Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Originally uploaded by MyxMaster.

I met Susan one Sunday afternoon standing in front of the Walgreens Pharmacy on Polk and California Street. She apologetically asked me for help and I turned to look at her. I saw a reflection of myself standing there. I knew that our lives weren't any different from one another, because we have the same needs, such as, food, warmth, and shelter. But, we also have the need to be loved, heard and understood, and the need to have significance. I became so focused on Susan that everyone around me and my surroundings became non-existent. It was as if we were the only ones standing there, facing one another. Compassion immediately began to flow out of my heart.

I told her about the $2 Portrait Project on Flickr and asked if she would pose for me. Susan was happy to oblige. I asked her to tell me a little bit about herself and Susan, without hesitation, immediately began to share. Susan has lived all over the United States, but she is originally from Michigan. She has also lived in Tacoma, WA, where I once lived and where my mother resides now. Her father was in the military, so they wouldn't stay in one place very long. I think the last city she said she lived in was Sacramento and then she eventually came to San Francisco, California, where she is living now.

After we talked, I gave her a big bear hug and I didn't let go of her until I knew she knew she was cared for. We both smiled and I told her to keep believing in herself and that things would get better. I went on my way and she continued to stand in her spot and ask for help, thanking everyone that gave or offered her any spare change.

My doctor of fifteen years suddenly past away last week, so I've been going over all the memories I have of him. My time with Susan brought up this memory. At the end of each office visit, he would give me a huge bear hug. It was in those moments that I knew that I was loved and cared for. He unknowingly taught me how hugs can make a big difference in a person's life. I wish I could tell him that fifteen years of hugs made me the man I am today. I would tell him thanks for loving me and showing me how important it is to show others that they are loved too. I dedicate this post to my friend, Dr. Robert C. Scott and all that he has done for me. Thanks, Dr. Scott.

Please visit:

Allen Temple Baptist Church AIDS Ministry

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, great post. It's funny how you find yourself in a completely different place in life than a stranger, yet at the same time not so different at all. Best wishes to the family of your doctor. Live well friend.