Today was not even close to those tragedies, but I know that if I had seen it 3 years ago, I wouldn't have given it a second thought. At Food4Less today, I was on my way out of the grocery store and saw a father, cashing out coins in the coinstar machine with his +/- 6 year old daughter asleep on a blanket inside a grocery cart that didn't belong to Food4Less. Now it's one thing to see a small baby or toddler asleep in a grocery cart with a nice clean blanket happily asleep while the parent is shopping. It's another to see an older child asleep on a dirty blanket, seemingly hungry, only sleeping in the cart because she had to. My heart broke at the thought of being that desperate. I could only imagine the feeling of not being able to provide for my kids. He didn't have a car to drive around, she needed to sleep, so he was doing whatever he could to provide without caring what anyone else thought. And although I was sad, I was happy to know that she had a father willing to do whatever it took for her. As I walked away, he smiled at me, then took a look at his daughter and smiled at her.
I thought to myself, I am lucky. Lucky to have a wonderful family who would never let that happen to me or my kids. Lucky to have gone to school and become a nurse. Lucky to have a job that allows me to provide a roof over our heads and food on our table. Lucky to have a husband who would be willing to do what that father was doing if need be. Lucky to have two wonderful, beautiful, healthy children. Just lucky.