Ever have a life changing moment? As jaded New Yorkers, we sometimes walk past people in need without stopping to think about them, as if they were not there. Yet, for one New Yorker, a 35 year old account executive, a chance encounter with an 11 year old panhandler changed both their lives.
An Invisible Thread, by Laura Scroff and Alex Tresniowski, tells how Laura walked past a thin, dirty child begging on 56th Street near Broadway. The boy, Maurice, asked “Excuse me, lady, do you have any spare change”? Something caused Laura to stop in the middle of the street, turn around and invite Maurice to lunch at Burger King. That day, September 1, 1986, marked the beginning of a lifetime friendship that enriched both their lives.
Maurice lived two blocks from Laura, but it could have been another planet. He and his extended family shared a chaotic existence in a one-room welfare hotel. No one cared or supervised Maurice, who wandered the streets at all hours. Laura gave him support and consistency, which he desperately needed.
This is a heart-wrenching book of the devastation of crack addiction, drug dealing and homelessness on New York’s most vulnerable population. By helping Maurice, Laura came to terms with her own dysfunctional childhood. Their friendship continues to bless both of them. Read this book for inspiration and a beautiful story.
Reviewed August 3, 2012 by Anna M. Stathis, a civil rights attorney and frequent guest contributor to UrbanLand Media.