I love reading the writings of Armen Bacon. She is an occasional contributor to the Opinion/Valley Voices section of the Fresno Bee. I identify with her. Like me, she’s a wife, mom, and educator.
I identify with Armen’s struggles and challenges. Six years ago my son was a drug addict who was living on the streets after having been kicked out of the house by my husband and me. For months and months we lived in fear of getting the dreaded phone call telling us our son had lost his battle with drugs.
Six years ago Armen Bacon and her husband were on the receiving end of just such a phone call. Their son, Alex was dead.
Since that sad day, she has written eloquently and from the heart about her journey. Whether she’s writing about her mom, her children, her home, or our shared hometown, she never fails to stir my heart.
Yesterday she wrote about a raggedy young man she came upon while in the drive through of a fast-food restaurant. He asked her for a dollar so he could get some Top Ramen.
“Do you have a mom?” Armen asked the lost boy. “I bet your mom misses you.”
Oh, I can so relate to that conversation.
I know that many of you see these young panhandlers nearly every day. Their clothes fit loosely on their skinny frail bodies. They have dirty fingernails and unwashed hair. Some of you want to turn away, while others of you challenge the street urchins to “get a job!” Sometimes you slip them a few silver coins, a crumpled bill, or a cheeseburger.
I am so grateful to the people who might have helped my kids when they were lost. I know that some of the money was spent on drugs, but I also know that your kindness touched my child’s heart—even if just for a moment. Maybe, just maybe, you said a sweet word or gave a gentle smile to my son or daughter. I will never know you, but I am thankful that you took the time to show concern to my child.
That dirty young man you see on the street corner probably has a mom whose heart is heavy with worry and fear. She hopes to never get “the call”. Maybe your kind word or deed is the very nudge that boy needs to send him back home, or to a safe place.