There’s an old saying that goes something like this: “I cried because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet.” Loosely translated: things can always be worse.
I got the keys to my apartment a couple of weeks ago. A momentous occasion, indeed, except I didn’t move in right away because all my stuff (aside from four small boxes of necessities) is still in Kalamazoo waiting for the relocation company to bring them to OKC. (Long story)
So, I remained at the hotel a few more days. But, the fact of the matter is every night I stayed in the hotel, that was one less room for us to sell, so I needed to get into my own apartment asap.
I had been shopping around for a Serta pillow top bed, but couldn’t find one in my price range, or when I did it wasn’t in stock. But, I persevered, because I knew what I wanted.
Last week Sunday, I decided the time had come. Even though I had absolutely no furniture, I was going to move into my apartment. My boss graciously volunteered to let me borrow one of the inflatable beds we keep in case of emergencies. Sadly, the air mattress had a small leak, so after only 20 minutes or so, I was essentially sleeping on the floor.
I’m not a young man any more, and from time to time, my body reminds me of this fact. When I awoke that Monday, my back was simply wrecked. I could barely move. It was clear that I was not going to survive another night of sleeping on the floor, and needed to find a bed, fast!
As I attempted to get ready for work while moaning, and groaning in agony, I thought back to the previous night. When I checked out of my hotel, and drove to my apartment, I passed the local Greyhound bus station. It was dark by this time, so with the lights on in the station, it was easy to see the people inside. There were eight or ten homeless men, just sitting on the benches, most appeared to be asleep.
It didn’t strike me at the time because I had witnessed similar scenes back in Kalamazoo and, sadly, because that same situation can be found in just about every city in America. But that next morning, as I struggled to move without pain, trying in vain to stand up straight, it occurred to me that each one of those men would have loved to sleep on the floor of my apartment. The very floor I now cursed for my back pain, would have seemed like an oasis to them.
Like the quote about the shoes and feet, I was complaining about not having a bed, and being forced to sleep on the floor of my apartment. Then I saw ten men without homes.
It’s been just over a week since that happened, and I’ve since gotten a bed. Not the bed I hoped for, mind you, but it is much better for my back than is my floor, and for that I am thankful. I’m also thankful for the apartment itself, especially in the 100+ degree heat we’ve had the past couple weeks.
I hope I never forget just how blessed I am, bad back and all, because there are SO many who are not as fortunate.