Street Stories

Weblog of Seattle minister to the homeless Rick Reynolds, Operation Nightwatch

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Caring for human beings seems like the best use of my time, homeless or not.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Great Depression

It was sad/happy today.
Big John has been in a nursing home for like nine months. We were pretty sure he wasn't going to come back to the Nightwatch building where he's been living since retiring from dish washing, if not longer. Not quite 20 years he lived here.
But Big John's body is wearing out. He's in a world of hurt. Not really sick, just tired at age 78.
So, his daughter and her family came up from Colorado to bring him home to live with them.
So, you have to picture this. The Grandpa in the front seat of the camper-van, his pee bag hanging from a hook on the dash board. The five kids under age 5. Mom. Dad. They stopped by Nightwatch to say their goodbyes. And to pick up the remains of Big John's stuff.
Only problem, a camper van that's already holding seven people cannot add a sick grandfather and his worldly goods, no matter how modest the amount.
We agreed to sort through things, ship it to them, after they crammed the essentials in (mostly fishing gear, he still has hope). But as they left the Nightwatch parking lot for the long drive home, I felt sad to say a final goodbye to John, but happy for his new life. Already his grandkids are all over him. They were so excited.
But geez are they poor. Lord, keep them safe. Those five babies. Big John. Mom & Dad. All strapped in.


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