It just keeps getting better…
This story has two parts. The first is a little update about my sentimentals. Some of you may recall my entry a couple of days ago called “Rumaging Through the Remnants,” where I talked about losing a lot of valuables during a pretty unbelievable moving accident. You may recall that I said that my wedding album, personal scrapbooks surrounding my showers and bachelorette party and a candid album of polaroids of every guest at my wedding were gone. Well, I am happy to say that yesterday, they have reappeared. It looks as if they were repacked. Surprisingly enough, there isn’t even damage to any of those items. I was grateful and awestruck by their discovery.
The second is a follow up to a story I wrote on 9/15/10 called “My Tearjerker on the Way to Brooklyn”. I am not going to take credit for this one though as this story was told me by my former colleague and friend Karen. Read the e-mail she sent below. Good news all around it seems!
A few weeks ago, I shared with you a story about Robert Martinez’s church Sacred Heart in West Covina. Robert is the Bus Coordinator that had the man show up at church on Sunday that was recently released from CMC. GOTB brought Richard his kids in prison, and now he has been attending church with his family every Sunday for over a month. Well, the story continues to get better.
There is now a second CMC dad that has come to Sacred Heart to say thank you.
This man, Jesse, is the son of Alice. Alice has been a volunteer with us for the last two years and has been guardian of her grandchild while Jesse was away. I met Jesse last year and let me tell you- he is the youngest looking person I’d ever seen inside prison before.
Sacred Heart is one of my favorite GOTB sponsoring agencies because the church supports the volunteers and the program 100%. Recently, the church threw a big “Thank You Barbecue” to all of the volunteers that made Get On The Bus happen last year. Robert invited Richard and Jesse- both dads from CMC- to come to the barbecue with their families as guests of honor. Instead, Richard and Jesse asked if they could just come to the barbecue as a regular attendees and desperately wanted to bring a dish also so that they could contribute. And by the way, Richard and Jesse do not know each other nor do they know OF each other. One was in East the other was in West.
At the barbecue, Robert told none of the 35 attendees about the CMC dads at the barbecue. The men and their families simply blended right in. Richard told me that the one thing that struck him right away was how different the wives of these men looked now that their men had come home. He described meeting them in the prison and seeing a “dead expression” and now these women looked radiant, proudly standing with their men at a church barbecue. He said the two men and their families socialized and laughed with others with ease during the day!
During the barbecue, Robert got up to share a few words about GOTB. He let his volunteers know how much the church raised in total and how many families were helped, etc. He then introduced Richard to come up and say a few words. To say that the barbecue attendees were floored would be an understatement. Richard spoke with such gratitude that most of the people at the barbecue were in tears.
When Richard gave the meeting back to Robert and he suddenly asked Jesse to come up- the place went crazy with applause. A shocked Richard ran right up and embraced Jesse- and the two mens’ families hugged and cried together. They had not met before and had spent all this time at the barbecue not knowing that they shared the same story of being a GOTB dad!
Robert, and the others at Sacred Heart are on Cloud 9. I was able to confidently assure him that all of us from Get On The Bus also share that same Cloud with all of them. 🙂