Cathy returned to the shelter after seeing Joe and thought about how she would find
Bill. It sounded as though he was living in shelters. That shouldn’t be too difficult. There weren’t many
Of them. She went to the last shelter where Joe had visited. It was a small building located next to a
church. She picked up a flyer showing all the services they provided. The church also provided shelter,
food, and clothing for people who were homeless. They also provided referral resources and
counseling. Cathy was impressed with the services they provided. She went to some of the residents and
showed them a picture of Bill. They hadn’t seen him but referred her to someone who had been living at
the shelter for a long period of time and was familiar with many of the residents.
“Hi I’m Cathy and I am looking for a man named Bill. I would like to help him.
What is your name?”
“Hi, I am Sue. I have lived here about two years, but I am looking for work. The staff
Is helping me develop skills I haven’t used for a long time. Usually people living here are
reluctant to give information to strangers. However, there is something about you which tells me that
you are concerned and want to help.” Sue said as she decided to tell Cathy what she did know.
Cathy let her know she also lived in a shelter.
“I am in the same situation as you. I’m looking at what I would like to do. I love helping others,
I just don’t know how it would provide an income”. She handed the picture of Bill to her saying
“ I have a picture of Bill. His father is very worried and just wants to know if he is alright. He is a
very good man who would never hurt him. He loves him very much.”Cathy explained hoping Sue
might have some answers.
When Sue looked at the picture tears began to flow.” Yes, yes I know Bill. It’s amazing that Jesus
brought you to me. Bill has lived here for about six months. He was so depressed and seemed to have
emotional pain so deep that that I just couldn’t seem to connect with him. Then one day I was playing
baseball with some of the children in the shelter. It was the first time I had seen Bill interested in
anything. He taught the kids how to hit and catch the ball. He seemed to find some pleasure in seeing
the children forget about their situation. They felt were part of a team and were actually learning about
sportsmanship and developing baseball skills. The children began to have more self-esteem and
developed their own team. They played with other children baseball teams in the community. Instead of
being “homeless kids”, they became part of a larger community and soon the other teams were
donating money to them so they could wear their own uniforms. Not only did it help the children, but
their parents became involved and met other parents. People in the outside community no longer saw
the families as “them” but us. The homeless families became part of the community. It was beautiful to
Then one day a child with whom Bill had worked the closely died in a drive by shooting. Bill
wasn’t able to handle the pain and reverted back to using drugs. He had been doing well in our drug
treatment program, but this shooting was just too much for him. I haven’t seen him for a week and I am
worried. I was his closet friend. He misses and loves his father but he is too ashamed to go back.”
Cathy was moved by Bill’s story and how Sue cared for him.” Sue, I’m so sorry this happened.
Are there other places you know where he might go or people he might visit?”
Sue thought for a few minutes and said, “Well, he used to go to a park about two miles away. He
liked the ducks and to watch the children playing. I don’t know if he could be close to children again
, since the shooting. Another place you might look is the library. Bill is interested in books. He loves to
read biographies of people who have made a difference in the world.”
“Thank You Sue. I will check out those places. You have really been helpful. Could we get
“Yes, I would like that too. We are having a celebration next week for people who are
graduating from our drug program. Do you want to come? It’s next Wed. at 10.”
Cathy liked the idea of seeing her again and quickly agreed to come.” Good bye Sue. See you
soon.” Cathy decided to the park first. Chances were better he would be there because she knew where
it was and it was where many people bought drugs . She kept looking for anyone who resembled Bill.
She actually felt as though she already knew him. He seemed like a sensitive person who liked to help
others. Also he must be intelligent because before he started taking drugs he was getting good grades in
school before he started taking drugs.
As Cathy walked to the park she wondered what she would say if she saw Bill. She started
walking around that park with no luck. After searching for forty-five minutes she looked for someone
who might have seen him. She went to a number of people but they didn’t recognize him. Then she saw
a child about ten years of age. She had a hunch that perhaps Bill would talk with children. Cathy went up
to the little boy and explained what she was doing. She showed him the picture of Bill. The little boy
seemed as though he recognized him and said he had seen him yesterday. He said that Bill was nice to
him and threw a couple of balls to him. Cathy asked the boy his name and he said,” I am Steve. I live
with my folks about two blocks away. I bring Bill food sometimes. He doesn’t have a home.”
“Yes, I know he doesn’t. However he seems like a very nice man. I’m sure he appreciates the
Food you bring him.. Did he say when he might come back?” Cathy asked hoping she might luck out.
“Yes, he said he would be here today. He should be here any minute.”
Cathy was so excited. Perhaps she was really going to meet Bill. This was incredible since it the first day
she had looked for him.
Cathy talked with Steve for about an hour and then she saw Bill starting to walk towards them.
She couldn’t believe it! He was only a block away. What was she going to say? Would he trust
her? She was nervous but also excited that she hade found him.
As Bill walked up he said,” Hi Steve. Looks like you found a friend.” He looked as though he
hadn’t changed his clothes in a week or had taken a bath. He had black hair, a short beard and was very
slender. He had a short beard. Even though Bill obviously hadn’t taken care of himself he had a
wonderful smile that lit up his whole face. Cathy could sense that he was compassion and had much
“Hi Bill, this is Cathy. She is a friend of your dad.”
Bill quickly frowned and looked like he was about to walk away.” Wait Bill. Could you give me
a couple minutes? I live in a shelter too. We have some things in common, why don’t you give me a
chance.”Cathy looked hopeful and she knew this was her one opportunity to try to make contact with
“You live in a shelter too? How did you meet my dad?”Bill seemed cautious but willing to start a
“Your dad had some trouble with teenagers near the shelter and I called the ambulance. I talked
with him at the hospital. He has been home for about a month, and visited him yesterday.” Cathy spoke
as calm as she could. She had eye contact and smiled as she talked.
“Is he alright? Is he hurt?” Bill’s voice was strained and he was clutching his hands.
“Yes he will be alright. His ribs are sore and his arm but he is doing fine. He told me about your
mother and how you felt it was your fault.”
Bill interrupted her,” That is none of your business! Dad had no right to tell you about mom!”He
started to walk away.
Cathy quickly walked up to him and in a passionate tone said” Bill, he loves you. I was someone
he trusted. I would never tell anyone else. I care very much for your dad, and he sensed that. He wants
to see you. He wants to let you know that the accident wasn’t your fault. He doesn’t blame you at all. He
only wants to be reunited with you.”
Bill stopped and decided that her concern was sincere. She really did seem to care about his
dad. It felt good to hear that his dad really didn’t blame him. He thought for sure his dad would feel it
was his fault. Something within him urged him to go back and talk to her. He was starting to shake a
little and his eyes were unfocused. He paced back and forth but he was able to focus long enough to
look her in the eyes and say,” You do love him don’t you? I can see it in your eyes. How is he doing?
“He is doing better but he worries about you and would love to see you. He remembers how
close when you were growing up and he was so excited when you turned your life around. H e would do
anything to help you now if you will let him. He wants you to know the accident had nothing to do with
you asking your mother to go to the store. She was going to go anyway. The other driver lost control
and there wasn’t anything she could do.” Cathy’s eyes looked at Bill’s legs starting to shake and she
asked,” Are you on drugs now?”
“I haven’t had any for two days but I was on my way here to buy some. My body is craving it! I
need it to get through the day. I can’t get through without it!” He started to shake and seemed to he
just about ready to have a seizure. He fell to the ground and started to shake even more. Cathy had
seen this before. He was going through withdrawals. She phoned 911 so he would get help.
“Hang on Bill. I am getting help.”
About five minutes later the ambulance came.” What’s the problem miss?”
“It’s Bill, I think he is having withdrawals. Can you take him somewhere where he can get help?’
“Yes, there’s a rehab. Hospital right up the street. It helps people get off drugs, but he’s in bad
shape. However, they also have a Doctor on call there that can help.”
Cathy followed them in her car. She was hoping that Bill would be alright. She stayed in the
waiting room while they treated him. She paced the floor and was afraid of what she would tell Joe. Just
then the Doctor came out.
“Are you the one who called the ambulance?”He asked. He had caring eyes and smile.
“Yes, he is the son of a friend of mine. Is he going to be alright?”Cathy stood up and her eyes
were focused on the Doctor, and she appeared worried.
“You got help for him at just in time. We discovered that not only is he having withdrawals but
he also has diabetes. He was close to dying. He should thank you for saving his life. However he won’t
feel like speaking for awhile. He is stable but needs to be watched for the next thirty –eight hours. If you
want to you can go home and we can contact you.”
Cathy gave a sigh and then a deep breathe, “I can give you the shelters number. I don’t have my
own phone. I can also give you his father’s phone number. I would guess Bill already signed a release of
information form so I can do this.”
“Yes, he was able to understand what I was saying and even though he was very sick, he kept
calling for his dad.
“Thank you for the information, and I will get a contact of his dad.”
It was beginning to get dark and Cathy needed to sign up in order to have a bed at the shelter.
On the way she thought about on meeting Bill and how close he had come to dying. What if she hadn’t
been there? It was amazing to her that she seemed to have been at the right place at the right time.
After she signed up for a bed she walked to Joe’s house. His living room light was on so she knocked on
“Oh hi Cathy, come on in. You look tired. Do you want some coffee?” Joe said as he let Cathy in.
Even thought he was smiling his voice seemed strained and his movement’s seemed jerky.
“Oh thanks Joe. I’m fine. I had some news for you about your son.” Cathy replied as she walked
in the door.
Joe wasn’t sure what to feel. His heart started to beat fast and he could feel his face was
“Is this good or bad news?” He stared pacing.
Cathy quickly tried to reassure Joe that Bill was going to be alright.“It’s okay Joe. Bill is stable,
but he is in the hospital.”Cathy went on to explain their conversation with Bill, and that he was going
through withdrawals and how they found he had diabetes..
“Joe, they told me that he kept calling your name. I think that is a good sign. Why don’t you let
me .check on him and see if he is ready to see you. He may be feeling ashamed that he relapsed.
This may provide the help he needs and help him get to appoint where he can become sober.”
Joe’s body seemed to relax a little and said,” Oh Cathy, how can I thank you. It was amazing that
you happened to be there at that time. My son is probably alive because of you. Do you realize
you may have saved my sons life?”He smiled through his tears and gave her a hug.
“Joe, I was glad to do it. I can see that he is a great man.With a little help and I think he will do
just fine. I’ll do what I can to find out what counseling is available and any available support groups.
However, the rest is up to him. He has to want to quit. I really don’t know if he is at that point yet. He
needs a professional who understands drug addiction to help him.”
Cathy was glad that Joe knew where his son was and that he was safe. “Joe, I can tell he loves
you. Give him some time and I think he has a chance if he goes to support groups and gets counseling.”
Joe smiled and appeared hopeful saying “Cathy, there is something very special about you.
Some day I think you will know just how special you are. In God’s time not mine.”
Cathy was somewhat confused by Joe’s statement yet knew it came from love and was sincere.”
“Thank you Joe. I have to go, but I will check in on Bill tomorrow. I’ll see how he’s doing and give
you an update.” Cathy started walking to the door.
“Cathy thanks again. You know my door is always open to you. If you ever need anything, just let
me know.” Joe smiled giving her a friendly hug.
“Thanks Joe, but I’m doing alright. However, if you ever want to donate food to the food bank
they would be grateful.” Cathy smiled as she walked out the door.
“Good idea Cathy, I will do that tomorrow. See you soon.”
As Cathy closed the door she realized she was starting to feel very close to Joe. It was almost as
though he was her father. That frightened her because she was afraid he would die just as her father
did. However, as always she listened to her heart and knew their relationship was turning into one she
wanted and needed. Cathy was just about to enter the shelter when she saw Tom.
“Hey Cathy, where have you been? I looked all over for you today”
Cathy just smiled saying,” Oh you know me I’m always up to something. I was trying to find Joe’s
son .I think I was able help him out a little bit.”
“That’s great, I bet Joe appreciated it. Guess we better get back into the shelter .You are quite a
girl Cathy. Not many people would go out of their way to find Joe’s son, but you did. That is one of the
things I like about you.” He had a look of admiration and caring.
“Thank you Joe.” Cathy said as they went through the dinner line. Cathy and Tom ate dinner and
then Cathy went for a walk reflecting on the day. She hoped Bill would commit to staying sober and off
The next morning Cathy went to the hospital to see Bill. The nurses let Cathy in because they
recognized her from yesterday. Bill seemed completely exhausted and still had some tubes connected to
him but was able to talk.
Cathy stood near his bed and asked, “Hi Bill, how is it going? You are looking better.”
Tom barely opened his eyes and his speech was labored as he answered,” I feel like I have been
run over by a truck. I have never gone through anything like that before. They say I will be here for
another couple of days, and then they have a rehabilitation program I can live at.Ya know, I think
I am ready to really beat this thing. I know it is something I will always have to fight, but I think I am
ready to try. I also will have to deal with my diabetes.”
“Bill I think that is great. I know you don’t want to go through this again. I saw your dad last
night. He is glad to know that you are safe. Would you like to see him? It would probably help with your
recovery if he was part of the process.”Cathy was hoping he would say yes and looked at him with hope.
“Oh, I don’t know Cathy. I am not sure I want him to see me like this. You and I are used to this.
He isn’t. I am afraid I would be a disappointment. Maybe when I am doing better and not in a bed with
tubes connected to me.”
Cathy sat in a chair next to his bed and leaned towards him, “Bill, I understand, but he wants to
let you know he is here for you. He doesn’t care what you look like; he just wants to see his son. I think
you would be surprised at how understanding he will be. He has come to grips with the idea of your
drug problem and he wants to be a part of your recovery. What do you say?”
“Well, I would like to see him. I do love my dad. They say when I was out of it yesterday that I
kept calling for him. Maybe deep down I have wanted to see him for a long time. After what you have
said it might not be a bad idea. How about tomorrow?”
Cathy couldn’t believe her ears! She was so excited, but didn’t want Bill to think she had high
expectations.” Bill, I think that is great. I will tell your dad today. He will be so happy. This might be a
major step in your recovery. You two will have a lot to catch up on. I have to go, but I will see him
today.” Cathy was beginning to walk out and Bill said.“ Stop Cathy, I want to thank you for everything.
Even thought we just met, I feel like we have known each other forever. You have a special quality that
most people lack. Your compassion shows and people pick up on that. God brought you to us.”
That was about the third time she had heard that in about a week. She thought, boy for
someone who doesn’t practice any religion, people sure keep bringing it up..
“Well thanks Bill, I try to help out when I can. It’s something I’ve done since I was a girl. My
parents taught me to care about others and I seemed to pick up on that. It makes me feel good when I
can make a small difference for someone.”
“Cathy, this isn’t small. You saved my dad’s life and mine. How can we possibly thank you for that?”
“Just keep working on your recovery Bill. I sense a lot of potential in you and I think you have
much to offer the world. I will see you tomorrow “Cathy started walking to the door and could
see Bill was beginning to fall asleep. She went over to Joe’s house and was looking forward to tell him
the good news. She knocked on the door and Joe looked glad to see her bit a bit anxious.
“Hi Cathy, how did it go? Or should I ask?”
“Joe, I have good news Bill wants to see you. He was a little ashamed that you would see him in
a hospital bed with tubes in him, but I let him know that you would understand and just wanted to see
him.” Cathy continued explaining what they had discussed.
“Oh Cathy, I can’t tell you what this means. All this time I have wondered where he was and if
he was alright. You made my dream come true! How can me ever thank you.” Joe was almost
crying and his happiness was evident.
“Joe just seeing you and your son together will be more than enough thanks. I am so glad this is working
out. I think Bill will have a long road to recovery, but he has taken the first step by agreeing to go to
rehab. It will mean a lot if you are able to support him during this time, and I know you are more than
willing to be there for him. This is a life long struggle for him.”
“Cathy I will support him in whatever way I can. I have my son back! I can’t believe it! You are an
angel!’ They hugged each other and a time for both of them to go to the hospital.
“Joe, I will see you tomorrow. I look forward to going to the hospital with you. It might be a little
upsetting for you to see how he looks but he needs you and I know you have waited a
long time for this moment.”
“It’s alright Cathy. I will just be so glad to see him. I don’t care how many tubes he has. I just
want to hug my son. Thank you again. Do you want to take a sandwich with you?” Joe stood up and
started to go to the kitchen. Cathy followed him and realized she was beginning to get hungry.
“Thanks Joe that would be great.” Cathy made a sandwich and noticed about four bottles of
medication. She wondered if she should ask, and was concerned that maybe Joe had an illness of some
“Joe when I made my sandwich I couldn’t help but notice your medication. Do you have an
illness? She looked concerned.
“Oh Cathy, nothing to worry abou.It’s, just some heart medication. I’m doing fine.” Joe turned
his head a way from her and started to go the living room.
Cathy thought that it might be serious yet sensed that Joe didn’t want to go into it right now.
“O.k. Thanks Joe for the sandwich I will see you tomorrow.”
As Cathy walked back to the shelter she day dreamed about what the reunion would be like and
was feeing satisfied with the way things were working out. She just hoped Bill would stick with his
rehab. program. For the rest of the day that was all she could think about even though she was able to
help out at the food bank and went for a long walk in the park nearby. By the time she was ready to go
to bed she felt very tired, but was looking forward to tomorrow.
Cathy woke up early and after breakfast went over to Joe’s house. They met and went to the
“I can’t wait to see Bill. I am not sure what I want to say. I have been trying all morning to try
and come up with clever words and I just don’t know what to say. “
“Oh just be yourself Joe. Let him know how much you love him. Say what is in your heart. Don’t
worry Bill will be glad to see you too.”
Now they were at the hospital. Cathy introduced Joe to the nurse and she said they could go in.
“Well Cathy, here it goes. Wish me luck. You’re coming in too, right?”
“Oh yes, but then I will leave you to talk. Just be yourself Joe.”
Now they were at the door. Joe slowly went in. He was startled to see his son looking so sick and
with tubes. Joe had no idea he would react this way, yet he knew he had to be upbeat for his son.
“Hi Bill, I am just so glad to see you. I want you to know I am here for you and that we can start
new and I love you deeply. You are my son and I am proud of you.” Joe couldn’t hide the tears and
neither could Bill. They wept and hugged each other.
“Dad, I love you too and I am so sorry for what I have put you through. I am going to rehab. And
I am going to get clean. I have missed you so much. Oh dad I love you.”
Cathy couldn’t help but also cry. This was a reunion she would never forget. She was so excited
that they had finally gotten together.
“You know what. You guys have a lot to catch up on so I am going to go. I am so glad you two
are back together. If there is anything I can do let me know.”
They both looked at her with love through their tears, and Joe said,” Cathy you have helped
both us more than you could possibly imagine. I will never forget what you did today. Any time I can
help you let me know, I will do anything for you. You are an angel of mercy. You really are.”
Bill spoke up and said,” Cathy the same goes for me. It will be awhile before I am able to get
back to work and be a part of society again, but any time you need me, you just call. I can’t thank you
enough for all you have done. It is nothing short of a miracle.”
“Thank you guys, but I am so excited you are together. That is the way it was meant to be. it was
such a pleasure working on uniting you two. Now I will go, so you can catch up.”
Cathy left and was on cloud nine! She wasn’t sure how this happened. Hoe she happened to be
at the park where Bill was going to be and when he started to have withdrawals. She wondered if there
was a God. Did some force bring them together? Could it be Joe was right? She didn’t have any answers
but it was a thought that remained with her and sparked her curiosity. Cathy went back to the shelter
whistling as she went and felt like dancing but she thought that probably wouldn’t be a good idea. What
a wonderful day today had been!
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