He staggered about the campgrounds scratching his scalp, aimless and with a most worried look on his face. David was his name and within the first few minutes (sometimes seconds) he would explain to whomever he met that his wife was murdered and his son committed suicide one week after. Those events occurred two years ago, I would later learn, but when he spoke of it you could tell it was the only thing ever really on his mind and present with his being.
In the previous week he’d been robbed, beaten severely and left in a state of complete distraught disarray. The cops had dropped him to stay at the campgrounds for free and sleep in a new tent someone had just given him. He had just been hired for a job he was about to begin but still mentally quite exhausted.
After listening to his story and his explanation for being “lonely and down” I said something which seemed to change the entire thing- “Well, your life will only get better from here. I believe things are going to start going really well for you, and I mean that.”
He had a look like a lightbulb had just gone off above his head. “You know, I think you’re right. I like the way you think!” The conversation then steered its way out of the gloomy and depressing clouds and into the glorious hope-filled light that shone in his now smiling face; like driving through a dark tunnel through a mountain only to entrance upon a magnificent ocean view where freedom greets the lungs with breaths of redemption.
The next morning he asked if he could tag along with me into town (well, he actually told me he was going to, which I think was his way of asking). Along our route he met a lady and started a conversation. When he mentioned he was looking for a place to live, she informed him about the place she lived and that they had a spare room for someone who would contribute a few chores at the house.
After we departed from her, he went to Starbucks with me and I bought him coffee and food. At Starbucks he made a couple of phone calls, one to the lady we had met only 30 minutes earlier, and he got everything setup to move into his new house. How’s that for “life only gets better from here?” I asked. He also told the lady that as soon as he received his first check from his new job, he would take her out to a proper dinner, to which she agreed to do with grand joy.
He teared up a bit as his eyes began to see something on the horizon giving of life and not basked in the memories of all he had lost. Hope, I think that’s what he now has.