Sometimes It Takes A Reminder…..Life Isn’t As Bad As It Could Be

I didn’t have the best start this morning. You know when you have things you want to get off your chest but it’s sort of an “overshare”. Yeah it was one of those. I’m pretty sure my friends on Facebook didn’t feel like hearing it yet again so I decided instead of complaining about someone else’s behavior that I cannot change I was going to change my own attitude today. Let it go, and just smile, regardless. My Grandma used to tell me to write things down and throw it away. “What use will that do if no one knows?” I’d scoff.  “It will make you feel better.” she’d say. I never listened. I always wanted someone else to validate my feelings. Then I grew up. Yes I still overshare sometimes, I’m only human.. but my Grandma was right in a way. Now sometimes I choose to throw it away, what good is keeping all the negative? And when you share it sometimes you only bring others down as well.  We all know that there are others that have it worse than us. Today I was reminded of one of those people.



When my son Vincent got out of preschool today I decided I was going to do something we don’t normally do.  I had just received the flyer in the mail that you see to the left.  Buy a $10 Arch Card from McDonald’s and get a free McCafe beverage.  Their peppermint hot chocolate was calling me. I asked the kids if they’d like some hot cocoa & they said no. Yeah right.  We went up to McDonald’s and I bought 2 cards and got 2 free peppermint hot chocolate’s.  I figured I’d shove the cards in my wallet, as we visit McDonald’s once in a while and we could use the card later. Free drinks. Yay. 


Then, as I held that hot chocolate in my hands I remembered the man I’ve seen walking around town for at least the last year. I don’t know who is he. I don’t know if he’s mentally ill, sick, or just down and out. He recently took up residence at the abandoned Kmart’s across the street from my neighborhood, right behind McDonald’s.  Every single day people park in that lot and eat their lunch. I’ve wondered before, do they ever offer him anything? Do they feel sad inside while they watch him as they sit there eating? I’ve thought of him often. It’s so cold here in Michigan right now and it’s not even winter yet. 


After we left McDonald’s I pulled into the abandoned Kmart’s. There was his stuff. Just sitting there. How could people pass him by every single day? I live in what was voted as the best & safest city in Michigan in which to live. Why is this man being ignored? Why are there even homeless people in a nation that just spent billions on the most recent elections. A lot of thoughts ran through my head.


I am not so well off myself, but I do by the grace of all that is good in this world have a house to live in. It’s small, old and it’s cramped but it’s a house. It’s shelter. I’ve had many times myself over the years, when I was younger and first out on my own where I was completely broke. I couldn’t afford to eat. I never had groceries in the house. I’d have to drive 10 miles to my Grandma’s house (when I had a working car) to grab some $1 tv dinners out of the freezer and sometimes I was lucky and the neighbors fed me. One time a boyfriend and myself practically lived on ramen noodles for 3 months.  I grew up poor as well, the daughter of a single 19 year old mother, but we NEVER went hungry. I always had a place to live.


I took out one of the Arch cards & I signed it, a friend. I quickly got out and stuck it where he’d see it but hopefully no one else would find it. I came home,to my warm house, and my 4 year old and I had a long talk about helping others whenever we can. About smiling and being happy for what we have. Because… there is always someone else who has it worse. ALWAYS.



Maybe the talk wasn’t so much about teaching my son, but it was more about reminding myself to be thankful for what I have.. and sometimes, instead of complaining, to just let it go and smile. Life can always be worse.


I don’t know this man, but he’s a fellow human being, he has needs and feelings and wants and worries just like all of us.. He doesn’t know it yet, but I’m not a fair weather friend.


  1. What a way to share the gift of the season with some one you don’t know. What a blessing.

  2. I love this! I have tried to teach my kids the same thing. You never really know what someone else life is like. Try not to judge. We all just need to count our blessings and not focus on the negative. You did an amazing thing today!

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