I’ve done a lot of social work type jobs since I left the military. Mostly, I worked with veterans, but one time I also worked with non-veterans. I’m a real friendly type guy and sometimes I make friends with the people I help. I know that isn’t considered professional, but you can’t always help who you make friends with, it just happens. This story is about one of those friends I made.
I was working at a transitional housing building when I first met Sage. Of course, that’s not his real name, but the name definitely has a connection to him. He was a young guy who was very quiet and kept to himself a lot. He lived in one of the smallest rooms in the building, but he made it work. He didn’t talk to me very much at first, but due to one thing or another, we began to talk. What I found was a delightful young man with a sincere wish to do the right things.
I got to know him better and whenever we had functions, I could always count on him and a couple others to be there for me when I needed help. Even when he wasn’t doing so well, he could be counted on to be there for me. Loyalty is a big thing for me and so is dependability. He had both these qualities and we soon became friends.
As time went on, he also got to know my wife and we kind of adopted him as one of our kids. What made him fit in so well is that just like our kids, he was a very good person. I also noticed that we weren’t the only ones he was there for. He could also be counted on to help some of the others in the building. He was just a delight to have around.
One time he put himself on a limb to help another person in the building that had a bit of a storage problem…in other words, they had entirely too much stuff to fit into a small 250 square foot room. He offered to keep some of their stuff while they got it sorted out. Of course, as most kind people know, some people will take full advantage of you when you’re nice. They never came around to get their stuff and as I already mentioned, Sage had one of the smallest rooms in the building. When I went to see him, he barely had room to sleep let alone prepare food or maneuver around. We finally had to get involved and the other person finally got their stuff out of his room. It was either that or he would’ve lost his housing. His kindness nearly put him at risk. Once again, he was loyal.
He eventually found his way out of the transitional housing and found himself a new place to live. He did so well for himself, he found a job and a girlfriend who he’s engaged to. I couldn’t be more proud. I knew the simple “goodness” of him would be recognized by more than just a few of us before long.
I recently saw him again and was able to meet his girlfriend. She seems just as nice as him and I can’t wait until they make their family together. If they choose to have children, I have no doubt they will be our grandkids as well and we will be there for them if they ever need us.
Sage, if you read this, know that I am so proud of you and am so grateful to have you in my life. It’s just so rare to meet somebody who has been through so much yet retain their humanity and goodness through it all. You are special.