Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Random Act of Kindness

Most bizarre night ever last night. Sean's friends came over to celebrate our friend's birthday and they all decided at 2 am they wanted to go to Jims. So I tagged along. We get there and I pick a booth all the way in the back for the 7 of us. What I didn't realize was there was a very young and skinny girl passed out in the booth next to us. I went to the bathroom and when I came out there were 3 cops questioning her. She was so high. I mean eyes rolling in the back of her head high. So I tried not to stare as the cops tried to talk to her for about 30 minutes. To my surprise the cops decided there was nothing to be done and left. So we order. This 18 year old girl, who happened to be with us but who I don't really know, had the bad taste to start taking video of the girl I guess to put on you tube for a laugh or something and I told her to stop that it wasn't right and that she had absolutely no idea what the girl's situation was and that addiction isn't funny or a joke. Then I hear the girl in the booth calling out to me. She said ma'am can you help me? And I am like seriously? Ok our food is taking forever, what the hell, I will go and talk to this girl. So I sit down, and she just told me everything. She had just been raped a couple of days before. She showed me the police report and the hospital paperwork. We talked and I told her it was okay, that I had been there and knew exactly what she was going through. And we talked and it turned out when she went to the hospital they gave her Valium. (I later discovered the bottle in her name in her purse while searching for her id) She wanted to get away from her home so she rented a hotel room with some friends next door to Jims but had taken too many Valium so her friends just dumped her at the Jims and took off. She had no cell phone and couldn't remember any phone numbers to call. She said she just wanted to go home to her mom and her two dogs. We talked for a really long time, about how she came from an abusive broken home and had spent her life seeing therapists and doctors, how she dropped out of school in middle school and if she could be anything in the world she would want to be a children's psychologist to help kids. And then I found her id. I almost cried. Here in this picture was a happy smiling young woman, yet here in front of me sat a broken, scared little girl who just wanted to go home to her mother. Finally, with Sean Marshall Jr. permission, I just decided okay we will take her home. so we just left our friends and took our food to go. She let me search her purse for weapons, drugs and her id. I removed a couple of pocket knives just to be on the safe side. As I was leaving the waitresses at Jims said that a couple of men tried to say they would take her home, but they wouldn't let them. And the cops said all that could be done would be to call her a cab, which neither she nor her mother had the money for. So we put her in the back seat and I held all her belongings with me just to be safe. She lived off of San Pedro and I held Sean's hand the whole time, because I will be honest I was a little scared. But when we pulled up to her house, with no car in a poor neighborhood, her mother came running out barefoot in a nightgown crying thanking us for bringing her daughter home who apparently had been missing for a couple of days. She thanked us and blessed us. I gave Savannah a big hug and told her to hang in there, and we left. When we got in the car I just started crying. I thought about my own life. How blessed I am to have people to call to come get me if ever I were in need. Friends who would never leave me alone and vulnerable on the other side of town with no money. A home, a husband, security, an education. There are a lot of broken people out there, and it is so easy to turn away and just not look so you don't have to take any responsibility as a fellow human being to help them. And just because they are broken , doesn't mean they aren't human and can't be helped. They are somebody's daughter, sister, wife, friend. My life was and is the complete opposite of Savannah's, yet somehow she could see in my eyes that I had been there and I would help her. So I guess maybe we weren't that different after all.

I don't know who this helped more, me or Savannah. I realize that she may never be able to become a therapist and help children, but I can. I can help people. And it isn't even just that, it is just helping people everyday. We can all do that. You don't need a master's degree to help people. I will probably never forget that young 24 year old girl I met in a diner at 2 am, and I know I will forever be humbled by this experience.

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