On the train last night a woman was talking to a group of Chinese students. She was loud. Something about jail. The students were curious, asked questions, and listened intently.

Got out of jail. It was Bergen County, so it was a nice jail. Kept clean.

Found out she was pregnant three days before going to jail. She gave birth in jail. Sh…e missed her grandmother’s funeral when she was in jail.
She missed her grandfather’s funeral when she was in jail.

She was taking a train to meet a friend who was floored she was out, but happy to see her. He was a very special friend, whose name caused her to blush.

They dismissed all the charges. She spent over two years fighting and they dismissed the charges.

By the time we got to her station, she had transformed from a small woman with a loud voice sitting in the corner of the train, to a blushing, happy, beautiful person who stood up in the middle of the train and announced she’d been released from jail after two years. The whole train car clapped for her.

Then she seemed to remember herself and said, “I haven’t hugged another human being in over two years.” One of the students obliged and by then everyone was watching and smiling.

When she got off the train, her friend was waiting for her. She ran into his arms. Then she ran back up to the windows of our train car and waved goodbye to us all.

The glow she left behind was tangible.

Her story was amazing – another testament to the strength of the human spirit.


He’s not strong enough for you

“He’s not strong enough for you.” Simple words spoken by her father each time he met a new potential suitor. He knew because he’d seen her spirit, her will, her personality, and her strength. He knew because he was her father, he believed in her enough to tell the truth, and she trusted him enough to listen. Then she found him. Or he found her. Or however it happened.

They are among the most cherished couples I know: those who can withstand the human stuff that guts other couples. I admire whatever it is that got them together, whatever it is that got them to this point, whatever it is that’s getting them through to the next point. It’s something that escapes me, but it’s really good to see what’s possible.

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