Goodbyes have already been said. Preemptive tears have already been spilled. The pros and cons of one more visit have been weighed. Dave, the grandfather, could say volumes to his granddaughter with one more encounter. But how long do you keep going with a series of “just one more visit”? Dave has made a remarkable decision for someone who seems to have so little to hold onto: to let go of the baby for whom he’d someday hoped to build a safe and sound home.
It was a dream of sorts. Dave knew that the odds were stacked against them. Yet this year he took tangible steps forward to overcome those odds – receiving medical care that indicated he planned on sticking around for awhile, for instance. Maybe long enough to raise grandchildren. He took a serious look at housing and childcare options. He began thinking about jobs that would welcome his work experience.
Dave was expecting challenges in those areas. What he didn’t expect was a sudden and brutal traffic mishap that took his daughter a few weeks ago, and today will take his granddaughter. Homeless or housed, rich or poor, you never expect such things. Sometimes life itself levels the playing field in ways you never wanted.
Dave has not felt in control of his life for years now. The irony of doctors and nurses waiting for his phone call is not lost on him.Yet there is something sacred about Dave’s day today. His friends at the Mission and on the streets know it. He will manage a painful and loving call, and a choice few around him will hold him close in their hearts.
They will pray Dave makes a fresh decision to walk toward healing, and that he shows up at our door again tomorrow.