vendredi, décembre 17, 2004

In Memory of Janice Bradley

Last night, approximately 100 people gathered in Minneapolis to hold a memorial to the 104 homeless people who died in Minnesota last year.

Many of them were nameless, and people carried signs that read "Man - approximate age 41." Or "Woman - approximate age 53. "

Imagine for a moment what it is like to die without your name.

But not all of the people who died were unknown. And the story of one of them, Janice Bradley, touched me very deeply. Like me, she attended the University of Kansas. She was a parent, and she was not too much older than I am now. She died after being hit by a car in a parking lot. She was 41.

Please listen to the audio link connected to the story of her remarkable and tragic life.

As I heard her story on the radio, I was driving home in my Subaru, a bit peeved because my seat warmer seems less robust than it was last year. Suddenly, I cared a little less for my stupid creature comforts and felt ashamed.

I wish I could have done something. I challenge myself to do more, even as I understand that homelessness is a complex problem, not solved with just money and shelter.

Today, connect with Janice.

If you are a graduate of the University of Kansas, if you are a parent, if you are a veteran, if you are a Native American, if you've ever struggled with substance abuse, if you have siblings, if you've known what it's like to have success in your grasp and lose hold of it, then connect with Janice today.

Connect with her if you are none of those things. Connect by realizing that somewhere, there is someone who is suffering and who is or was a lot like you.

Challenge yourself to reach out.

Do one thing in Janice's honor today.