Sign of the times

A young woman walked into my office the other day. My first thought was that she was lost as she certainly did not have the appearance of anybody who would come to see me. I judged her to be in her twenties somewhere and certainly not of means. Of average height with blond hair pulled back, she had a gentle and quiet quality about her. The first thing I noticed was she had on a fairly worn coat that was open to reveal a dirty white t-shirt. Her tennis shoes were long past their useful lifespan. When I got past her appearance, I noticed that she was scared. She asked me where she could buy a latch for her truck. “You are in the right store but not quite where you need to be yet” I said. I walked over to the door to point her in the right direction. My gut told me to take her over to the parts department myself. I told her to drive her truck around the corner to our Parts Dept. and I would meet her there. She got into a well worn black Chevrolet Blazer and headed in the direction I had indicated. On the way over, I remember asking myself, “Where is her husband or Dad?” It was not my place to ask. As she drove past me, I noticed she was holding the door of her truck shut. I stopped her and confirmed that fact and then showed her where to park. I asked if she wanted to buy a part or get it fixed. “Depends on what it costs,” she said. I cannot explain it, but my heart went out to her at that moment. This young woman was probably my daughter’s age so my fatherly instincts sprang up. I went into our shop and asked Jon to see if he could help this woman out. “Looks like she is on her last dime,” I said. Jon is a good sort and went out to look. With a little bit of spray-lubrication and monkeying around with the latch, Jon got the door to shut. She wanted to fix it but it would require a fair amount of money that she did not have. Jon made a temporary fix to the door and advised her to use the passenger door until she could afford to fix it. Before she left I reminded her that she knows where my desk is and to stop by if I can be of further assistance. Off she drove into the cold Indiana winter, scared and almost certainly lonely. I do hope she stops by though I doubt that she will. All I know about this young woman is she drives a black Chevrolet Blazer. I know that she is scared too and my heart breaks for her and so many others that are victims of either the times we live in or the results of their own decisions. I am of the impression that she has a gentle and nurturing soul caught up in the struggle for survival. She is somebody’s daughter, somebody’s wife or sister. Where are they? My heart hurts for such as these. Note to woman in a worn out black Chevrolet. Do stop by. I want to know that you are ok.

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