Monday, April 19, 2010
Birthday for the Homeless
I live in a big Scandinavian city that unfortunately has a lot of homeless people. Luckily there are small ways of helping them even though you may not have a lot of money. One way to help is to buy their monthly magazine. By doing this one day, I got to know a young homeless man who was often standing at the train station, selling the magazine.
He was a refugee from another country and I can only imagine what kind of psychological scars he must have had from living in a war-torn country, escaping it and then ending up being homeless. After a while, I discovered that his birthday was close to mine which meant that we were born under the same sign of the Zodiac, something we talked about once in a while.
I met him last year shortly after his birthday, and without thinking, after congratulating him, I asked if he had had a good day. He looked down and said that he hadn't really celebrated. I felt so stupid.
I just couldn't bear the thought of this nice, young man being alone on his 25th birthday with no presents, no cake, no songs, nothing! So I went home and looked in my yarn basket and as luck would have it, I had two yarn cores of pure wool left. I set to work and knitted a scarf for the young man. As the yarn had become somewhat dusty since I don't knit very often anymore, I went out and bought special detergent for the wool so the scarf would be clean when he got it.
I ran into him on my own birthday as I was going shopping. I had hoped to meet him so I had carried the scarf around with me and a piece of my own birthday cake. He was very happy with these gifts and so was I. The light in his eyes and the heartfelt hug he gave me was the best present he could have given me!