Tom is back, and is doing well.
He came to see me last Friday and has been ‘in and out’ of the office all week. He has hit the ground running and has made some great steps since getting out of jail: he has located a nice apartment in a good area, currently furnishing it, bus pass, happy to be alive and, since Tuesday, free from parole, the system and his past mistakes.
He is thinking about going back to school. He is considering what kind of job he might get – although he is quick to tell us that he will be back volunteering with us next week.
At the drop in yesterday, Erin (our work skills coordinator) invited him to come to the office when he had a chance to talk. Well, at 8:03 this morning, he was here. He sat in the chair and said something like, “I know there’s a lot of work to do here. I’ll come by next week and straighten out all the mess of shelves that happened since I left and I’ll clean it all up. Don’t worry about it.”
Erin quickly told him that wasn’t the reason for her request.
“Well, I want to be sure that you come by here next Tuesday, because that’s your birthday. We are going to get a cake to celebrate with you, but we want to make sure that you are here. That’s what I wanted to talk about.”
There were moments of silence as Tom stared from under a furled brow as he thought about this. “Thank you,” he said.
“We’re so happy you are out of jail, and connected with us again. We love you, and want the best for you. Plus, we don’t want to eat your cake without you,” Erin replied softly.
So, there you go. Oh, just one more thing. When Tom first came back, and talked with me in my office, he said something that stuck with me.
We talked about how it sucked to be in jail for no good reason, guilty until proven innocent (or rather released because they simply could not detain him any longer), and he said: “Well you know, maybe the Lord had me in jail to keep me from getting into trouble somehow on the streets. You never know….”
That’s pretty good.
Wish I had thought of that.