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The Lady Under The Bridge PDF Print E-mail
Written by Eloise Foster Latoof   
Monday, 15 September 2008 14:22


Bryanna, my daughter, was always a compassionate person.   She, her husband, and two children were staying with me and her father while seeking a home to buy or rent. They had recently moved from Lakeland, Florida to Louisiana.   The housing market was unexpectedly tight and there seemed to be nothing available.   One realtor even said there wasn't a chicken house to rent or buy in the area where her husband's new job was located.

So our family home was increased, happily, by four for a while.   My daughter, her husband, and their two vivacious boys to love and for whom to care.

You see, Bryanna was sick, but always up-beat.    I don't ever remember her losing her joy of life.   While she could still drive--she did.   One day she returned to the house after a brief outing.   She was distressed.   Not for herself, I wish to add, but for a lady who lived under the high rise bridge.   This lady, who lived under the bridge, was Oriental, obviously homeless, dirty, and appeared mute.

Of course, Bryanna stopped her car to help this lady.   She, Bryanna, sick and all, rolled up her sleeves, so to speak, to go to this lady and help.   The lady appeared not to comprehend Bryanna's inquiries.   Naturally, this was not a deterrent to  my daughter.   She got into her car, came to our house, and started gathering bare essentials for a person living under a bridge:  food, water, wet wash cloths (Bryanna was always so clean), etc.   She got back into her car and brought these necessities to the lady, who lived under the bridge.

When Bryanna got back to my house the second time, after delivering said items, she started making phone calls to local charities, churches, and Oriental communities, pleading for assistance for the lady.   Finally, she enlisted a friend who had once worked with the homeless.   She went with Bryanna to  stay with the lady until an agency could arrive.

During their wait, they assessed the lady's belongings, which included a comb with more teeth gone than there, a brush with few to no bristles, one red sock, a ragged towel, and a pair of high heel silver cocktail shoes--sized 8.   The lady's foot was no larger than a size 5.   And she clutched them to her chest, as if Bryanna were going to steal them.   It appeared the cocktail shoes were her prized possession.

In the meantime, the agency arrived and was willing to help.   Communication was non-existent, and all was at an impasse.   Next, Bryanna called an Oriental pastor, who determined that the lady was not of his race, but another.   So, he called another person (possibly a minister), who met all of them under the bridge.   He stated that she was possibly retarded and needed someone from her own part of the world.   Hence, someone else was called, as the other 'helpers' drifted back to their own lives.

The new person who came decided that she was, indeed, from his part of the Orient.   He attempted to communicate with her, but informed Bryanna he couldn't help her, because his community would be ashamed by the lady.   By is time, the lady was very stressed out and wanted away from this group of 'helpers'.   By some act of God, perhaps, Bryanna convinced the lady to stay where she was until another person could come for her.   The lady was frightened, of course, and only wanted to be left in her spot, under the bridge.

One by one, everyone left, but Bryanna.   Basically, then there was one.   In the meantime, I had gotten in touch with a friend who met Bryanna under the bridge.   With great persuasion, they took this lady to a shelter.   The shelter wanted to take her to a hospital.   They were convinced she needed to be in a place for the mentally-challenged.

By this time, Bryanna was so exhausted and deeply saddened by the entire string of events, she was sent home.   They gave Bryanna this poor woman's pitiful belongings rather than throw them away.   Bryanna cried as she showed me the pathetic life possessions of a 'throw-away' person.   She wrapped them in a box.

I led my bald-headed daughter back into our clean house and well-ordered life, and I felt as helpless as all the rest of the would-be rescuers.   Helpless to help a stranger, to cure my sick daughter, so helpless, and not a rescuer, at all--just a mother to a very sick daughter.

We never found out what ultimately happed to the 'helpers' and the homeless woman.   We hope she found a better life after being 'rescued'.   She may not have.

But what we do know, is, our sick daughter played a major role in getting the lady out from under the bridge. 


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Livpink95 - 07-25-2009 02:09

Wow. even when she was sick, she still put forth a lot of effort to help others. that was a very selfless act.
eloiselatoof - 07-03-2009 16:46

no, dean. she was not a girl scout.
Mean Dean - 09-15-2008 15:54

Hildi is right! Bryanna is what us athletes call "a game changer," which is the solid mark of a winner. Bree even affects those of us on Moonbaby, who follow the positive information surrounding her life, which in turn enhances our lives too. I've often wondered if she was ever a Girl Scout?
Hildi - 09-15-2008 14:21

Wow. Bryanna must have been a wonderful person to know. I'll bet you all miss her terribly. She may be gone from this earth plane, but she still lives and will continue to thrive in the hearts of those who knew her. God Bless....
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Last Updated on Friday, 19 September 2008 15:13