Yesterday I went grocery shopping, not an easy task since I live on the third floor of a building and the elevator is broken. But it had to be done, if I wanted to eat this week.

It didn't take long (you don't need a lot if you're single, and living alone with two cats and an evil, hateful cockatiel) and as I was pushing the shopping cart to my car, I saw a young black girl sitting outside the store, wiping her eyes on the hem of her soiled t-shirt. I had  to stop. Now I saw it wasn't a young girl, but a woman in her 30's. The sadness in her eyes made her appear older, though. I asked if she was okay and if I could do anything to help. She assured me, unconvincingly, that she was fine and just waiting for her ride to come and get her. Again I asked if there was anything I could do. She asked for change for a quarter, which I gave her and told her to keep her quarter. I wanted the sadness to leave her eyes. It was haunting. It hurt me to the core. I told her that I knew she probably thought I was just a crazy old lady, but I gave her a big hug and told her everything would be alright.

As I made my way to the car, I hoped with all my heart that everything would be alright for her, for me and my family and friends. 2007 will be a better year; I'm living in my own place and taking my time making it mine, and my first grandchild is due next year.

Linda