Say Something, I’m Giving Up On You!

Say Something, I’m Giving Up On You!

It is just after 6 pm and I am heading home after a long but fruitful day. The traffic is starting to ease up and I know that within minutes I shall have my tired feet up and perhaps a chilled glass of chardonnay in hand.

As I turn from a major road I see a long queue of people waiting for transportation to get home. This is a bus stop, so I start to wonder if the next one will be able to take everyone. The faces are tired as they frequently shift weight from one exhausted leg to another. There is not much of a conversation going on here. All thoughts are on getting home to end this day.
Another turn and now getting closer to home. Another queue. This on for the taxi. It is even longer than the bus queue. I am waiting for the light to change, so I scan the people waiting here. A beautiful young woman in a business suit. The shoes are red, a sign of a spunky personality. With a company branded lunch bag in hand, she periodically shakes one foot then the other. This, I know, is from the feet swelling beyond the size of the shoes she is wearing. The pain is written on her face!

Further along is an older woman, perhaps a mother. I’ll call her Rose! The flat shoes and warm sweater suggest a woman who knows this journey will be long. I can’t help but wonder when she will be getting home. Her children are waiting. Perhaps the eldest has started to prepare dinner for the family. Will she get home before the children go to sleep? This queue is very long and by the time Rose gets a turn at a taxi seat, it will be dark. Perhaps she will check the children’s homework while she eats her dinner. I imagine that she will clean up the house, make sure the kids are warm in bed and prepare for their school day tomorrow before she can get any kind of rest. They may have attempted to wash their own shirts, but the small hands did not get all the dirt out. She will give them an extra wash.
It is after 6 pm and Rose is still waiting for the taxi home. In less than 12 hours, she will be on another queue heading in this direction, waiting to begin this journey again. That would mean that she is up by 4am to prepare the children for school before heading out to catch the taxi. Work most likely begins at 8am, and she may not be late! When does Rose go to sleep?
Any parent who is this exhausted from the grind of making a living cannot have much left to nurture young souls. This was never the plan. When she bore her children, she imagined walking them to school, and perhaps giving them their afternoon snack when they return. She may have expected to tell them stories at bedtime, as her mother did for her. Living to work was never the plan. This is not living, this is existing!
The beautiful suit and red shoes up ahead, are an indication that the next generation is headed in the same direction. When will it end!
I’m home now, no chardonnay! Tears well up in me as I am haunted by more queues I passed on my way. Images of parents longing to do more for their families. Future CEOs who do not have the luxury of a goodnight kiss or a ‘well done’ hug. Tomorrow’s TV stars who have never heard a belly laugh from their mothers. These are the people who will be making decisions in the near future.
Say Something, I’m Giving Up On You!

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