I Know There Is A Reason

Years ago I stood in line behind a woman in a newly opened grocery store.

The woman was young, at the time.  She was heavy set.  She stood directly in front of me.  I found myself taking a step back when I noticed her.  It was a reaction more than a conscious thought- to distance myself.  Her hair was the thickest, mattiest, dirtiest mess of hair I had ever seen.  Her arms had bandages on them.  There were things in her hair.

I believe I was younger than her, or felt like I was compared to how she looked.  She was young but aged.  Her body was slumped.  Her posture was poor.  It could have been due to a physical reason or an emotional reason.  I couldn’t tell.

Her overall appearance was rough, dirty and disheveled.

Though I tried not to look, I couldn’t stop, I kept looking at her hair.  I had never seen anything like it.  I am sure I was rude in the staring, trying to discern what was going on with it.  It was as if there were knots and hair nets, or what I perceived to be hair nets, and mess all tied up together.  It swooped and crisscrossed.  I couldn’t tell what color her hair was because it was every color.  Not dyed.  Just a mass of different colored hair that went as a complete and solid mass the width of her shoulders and clear down her back.

I don’t know why I kept looking at it.  I can still envision it.  I remember telling myself she didn’t know I was looking because I was behind her.  But I still felt rude.  I still feel rude.

She wasn’t talking to anyone, I wasn’t talking to anyone.  We were both quiet within our thoughts.  My thoughts being about her.

It has likely been 25 years since this happened and yet I still find myself thinking of this woman on occasion.

I wonder about her and am intrigued knowing that characters in our life stories come in and leave for some unknown reasons.  I’m still not sure what her reason for passing through my story is.  But I know there is a reason.

I hope her story was one much better than what I have imagined.

And every time I think of her I find myself saying a silent wish that I hope she’s okay.




30 thoughts on “I Know There Is A Reason

    • Thank you Jodi. I hope I keep growing. I know I have a long way to go. I remember standing there being surprised, maybe shocked. I was sooooooo naive. I hope today I might ‘react’ differently. Not that I actually ‘did’ anything. But my thoughts then, compared to now….

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I really love your drawings. They capture so much. And I very much relate to this wondering years later about someone who made an impression on me and whose story I never knew.


    • Thank you Leah. I sometimes wonder if I’m the only one who has such long lasting memories of encounters like this but I can’t remember neighbors I grew up next to!!!! 😉

      Thank you for the kind words.


  2. This written piece is done beautifully and relatable to so many. So many unsaid words, too many thoughts and mis-perceptions. When I am next to certain strangers, I am hit with that same feeling you felt with the lady. But I guess it is human nature and all we can do is try to be the more wiser♡


  3. If nothing else, you saw her so that years later you can offer a prayer for her whenever you think of her. Some day you’ll know all the good that’s done through your prayers, though I know it doesn’t matter to you–the knowing part, just the doing, because that’s the sort of person you are. God bless that poor woman.


  4. It’s an interesting thought that some of these people who have made an impression on us, even decades earlier, are perhaps part of a greater picture in our lives. There is one homeless man who comes to my mind from time to time. He made a particular impression on me at least 10 years ago, maybe longer, and among the hundreds of people who live and look similar, there was something about him that connected to me differently. You have given me something to think about, Colleen!


  5. This was beautiful. I think about this often as well. People in cars, grocery stores – even coworkers that you just never see again. So many people are so fleeting in our lives and yet their mark lasts so much longer.


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