Something stirred inside me this time, so I pulled into the middle of the road (it's a 4-lane with a median) and asked if she needed a ride. She walked over to my car and told me she was just going to a neighborhood on the other side of the road. She told me her name, and then proceeded to tell me that she had been sleeping on a bench for the past few nights. She also told me a lot of her medical history. She fought back tears as she said she has a tumor that needs to be taken out, but no one will operate on her because she doesn't have the money. She said she's tired and hurting and may die. She told me that she found someplace she could spend the night, but it was $15 and she only had $8. I rarely have cash on hand, but I had a $20 bill and 6 $1 bills. I debated quickly about giving her the 20, but then decided I needed to hang onto it because I was going to see one of my sons on Saturday. I gave her the $6 and told her I wish I knew of someplace for her to go.
I didn't give her a ride; she said she could make it to where she was going.
Here's why I'm feeling like crap about this whole situation:
~ When she walked over to my car, I panicked just a bit. I thought, "What am I getting myself in to?"
~ I should've given her the $20. It wouldn't have been hard for me to get another $20 out of the ATM. Plus, that $20 is still in my pocketbook...I didn't even need it when I visited my son.
~ After I gave her the money, She leaned on my car & I could see a pack of cigarettes tucked in her bra strap. She could've used the money she spent on cigarettes for a place to sleep. I don't know how much they cost, but I'm sure they aren't cheap. I judged her, and I regret that.
She did say that she knew I was "righteous" because people she knows will honk & wave instead of stopping to help. I hope I brightened her day just a bit.
I don't know if I'll ever see that woman again. I live in a small town, but that was the first time I've seen her and it may be the last. I'm just not sure if I did enough.