Tuesday, December 6, 2011

☛ ☛ ☛ ☛ ☛ ☛ ☛ ☛ M ☜ ☜ ☜ ☜ ☜ ☜ ☜ ☜

Photo credit
Did the morning shift at the shelter. M came to the kitchen coffee bar slash order counter. She seldom makes eye contact. Her tendency is to gaze up to an imaginary 8 foot face. Tuesdays is eggs any which way, toast, apple juice, banana, yogurt and any hot beverage of your choice. M is particular about her food. A bit health conscious maybe.  Not quite sure. She orders toasts and eggs to go. When asked how she would like her eggs, she doesn't care. Surprising. Since I know she likes hard boiled (because they travel well and might keep her hands warm while they finish cooling), I fill a pot with water and throw in a couple of eggs.

M decides to sit and wait for her food. She always picks the same seat. Corner table. Back to the wall. Always making sure that nobody will consider joining her. M is extremely quiet this morning. She sits face in hands at times. At other times, she looks up to her imaginary 8 foot face battling with her thoughts. What is going on in that head? When I take the order of toast and boiled eggs over, she thanks me. And I believe that she is grateful.

M is always the last to leave the shelter. This morning I send her off into the cold with a "take care" which is met by total silence. For the longest time, she stands outside the door. When I see her again, like a statue she is standing 10 feet further looking down.

My shift is over. I walk out towards my car and there is M, standing still. Still standing. I decide to speak with her.

I start with: "M, is there anything I can help you with?"

"I don't know, she answers, can you?"

"Talk to me," I respond.

Her response was my reality call: "Why would I talk to you? I don't even know you." Like my earlier "take care" her words met my total silence but did not fall into deaf ears. I walk away. I walk away thinking that she is right. Why on earth would I begin to think that I could help?


  1. C.
    You can help, but only when she trusts you to listen. Don't give up on her.


  2. I agree with Dick. Once you gain her trust; she might talk to you. Baby steps is all one can hope for.
    She seems to like routines so you'll have to become part of that. But then again, if you become familiar to her; it might devastate her when you are not there. It's not easy wanting to help!

  3. ~sigh~
    life is so complicated, for all it's simplicite....

  4. It has been awhile. Tell me did you see M lately? What you are doing for people like M is amazing and I am so proud of you for doing this. Much Love petite soeur!