My niece had a bumper sticker on her car that said : EHFAR, being unhip to the lingo which happens generationally, I asked innocently enough what is EHFAR? careful to use correct pronunciation. She looked at me like I had head lice and said, “what?” so I pointed to her car, her face lighting up, “Oh, that means EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.” she replied, throwing a giggle my way. I remember thinking to myself “that is the stupidest thing I think I have ever heard, but whatever; everyone needs guideposts to live by.” I only let EHFAR linger in my thoughts for a brief moment before discarding it to the Pile of Malarkey I keep around in the back of my grey cells in case I need info on trivia night. Recently I have been revisiting this idea.
Things happen around me that I have a hard time making sense of. Everyday events some small and insignificant,some life changing. EHFAR makes me angry. I want to shake my fist at the sky and yell and stomp about. I am not one to easily accept the notion that shit happens for a reason. It is a meaningless,all encompassing idea some tree hugger came up with to explain away a trivial pain of a friend. But? what if they are right? Have I gotten so busy living life that I have missed signals? What if EHFAR is like a stop sign at a busy intersection? warning you to pay attention? but being wrapped up in a thought bubble you miss it and blow through the sign? what then?
Knowing the reason why something happens does not necessarily give you peace. Sometimes it just makes a mystery more complex. It often fills me with more questions than answers. Everything does happen for a reason. I am just uncertain to know what the reason is.
Inspiration for a blog post comes from many things around me. Little things that everyday people miss everyday. The smile on a little girl’s face when she looks up at the man she calls Daddy, the homeless man on the street holding his sign pleading for 2, the school kids heading home from class on a beautiful day, a small child crying seemingly unhappy at not being understood. I see. I have trouble not thinking about all of the things I see. The world is not a safe or friendly place. My mother often struggled with everyday things. She struggled keeping the house clean, food in the fridge, clean clothes in our dressers. She suffered the whole of her life from mental illness. I often felt growing up that we were teetering on the edge and the slightest upset in its delicate balance would spell ruin for our family. My darkest fear is to be homeless.
The other day on my way home from a doctor appointment I saw her. A young woman with a cardboard sign on the side of the road. She could have been my niece. She was young, pretty, her clothes clean. She looked out of place, she looked cold. She made me sad. I admit to you that I didn’t roll down my window. I am not sure handing someone a dollar through the crack of my window could change the course her life is on. It did however put a bump into my world. I can’t shake what I see. What I keep seeing. Where has the kindness in the world gone? the trust? the hope? the love?
I do not know this girl’s story. I am not sure if I asked her that it would be a truth filled tale. She may have fallen on hard times, lost her job, or her way, or tripped out on drugs and still hasn’t made it back to the “real” world. All I know is that every time I see someone on the street holding an overused cardboard sign my soul cracks just a little more. My heart gets a little heavier, tears manages its way down my cheek. Life is a precious gift that people throw away. When will we learn? Will we ever learn?