He nodded, but remarked that he enjoyed the travel and meeting new people. These traveling sales crews are popping up all over the country and remind me of the gypsies of old. It is, indeed, a hard life, if you follow the news. I can't imagine why one would choose to live that way.
My niece, Kimberly, has chosen that life. When she was 17, she disappeared for a year. We had her dead and buried, of course, it was just an awful experience. She was listing in a missing childrens' registry and her poster was up on the Wal-Mart bulletin board. Not a word from her for a year. Then she turned 18, and turned up out of the blue, with a boyfriend named Paul---or Mark---or David, last name Evans, or Piccini. We don't really know.
No one liked her boyfriend and she didn't last very long staying with family. She said she'd been all over the country selling magazines door to door with the yo-yo boyfriend, who I despised on sight. She lived with her brothers for a few months, and they were so good with her, so eager to take care of her. But they threw the boyfriend out (she worked---he didn't) and she went with him. She became pregnant and they married. My sister, Dessie, adored that little girl, Sammy (Samantha).
We couldn't find Kimberly to tell her that Dessie had died. Her husband had been arrested in Salt Lake City and while out on bail, had absconded, Kimberly and the baby in tow. She called two weeks after the funeral and Dessie's common-law husband, in a fit of bitterness, lashed out at her "your mother's dead and in the grave!" Kimberly hung up and we never found out where she was and we haven't heard from her since the end of April 2008.
I worry so about that baby girl, Samantha, with the beast of a father and an obviously incapable mother. I worry that something will happen to Kimberly and Sammy will be in foster care, not knowing there's a family out there who loves her so much. Kimberly's two brothers, my nephews, would take such good care of that child and her mother.
Kimberly's disappearance haunts me. So, when I saw that smiling young man, I asked him if he knew anyone named Kimberly with a baby girl, about two years old. No, he replied, he didn't. I asked him to wait a minute and quickly ran into my office and grabbed up a picture of myself that I'd run off to send to an old school friend---stupid, but I was in a hurry---and stapled a copy of the Irish blessing that I had on my desk and scribbled a note on the back. I gave it the salesman and asked him if he ever met her, to give him the picture and the poem and to tell him we missed her. He was kind and assented and also said he would mention her to everyone he met.
I know, it stupid to think anything could come of it. I alternate between wanting to throttle this niece of mine and praying fervently for her return. I'm mad at God because He's messed up on following through on my instructions once again. Most of the time, He's good on the follow-through, but once in awhile, I'm left extremely frustrated, screaming out to Him in my mind. I don't understand what He thinks He's accomplishing by not returning this lost sheep to us.
In the meantime, we pray. Here's a copy of the Irish blessing, one of my favorites, I had impressively printed cards, but gave them all away, so now I make my own.