Friday, July 27, 2018

Lost in the crowd

Today at lunchtime I saw Caleb, pushing the grocery cart carrying Napoleon's carrier, litter box, water dish and food. He was on the other side of Michigan Avenue.

I was happy to see him because I wanted to give him $1 and ask about Randi. I figured if he was driving up to Minnesota to visit her at the Mayo Clinic this weekend, I'd pick up a gift card to help him defray gas cost. Or maybe some single-serve cereal packages to eat in the car, since I learned that cereal is among his favorite things.

But while I was waiting for the light so I could cross Michigan, he crossed Lake Street against the light. I called out to him, but with the traffic sounds he couldn't hear me. When I got across the street, he was already up the street and lost in the crowd.

After I ate lunch and stopped at the bank, I looked for Caleb and Napoleon, hoping they had landed on a corner nearby. Then on the way home, I checked their usual haunts but they weren't there.

I wanted to reach out and show my support. His wife is very ill, miles and miles away. He loves her so much and he can't be with her because he's working overnights here. From across the street, his arms looked so scrawny and I'm afraid he's not eating.

He, his wife and that cat are in my prayers. I'm not confident their story will have a happy ending. They have worked so hard to escape poverty and have come close a few times, but something always thwarts them. It's heartbreaking.

As I was saying ...

This week, Anthony Rizzo attended a fundraiser for NVRQT, a charity devoted to "striking out pediatric cancer." Then he spent a few hours at Lurie Children's Hospital. He regularly spends time with kids battling cancer and asks them to sign his jersey, since they are the heroes. Whenever he goes there, he passes the family waiting room he donated. He says he did that because he remembers how hard his own youthful cancer battle was for his mother.

An All-Star first baseman, he lived his dream and pitched in an MLB game. Oh yeah, he also hit .420 for the week and hit the game winning homer on Thursday, in his 1000th major league game.

And it's only Friday.

Anthony Rizzo is simply all that is right with the world.