Heavy on my heart.

Most mornings on my drive to work, I call my mom for a quick chat.  Sometimes it's lengthy, sometimes it's brief, but regardless of the length of our conversation, it's always nice to start my morning having talked with one of my favorite people.

This morning was no different-- I dropped Brian at the train and as I pulled out of the T parking lot, I dialed her up.  We had our regular small talk about what we did the evening before, how could it only be Tuesday morning, how busy work has been, etc.  And then she mentioned her friend, Lorenzo.  

My mom works with veterans in a hospital setting and her place of employment also aims to provide jobs for veterans, which is wonderful in my eyes.  To know my mom is to understand that she is one of the most kindhearted and warm people that you will ever meet.  She truly has a heart of gold and will go out of her way to do just about anything for anyone.  She doesn't hold grudges and is big on forgiveness, and if someone asks my mom to say a prayer for them, you can absolutely bet that she's going to do just that.  I've heard many of her work stories over the year, and I've gathered that working in the environment that she does can be challenging-- unless you've been to war, there's no way that you could ever comprehend what veterans have experienced, and often times employees choose to not take a personal interest in the patients of the hospital, versus just getting their job done.  Unfortunately there aren't enough people like my mom because she's the one who the patients seek out, knowing that my mom will take the time to listen to their stories, to give them a tissue through their tears, to offer comforting words and assurance that she will do absolutely everything that she can to find a solution to their problem while getting her job done.

Which brings me back to Lorenzo.  Lorenzo is a veteran, and a wonderfully nice man.  I've met him several times when going to visit my mom at work when I'm home, and he is so kind and takes a genuine interest in whatever you're saying-- the last time that I saw him was right after Brian and I got engaged and I stopped by to see my mom's coworkers.  My mom told him the news and he gave me the biggest hug then hugged my mom and said "Mrs. Janice, I know you are so happy and blessed with this pretty girl and her lucky man" and it could honestly make me cry right now just thinking about it again-- he hardly knows me personally and was so genuinely happy for me.  I know that he has struggled with various issues over the years, both mentally and physically, but he has maintained his job at the hospital and seemed to be doing okay.  He has the most positive and happy disposition, but from what I've gathered he really doesn't have much support in his life-- no family to speak off, no wife and no children.  So my mom has kind of stepped in and filled that little missing piece for him where she can.

Lorenzo walks to and from work every day, and when it's too hot or freezing cold, my mom insists on driving him home.  His house is only a few blocks from the hospital, but, just the same as me, my mom can't stand to see anyone struggle or suffer, and he knows that Mrs. Janice is relentless (also like me), so on occasion he'll graciously accept the offer.  She always makes sure to remember his birthday and brings him a little something at Christmas that he can use.  My mom does this out of the goodness of her heart, and he knows that and is so beyond thankful to be remembered.

Recently, Lorenzo has been struggling a little bit and he missed a few days of work over the last couple of weeks.  Due to the missed days, his pay was cut short, and things are very tight for him.  My mom knows him well enough to know when something is wrong, and when she asked him yesterday if everything was okay, he confided in her that he's had to pay all of his bills but that he hasn't had much to eat the last few days.  She immediately told him that she would like to help him, but his pride is far too great for that, and he politely declined and just asked her to pray for him.  She promised him that she would, and she did.  

Again, to know my mama is to know that if she can do more than pray, then she's going to.  When she walked through the door after work, she had barely put her purse down before telling my dad that she needed to put a care package together for her friend.  My dad has certainly heard of Lorenzo over the years and told my mom to absolutely go ahead and round up what she needed.  So my mom went through their cabinets and refrigerator and filled two boxes of food for him, recruited my brother to accompany her, and off they drove, my mom still in her work clothes and my brother unaware that even at 25 he was still eligible for Teachable Moments from Mama.

They pulled up to Lorenzo's house and rang his doorbell, each holding a box of food.  My brother told me this morning that when Lorenzo opened the door, he broke down in tears and thanked them over and over and over again.  My mom walked in and put the boxes down, hugged him, and told him that she knew that he would do it for someone else in that situation, and that he was to think nothing of it, and that's what friends are for.  

As my mom told me all of this as I drove to work, I was fighting back an ugly cry.  

I was overwhelmed at the generosity of my mom, of hearing her say so matter-of-factly "I helped him because it's what you do for someone in need.  I know that he would do it for someone else if he could.  And I would do it for anyone else out there."

I was sad for Lorenzo to be struggling after an already challenging life.

I was embarrassed at myself for being annoyed that I might not have time to buy a coffee. 

I was helpless thinking of how many other people are out there in the same position who we just don't hear about.

And so my heart feels a little heavy this morning.  My mom asked me to pray for Lorenzo, and every time I think of him I send up a few words, but I wish that there were more than can be done.  I know that there are people out there who are so very much worse off than our friend, people who don't have a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs, a stable job to go to every day.  But for some reason knowing that Lorenzo has these things and is still struggling to get by, to know that a good, honest, hardworking man who has already been through so much in his life now has to worry about where his meals will come from...  that's what hurts my heart

If you think about it and it's your thing, maybe send up a prayer for Lorenzo.  If praying isn't your thing, maybe a few words of encouragement could help.  My mom assured me that he's going to be okay and that he has a wonderful support system in his manager and team at work, and I believe that, especially with my mom on his side.

No comments:

Post a Comment