Being Invisible

The first time it happened, I was in my 30’s
I was shocked, no, horrified
I never saw it coming
I was completely unprepared
I was referred to as a “mam”
In my defense I was wearing a power suit and I was in an elevator of one of Atlanta biggest law firms.
He was a bicycle delivery guy
He got on, a little sweaty and winded and looked at me and I inside, smiled
I felt good and I looked good
I’d just completed a large sale
He pushed his floor button where he needed to go and said;
“Good morning, mam”
I felt the bottom fall out
My ears started ringing
I didn’t breathe
The shock that I had aged so much that a cute younger guy saw me like a mom, a mam!
It was pivotal in a way I could have never seen coming
Kinda like ending up in a wheelchair

You sit so much lower so I noticed people not looking at me
Or,they looked just over my head enough they appeared to look but really they weren’t
Eye contact never happened
Men never looked, ever
I was at lunch with my friend, Rene. She was pushing me to our table and it was busy and there were people and chairs in the way.
No one helped
No one got up
No one even scooted their chair in
I became invisible
And I felt the bottom drop, again

My beautiful sister spent the last year of her life, homeless on the streets of Tulsa
She had battled addiction for decades and it finally won
I have to imagine she was invisible too
I have often wonder who drove by her
Walked by her
Stood beside her at a light and never saw her
She was so funny and so kind
Did anyone see her beautiful blue eyes?
I hope but I don’t think so

Next time you are out, see the people around you
See them
I am sure there are kids at your kids school that are a little dirty
Not dressed well
See them
Passing a lady who is bald
Someone who is homeless
See them
Bless her
Bless him
If not out loud then to yourself and to God; say “bless you”
All we want in this life is
To be seen
To be heard
And to matter
No one should be invisible any more

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