I received a phone call of yesterday from Glen. I couldn’t have been more pleased to hear that familiar voice. A rather curious comfort flooded over me when his first words were, “Are you OK, the girls here at the Convenient Mart said you needed to talk to me?” I assured him I was fine and simply needed to know he was in fact, alright! “.
For those not familiar with this story, Glen is a homeless Vet that I befriended and see quite often on the street. I met Glen some months back when I stopped my car and offered him water on a very warm Arizona day. Previously it was his 63rd birthday and hundreds upon hundreds of you all had sent birthday wishes his way. I filled out a card with nearly 500 birthday tidings written out to be shared.
After almost two weeks of worry, we made plans to have a visit today at noon. I arrived at a local McDonald’s promptly at 12 sharp to see my friend sitting on the curb awaiting my arrival. Glen shared that he had decided to see the ocean on his birthday and hitchhiked to San Diego to carry out that desire and had just returned home to Phoenix. We talked at length about this recent sojourn, his time in Vietnam and shared a bite to eat before I presented him with the birthday card.
As Glen opened the card, I told him that nearly 6 thousand people had seen his story on our FB page and countless thousands of others from the Ripple Kindness Project and Social Justice Solutions pages had also read his account. I read many of your wishes aloud. Glen was overcome with emotion and professed that this belated birthday greeting was indeed the most caring expression bestowed upon him in more years than he could remember. He brushed away a tear and suggested all of this was unnecessary but gave me a hug and thanked me for the kindness.
I can promise you that whatever joy Glen felt I was provided ten times over. Perhaps Charles Dickens had it right when he said,
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”