On Good Fortune

Some days, my relative good fortune in life impacts me more than others. Actually, many days lately, given my involvement with my addiction-challenged adult Writing Group at Man Alive and my teen-aged students at The Community School who are furiously paddling upstream against a powerful tide of impending poverty and inner city peer pressure to drop out and light up, or worse. But it all pales by comparison to the situation of my young friend from Maryland’s eastern shore, who I first met ten years ago when he was a ward of the state, and with whom I visited briefly earlier today. In those ten years, he has gone from abused kid, to foster kid, to adopted kid, to abandoned kid, to incarcerated kid, to “not guilty” kid. He rarely lives in the same place for more than a few months, sometimes with family members several times removed, more often with virtual strangers, as today in a depressed and nondescript rural trailer park. We got something to eat at a little place that didn’t look open, I bought him a few supplies, and we exchanged Christmas cards. I put money in my card to him. He put his heart in his card to us. It read:

“Mr. Don and Mrs. Sande,
I hope yall have a safe and blessed holiday. May God bless you and keep you safe! I hope Santa brings yall what yall asked for!! I go to church every Sunday and just got Jesus back in my life!! Thank you for everything yall have done for me. I really appreciate it!!

Count your blessings, y’all!

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