As I was walking to meet up with one of my kids after his play date, I came upon a scene that basically stopped me in my tracks. I was approaching a subway station and there were several cop cars around and definitely a growing number of people. I immediately thought there must have been an incident underground, in the station. Never did I think, as I continued walking, that I would pass a body. No I didn’t say somebody, I said, a body. Right there, on my left, on the bench. Thankfully, it was already covered with a sheet, but I knew what it was. Someone’s life had ended on that bench. It’s an area where a lot of homeless people hang out, and it occurred to me it might have been a homeless person. That made me sad. It made me sad to think that this person died alone, in the middle of a bustling city and no one would be showing up to claim the body. It pissed me off to see other people stopping, staring, taking pictures and gawking as if it were some sideshow at a circus. Have some respect people!! I continued walking seconds after realizing what I was seeing and remembering that my kid was heading in my direction to meet me! For the next few blocks I could think of nothing else but that nameless, lifeless body on the bench, and then I saw my boy from across the street. There was life right in front of me, smiling at me, sweetness, and cuteness, and family, and love. I hugged him hard and we continued our walk home, taking a different route so he didn’t have to see the bench. I have been searching in vain for information about the incident. There is nothing, not even a snippet about the nameless, lifeless, body on that bench by the subway. I won’t forget what I saw, as it will help me get through today and tomorrow and the next, reminding me to be grateful for my life and for those in my life, and that it is all too precious and fragile. I will pass that bench a thousand times I’m sure, and I will always remember. As you make your way through the day, if you see an empty bench, remember that there was life there at one point, and thankfully there will be life there again.
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