[4 of 4] I wrote a few posts several years ago before I started my blog…remember MySpace? There are a few I felt were worth bringing over to the blog, so here you go.
[Originally posted December 25, 2007]
I took my sister to the GreyHound Bus Depot this morning. She was leaving to see our parents for Christmas after spending time with my family. It’s probably been a good 15 years since I’ve been in a bus station. This hasn’t been anything intentional, it’s just that I spend more time in airports or driving myself around when I travel these days.
As we walked into the small indoor waiting room next to the railroad tracks on this clear and cold Christmas morning, I was again reminded that I do live in a very sheltered world. There were two people in the room, and one dog. The dog was eating something his owner was busy feeding him…and his owner quickly said “He doesn’t bite.” I hadn’t asked, or really even thought about it yet, but I appreciated the info and said “Merry Christmas.” A moment later this man and his dog left for somewhere…I speculated that they were probably not waiting for the bus like the other guy in the room who was siting next to his overstuffed backpack.
My sister was now on the phone trying to work out some issue with her electronic ticket. When she hung up, she needed a ride to the closest ATM for cash to pay the driver in case her printed receipt wouldn’t get her on the bus. My wife decided to drive her, and I would stay to watch over my sisters luggage and hold the bus in case they didn’t get back in time.
I sat down and was engaged in conversation by the other guy waiting for the bus. His name was Talen (he even spelled it for me so I would be sure to remember it,) and he began to tell me his story. Today he was traveling to somewhere in the northeast corner of Washington state to see his 18 year old son. He hadn’t seen his son in 15 years. He was on a mission to try and reconcile and bring closure to the broken relationships in his life…he quoted a scripture that had prompted him to do this. As we talked, Talen talked about his health, his past, his mistakes, and his faith. In obvious physical pain, he told me that he had HIV/AIDS…got it through a drug needle back in ’88 or ’89, and diagnosed in 1994. He now lived in an Orange County AIDS Hospice.