On this sixteenth day of December, I find myself struggling to find the goodness and light in the wake of the attack on a school in Pakistan that left at least 146 people, mostly children, dead. This recent act of violence has left me speechless, and my heart breaks for all involved and for our world at large. I cling to the belief that there is light, even in the darkest hours. Thanks to one of the former guests at the day shelter for homeless men where I work, I saw the light and felt the love today.
Otis had been homeless most of his adult life, and at age sixty-five, life on the streets had taken its toll on him. Last March, he was hit by a car and spent three months in a rehabilitation center. Fortunately, Otis’ story has a happy ending, as he entered one of our permanent supportive housing programs in June and has thrived in his own apartment with the support of his case manager. While he may no longer be a daily guest at the day shelter, we have not forgotten Otis, and he has not forgotten us.
As we remember family and friends during the holidays, Otis thought of our staff in such a sweetly simple way. He gave us a beautiful Christmas card with a handwritten note that said:
“Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Thanks for all the patience and help over the years, Jean, Charlotte, Carmel, Raymond, Charlie, Sarah, John, Keith, Kristi, and others involved for their help. U 2 Vickie.”
It is an honor and a pleasure to be a part of these gentlemen’s respective journeys, so, I thank Otis for both the lovely card and the trust he put in all of us over the years. These are priceless gifts and bright points of light, and I am reminded that love prevails. Always.
Just one thing each day . . .