Suzanne and the bus stop crew... by Suzanne Chlego Sigler

This story was shared with me on facebook by my friend Suzanne Chlebo Sigler. God blessed her and those gentlemen who touched her heart 3 years ago. She generously allowed me to share this personal journal entry with my blog readers:

She wrote this 3 years ago as a Live Journal post:

Goodbye for now...

Last Thursday, I had an experience that's difficult to describe. About 3 or 4 years ago, a group of transients started hanging around the bus stops that Naomi and I used a lot. Sometimes there were 4 or maybe up to 6, but there was a core group of 3, Rusty, Red, and Sky who were always together. A lot of times, of course, they'd be drunk, but they were the nicest bunch of guys. We got to know them, and Sky would always give me little things, like little stuffed toys, or a backpack, or something and told me to give them to my granddaughter (Adia). If we had some food with us, and we saw one of them, we'd give it to them, and sometimes I'd leave a little sack lunch out on a bus bench at night for them to find, if I knew they were staying in that area. One night, Naomi made a bunch of chili, but we never found any of them, so she ended up giving it to all the people in the apts.

It made me so mad the way people would treat them. They'd turn their backs, and stand ten feet away from them, and give them dirty looks. Sure, sometimes they were dirty, and sometimes they smelled. But that's just dirt and smell. Underneath is a real human being. Someone who needs to feel accepted and that they have value to God, just like anybody else.

I could see Rusty going downhill fast. And then, I ran into Bob, a guy that always rode the same buses, and knew them, too. And he told me that Rusty had passed away. I guess he was trying to climb over a concrete wall, and had a heart attack. Then about 2 months later, Sky was on the bus, and he said that Red had died. I asked him how, and he made a motion like he was holding a bottle and drinking it. Sky was actually the one I thought would go first. Two years before, I'd seen him on the bus, and his stomach was so swollen, he looked like he was 8 months pregnant. I didn't see him after that, and Red told me Sky was in the hospital because of his liver. Then he came back, looking good. It made me and Naomi sad when Rusty and Red were gone. We missed seeing them at the bus stops, laughing and making silly jokes. You could tell that Sky was lonely.

A few months ago, he totally lost his voice, I couldn't even understand what he was saying most of the time. I figured it must have been the alcohol that had ruined his vocal cords. I only saw him twice after that. Once when there was a whole mess of people at the bus stop. He was sitting at one end of the bench, facing away, with his head hanging down, so he couldn't see that I was there at the other end, and there were two people between us. This one guy that was with his grandkid, kept trying to flirt with me, and I just pretty much stayed aloof, and only talked when he asked me a question. It was funny. It blew him away (and the other people, for that matter), when the bus came and I deliberately went over to Sky to wave and say goodby. I made a point to say his name so they could see that I actually knew him.

The last time I saw him was last Thursday, a week ago. I had to get a prescription refilled cuz I'd taken the last one that morning. I had a hard time getting out the door in time to catch the next bus, and it was getting later and later. At the last minute, I decided to wait another half hour, so I could eat something to avoid having a low blood sugar attack. I finally got on the bus, and headed up to the pharmacy. It used to be at Bell Rd., one of the stops that the three of them had hung out at. But then that pharmacy closed, so I had to go to one clear up at the end of the bus run. I went in, got my prescription, and walked back out to the bus stop. And there was Sky sitting there with his bike. I said, "Hi, what're you doing way up here?" I'd been having trouble with my right ear, so I asked if he could sit at the other side of the bench, so I could hear him, cuz I thought he still didn't have his voice. He mumbled something, and I said, what, and he mumbled a little louder. It sounded something like, "I can't move that far." I asked him once more what he said, and he looks at me and says in a perfectly normal, clear voice, "I'm gonna die, ok?" I was speechless. I started to say something, and he read my mind. He showed me his swollen, black feet and legs, and said, "I get down on my knees and pray every night. I know my Savior and I know where I'm going." I said, "You don't know how happy you've made me to hear that," and then I started crying and couldn't stop. To see this toothless, homeless man, sober and in clean clothes, with the most amazingly peaceful, happy, faraway look in his eyes, with no hint of fear or anger, was one of the most incredible, indescribable experiences in my life. I honestly could almost say it was life changing. I was supposed to be at that bus stop at that time. I got off the bus before him. We waved goodby, and that was the last time I ever saw him. I won't ever see him again, here, but I know he's safe and happy, and will never be hurt or rejected or lonely again. It's making me cry again, thinking about it, and that was more than a week ago.

See you later, Sky.


  1. If you're a fence sitter when it comes to God... plz continue to read the stories here... you'll begin to see God everywhere you look. :)


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