I usually try to write something that will give you readers a few chuckles here in the strange world of Eureka Moments at JuicyMaters.com. After all, even I describe Eureka Moments as the somewhat odd mental ramblings of a dumb redneck boiled peanut salesman.
Today’s post is not about chuckles. It is a story about a friend of mine and has a request of you, my readers and friends, at the end.
We look around and see folks in some kind of distress all the time, and often we can do something to help…and we do.
Tires must be getting better because I don’t seem to see as many older folks on the side of the road as I did when I was young, but when it does happen we stop and help change the tire just like we used to.
Hitchhiking is all but non-existent these days, but I remember when I was a child, and then a teen, it was not uncommon to see someone traveling on their thumb. My dad was a lifer in the Air Force and that was one rule of his…if someone is hitching and wearing a uniform you pick them up…period. Even non-military rarely stood waiting for a ride long as long as they looked halfway decent. Folks would look them over as they passed and slam on the brakes if they looked OK. I can’t count the number of times I’ve looked in the rearview mirror watching some hiker run the 100 yards it took me to stop, sometimes hefting a duffel bag over his shoulder and gasping out a “thanks” as he got in the car.
A neighbor’s lawnmower gives up the ghost right in the middle of mowing his yard so we act…well…neighborly, and loan him our lawnmower to finish the job.
Sometimes the problem is more serious. Someone in our church loses their job, so we pitch in to help a bit with the bills until another job is found. This is happening more and more these days and it stretches resources more, but we manage because that is what we do…help when help is needed.
I want to tell you about a young man I know…20 years old, young enough to be my son…who finds himself in need of help.
This young man…kid really…is wandering in life. He is not a bad kid, but he is a bit lost. He is from a broken home, his father an alcoholic. His dad is now in recovery and living a sober life, but the damage was done to this kid and his younger brother before dad got his act together. He messed around and didn’t graduate from high school, and while he has started school again three times in the last two years he has dropped out all three times. He’s not stupid, but I think he feels more than a little overwhelmed and like he has screwed up so much all is already lost and he is a loser. You know how drama-filled everything is at that age. That’s what I think, though he would probably disagree.
He had been living with his dad on his 18th birthday, and moved out because he was now a man, like a birthday made one a man. He moved back in about a year later after deciding to straighten his life up. That didn’t last because his dad’s attitude was, “19 or 90, it’s the same. My house, my rules”, and that just didn’t set well with the kid, so he asked his aunt if he could stay there. He promised to work and start back to school and she agreed. He chafed when he found she had the same “my house, my rules” attitude so he moved out and no one knew where he had gone. He just disappeared.
After a while everyone he knew was worried as he never contacted anyone. He left his job and he never registered for school. His mom, his dad, his aunt…all were worried. After two months of no contact everyone was beside themselves with concern.
I decided, with some encouragement from his aunt, to file a missing persons report on him since the local sheriff was a friend of mine and it might get more urgent response than in the large county where the kid lived.
The short ending, so far, is that one of his cousins, who is also a cop, found him sitting at a bar. He told the cop/cousin his aunt had thrown him out, which I know is not true, and that he was living in his car. He couldn’t understand that folks were worried. No news is good news I suppose.
This kid really is a good kid…he’s just lost. I know he is good because I’ve known him a long time.
I’m going to ask a favor of you folks who are my readers and friends. You know those tacky emails we all get that the sender asks that you forward to everyone you know and ask them to forward to everyone THEY know? Do that for me. Forward this and ask the folks you send it to to forward it as well. Why?
I started this post with “prayer has power”, and it does…and this kid needs all of y’all’s prayers to ask God to light his path.
The kid? His name is Tyler, and I love him. I am his father.