Which prompted part of my behavior...)  Anyway...here's my story:

So this morning whilst gathering my thoughts and getting my coffee, I notice some guy walking up my driveway. It's 6 am. That's weird. He sees me....seeing him....and he quickly ducks beside one of our vehicles.

Not to be thwarted in figuring out what was going on outside my window, I went to the side door and opened it. "WHAT are you DOING," I yelled. In response I get sort of a mumble... and catch the word "fence" in there somewhere.  "WHAT???" (I'm trying to sound as mean as possible by the way. Can't let them know you are nervous - even if you are standing their in sweat pants an old tshirt, no bra and a ponytail.)

"I was going to jump your fence to get to the alley," he says as he steps from beside the van.

He was young. Probably less than 30 - and not necessarily homeless looking. He didn't really appear to be dangerous either...whatever "dangerous" looks like. He really probably just didn't have a car and was trying to take a shortcut. (Cynics need not reply to this...)

I, being the "fixer" that I am, respond that he CAN'T jump my fence as it is too tall and that he'll have to go around another way. (Mean voiced but helpful...that's my motto...)

He says, "Yes ma'am. I'm sorry."  Then he starts quickly walking back down the driveway, and I resume my morning routine (ie - coffee, bath, makeup, kids breakfast...etc..) while thinking about him and where he could have been going.

I couldn't wait for Kerry to get home so I could tell him. Because I know he would have the same reaction I did. (His heart bleeds as much or more than mine for people. Good thing we aren't millionaires. We'd give it all away and wish we had more to give.)

I made sure my family was protected. And that's good. But I also know that my entire family would have had the same feeling about not helping him if he needed it that I do now. They would be sad too.

The words "Yes ma'am" reverberated in my brain all day.  I missed an opportunity, I think. He clearly had manners, so someone loved him enough to make sure he knows how to behave. I'm sure he walked away thankful I didn't call the police or shoot him or something. haha  But I was left thinking that I didn't do enough. I didn't offer help. I didn't see what he was doing.

I just didn't do enough.

It won't happen again. Next time I need to ask myself the same question I asked him:  "What are you doing?"


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