Blogging · Thoughts

Dear John Doe’s daughter…

img_20160924_144947_489

 

Not long ago, I wrote about a homeless man I met during Montréal’s Film Festival… John

To be very honest, I almost deleted my post just before hitting the “publish” key. I was afraid the story would give the idea that I was bragging about being nice to the homeless. It wasn’t my intention, I had just been so touched by my encounter with John, that I needed to talk about it.

The post was ready, I was still moved, and I decided to go ahead and send it out…  Thank God! Here is the comment I received from a friend of mine, after she read my post.

Your post has hit very close to home. My father was homeless and lived on the streets in Edmonton on more occasions than I care to admit. Although I tried several times to help him, I was not only fighting against the system but I was also fighting against a very powerful force, his paranoid schizophrenia. All too often, those suffering with mental illness slip between the cracks of the Mental Health Act and society’s stigma about mental illness; consequently, they end up living on the streets.

It brings me great comfort knowing that there are angels out there like you and the man who bought John lunch. Through your simple acts of kindness, both of you treated John with the dignity and respect he so richly deserved. Thank you for that.

I can only hope that during my father’s experiences of living on the street, he too was treated with dignity and respect by angels like you and that other man who truly walk among us.”

I am tearing up again, reading those words…

I was totally unaware of this chapter of her life, and it made us both very emotional about the subject.

Too often, I think we all look at the homeless as if they were lonely people, that just won’t fit in our society. We (and I include myself, because I don’t always have time or intention to stop and at least have a chat like that day I met John) overlook them while walking down the streets, and they look like forgotten souls…

But they’re not all forgotten. A lot of them have families, out there, in the normal world. We could think “why in Hell don’t they come, pick them up from the sidewalk, and take care of them?” right??

But my friend confirmed what I suspected already… Although I wouldn’t want to generalize, homeless people often just slip through society’s nets. No matter how much you want to help a loved one, sometimes, you just can’t keep them from making bad decisions, and going the wrong path.

I feel for those families and friends who suffer from not being able to put their son, brother or father back on track… It must be so frustrating to see someone you love deeply put him/herself in danger and beg for a living, while he/she could be sharing a more comfortable life with them.

How heartwrenching that must feel….

Dear friend, daughter of one of all the John Does out there, thank you! Thank you for opening up on what must have been an extremely painful part of your life. I can only try to imagine the sadness, the frustration, even the shame involved in having to accept what you couldn’t change.

I am sure some people took a moment to care about your father along his journey on the streets… Not enough, obviously, but I hope he came across kind people every now and then!

I don’t always stop to help people who beg on the sidewalk, downtown Montréal. But when I have time, I do take a moment to go to the nearest convenience or grocery store, and get something to eat if the person is hungry.

From now on, I promise to at least make eye contact, smile and wish a nice day to homeless people I go by. Each time, I’ll have a thought for your late father, whose life was worth aknowleging, even in his darkest days…

Hugs and kisses my lovely… And thank you once more for opening your heart!

 

 

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Dear John Doe’s daughter…

  1. That is such a touching and a sad story, it really made me think.
    You know, I think we became too insensitive and preoccupied only with ourselves. Egocentrism may be the biggest problem of the 21st century.
    I too hope that there are other angels like you and hope that I will be an angel to someone else!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dina… I think this is the biggest compliment you could give me! I don’t take myself seriously in the Cove, and I’ll never pretend to have anything to “teach” to others… But to read “it really made me think” really touches me, because it means my words made a difference, and weren’t just mere entertainment 🙂

      You are absolutely right, nowadays, people have come to be so selfcentered, that we go passed all kinds of simple, free little gestures that can make a difference in others’ lives… If just put a smile on their face…

      I’ll keep doing my part here in Montréal, and I am happy to read that there’ll be a Kindness Trooper in Croatia… One by one, we can make things a little better 🙂

      Thanks for visiting, and for your comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your words definitely made a difference, at least when it comes to me! 🙂
        And that is such a beautiful idea… kindness troopers all around the world.. yes we can make it better! I’ll really try to put this into practice. And that means a lot! Thank you for being my inspiration today! ♥

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can’t express how happy your comment makes me 🙂 Making a difference is such a great feeling!

        I think I’ll give a thought about the Kindness Troopers thing… There might be something there to try to spread around 🙂

        Keep your kind heart! The world needs it xxx

        Like

  2. I have been involved with street ministry for a dozen years – eight of them focused almost entirely on homelessness. I also worked in a psych hospital and in jail, both places where I kept finding my street friends.

    Thanx for posting this and for caring. Thanx for promoting the care of the lost and often loveless. I am blessed by this. It helps my heart to see it.

    Agent X
    Fat Beggars School of Prophets
    Lubbock, Texas (USA)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Agent X…

      This comment has deeply touched me… I am sorry I took a few days to respond to it, but I didn’t want to just write back a short “thanks for the good words, hope to see you around soon”!

      The event I talk to in the post has truly affected how I saw homeless in my hometown. I do take more time to at least stop and wish people a nice day, and I see that it makes a difference for some of them. Unfortunately, from time to time, I get the irony treatment for just offering a few minutes of my time and a cigarette. But it doesn’t discourage me. I know living on the streets must make some people bitter, and there are always people that will be negative, wether homeless or extremely wealthy.

      I am happy to make my very little part in making the life of people who go unseen a little better… And it is good to see that there are others like you, who work to give them a better chance in life…

      One person at a time, it will make a difference in the end… At least, I hope so 🙂

      Thank you again for commenting 🙂 Have a great week 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am not a humanist, but that does not mean I am uninformed by them. I am blessed by the post you published. I am thankful for every bit of “help” that is offered, but I am always pushing folk to humanize the homeless in the process. That personal touch is really important. Offering a smile is as important as giving a dollar. Nothing can replace the giving and receiving of shelter and food, but sharing shelter and food exponentially beats even that. Your post has that humanizing quality. And it blesses me.

        Thanx again!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And thank you again for your kind words 🙂 I totally agree that aknowledging the homeless’ presence by a nice attention is important!

        A great weekend to you 🙂 xx

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s