Sam was always going to go to detox in Thunder Bay – some day. His mother would send money and Sam would spend it on booze. His mother would send more money for a bus ticket, but the temptation was too great. Once he even made it to the bus station, but ran.
He failed to follow through – we don’t know how many times. Many years worth, at least. He’d tell his ‘failure’ story over and over again. He wanted to change, but couldn’t.
We would see him on a weekly basis, often several times a week. One favourite haunt was the coin laundry downstairs. He would come with Stacey and Milo, hang around for a while and off to the next stop. Our words of encouragement seemed to fall on deaf ears. It was disheartening and discouraging.
Then last fall he disappeared completely. Gone.
When someone disappears it might mean several things: death, jail or the hospital are the ‘big three’. No one had heard from him – not even Stacey and Milo.
Three months later he shows up, clean and sober. His mother sent him some money, he finally made a decision, and followed through.
Ten months of sobriety now, and counting – his life has changed.
If you’re interested in another perspective on this story, check out http://bit.ly/cSmznf
It takes a community to change a life, and for whatever part we had to play in this story, we are grateful and thankful.
It’s a pretty good reminder: You never know when something you say, or some random gift of kindness, or prayer for help will make the difference in someone’s life.
It’s also a good lesson on life: Never give up. Never.