She’s been in my heart


Lately she’s been on my heart.
When I’m in Skid Row I always look forward to seeing her.
But I hadn’t seen her in months.
No one has it seems.
Then one day I get a Facebook message from a friend 
who works at a nursing home:
“Linda says hi.”
It turns out she was recovering from an operation.
She has gone through so much in her life;
she never knew her father,
her mother was raped at the age of 12
and couldn’t raise her
her struggles with mental illness,
her physical ailments,
the cancer, the endless chemotherapy, radiation, and operations.
But Linda is one of the strongest and bravest people I know. 

I rushed over to the nursing home to see her.
I being Korean, and Linda being Black
the staff looked puzzled at first when I asked where her room was “Are you family?” they asked.
In truth she’s like my big sister.
As soon as the nurse took me to her room,
Linda jumped up from her bed and screamed “John!!!”
and we gave each other a big hug.
It was so great catching up with her.
She was recovering from an operation
where they had to remove a tumor from her leg.
She wasn’t able to walk for sometime.
Linda is one of the most active people in Skid Row,
so I know it was really difficult for her.
She was involved with her church singing in the choir,
she did acting in the local theatre group,
and she’s an amazing cook,
that’s how she won over her boyfriend Robert.
“The first time I met him I cooked him a 7 course meal.
He loved the food, and he fell in love with me!”
The staff were really nice and let me take Linda out for a few hours.
She couldn’t walk.
So we cruised around in my car, enjoying the beautiful night.
We drove around Old Town Pasadena,
enjoying the sights, the fresh air.
Just being together.
After we got dinner, we chatted in her room.
I love listening to her talk.
She keeps things real, and she’s so passionate.
As I was leaving she said
“Sometimes I get really depressed, but I know I can’t give up because I know people care about me. Love you baby.”
Love you too Linda.