Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The White Van

All over town, I see the white van.

When I drive with Ethan to the railway station to see if a train is roaring by, I notice the white van parked. The backs of heads inside.

At the library coming out of story time, the van is there once again. The occupants aren't going into the library. They are just sitting there. Waiting.

Sometimes I see them boarding the van in the morning as I'm getting cash out of the ATM. I wonder where they are going. I wonder if they are truly going anywhere.

I've read somewhere that there are several group homes for mentally challenged people in our town. My guess is this van full of people I never clearly see is somehow related.

I know I don't know the whole story. I know I don't see the entire picture. I come across the van every few days for mere minutes. I have no idea what these people do with their time.

I also know that 50 years ago, these people I don't know might not have been sitting in a van, well-fed, clean, and safe, but in the dank corridors of an institution.

I try to picture Ethan 20 years from now, sitting in those cushioned seats. I can't. I don't know my son's future, but I know it is not that.

I see them at the railroad station, parked and waiting. I wonder what they are waiting for? I wonder if they are bored or amused, content or lonely.

I wonder about their stories, their families, those who have loved and who love them.

I wonder.

1 comment:

Crystal Senzig said...

Ah, I wonder too. Same thought, different van. So thankful that our kids are in the time they are for the advancements in care there are. We certainly haven't mastered the treatment of those differently abled than us, but it's a whole lot better than it used to be, thank God!