The bus was late and it was cold. Shivering, Marti turned her coat collar up, wrapped her scarf tighter around her neck and stood close to the building to shield herself from the wind.
Gazing through the Drug Store window Marti suddenly found herself looking into the sad green eyes of an old lady wearing a white knit cap, tattered raincoat, and lavender tennis shoes.
Startled for a moment by her own reflection, Marti didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. Instead, she opted for good natured sarcasm. "All you need now, my dear, is a pair of purple gloves and a Gucci bag to match your lavender 'tennies', and you'd be the Queen of the Winter Fashion Show."
This time the sarcasm didn't work. Marti could feel the tears begin to build up in her eyes and quickly turned away before she had to watch them fall from the sad green eyes that stared back at her from the window.
The bus was crowded, but warm. Neither the sound of wheels crunching the pavement or the noisy din of the people could silence an old 60's tune that rang through her ears:
"My clothes may still be torn and tattered,
But in my heart I'd be a Queen..."
But that was Tony Bennett singing 'Rags to Riches', but today...that wasn't the scene. Nobody ever wrote a song about going from riches to rags, or have they?
Later that evening, Marti once again made eye to eye contact with the same green eyes, but this time they weren't sad - they were angry. Not in a store window downtown - but in the bathroom mirror with both of her hands balled up into clenched fists pounding on the counter as she wept bitterly and cried aloud: "How could you have been so stupid? Allowing a man to break your heart to the point of forgetting everything else in life but your own hurt feelings and stupid pride?
"Why? Why? Why?
"Only one year to go and you would have had a pension for life... but No! You had to go and quit! What a stupid fool you were to think you could make him feel guilty; just because you couldn't cope with the break-up and therefore had to quit your job! So you lost your car, your house and your pension. But did it stop him from marrying somebody else? No! All you did was make your golden years miserable by being poor! Sure! Your emotions healed, but your finances were ruined for life! How stupid could you be? "
Fatigued and worn out from the emotional outburst, Marti finally turned out the lights, collapsed into bed and with a heavy sigh... closed her eyes.
"Forgive me, Lord, for not kneeling down, but I've come to thank you for another day of blessings. I guess You heard me sounding off tonight about regretting my stupidity for being poor in my old age. But it was just built up frustration and I was letting off steam.
"Believe me, Lord, it wasn't any reflection on You. You've been good to me. Just today, for instance, You answered my prayer for some shoes before winter. This morning Mary gave me a brand new pair of lavender sneakers that were too small for her, and just in time, too - as it turned very cold today.
"But once in a while, dear Lord, I have to kick myself for being so stupid...and today just happened to be one of those days, kind of a downer, if you know what I mean - so I did some kicking, and I hope You understand."
After Marti said "Amen", she reached down to pull the covers up around her when she caught sight of God's night light outside her window. The moon. It was big and full and bright - and seemed to be smiling at her.
I knew it, Marti smiled as she closed her eyes, He does understand.
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