Paths that Cross By Quita feeley

This morning I found out that a young woman/mom just a couple miles away from where I live, took her life and that of her little three year old. My heart just broke and so I sat down and wrote this…

Paths that cross

If only I had known you, perhaps I could have helped–
A listening ear, taken your hand and said a prayer.
It could have made a difference, maybe changed your plan
But I had no idea, because our paths had never crossed.

As I planned my morning, coffee in hand
You were only a mile or so away, making your own plan–
one that heartbreak and pain had brought you to, but I couldn’t have known.
Our paths had never crossed.
While I busied myself with what to wear, what calls to make
you must have felt that there were no calls you could make,
or surely you would have made one….to someone.
A call that could have changed your mind. Of course you didn’t have my number.
Our paths had never crossed.
Last week at the grocery store, as I quickly walked the aisles, short on time
and in a crunch, it could have been you that I passed, maybe even twice.
I’m not sure I even smiled.
Our paths crossed.
Perhaps it was you at the red light, when I glanced inside your car
seeing your little children as you took them to school.
I most likely assumed you were a mom busy with life.
You seemed happy to me.
Our paths crossed.
Were you the one behind me in line to buy some things at the local discount store?
You only had an item or two and I a basket full.
I had a deadline though, so chose to continue, not making eye contact
not inviting you to go before me.
Our paths crossed.
You could have been the person who seemed hateful,
Someone I didn’t want to get to know.
Did I honk at you in traffic because you cut me off?
Or maybe you were the one I didn’t thank as you took my order at the drive through.
Our paths crossed.
Of course, if I had known the way your life would end,
If I had known you would be the headline to make me cry,
I would have done things differently if I ever had the chance
but I thought our paths had never crossed.
This morning I heard the sirens as they made their way down a street not far away.
I hardly noticed, didn’t give it a second thought, just pulled over to let them through.
I had no idea they were going for you.
One last time, our paths had crossed.

Everyday we cross the paths of hurting souls, often people to whom we don’t want to give the time of day.
They don’t meet us with a smile or compliment, don’t encourage us with their actions to reach out.
Sometimes, they intimidate us with their anger, and we feel defensive
And pull away, sometimes even thinking they’re not worth the time of day.
But YOU can be the difference, because people don’t accidentally cross our paths–
they are placed into our paths, so we can make a difference.