After he got out of jail the first thing he wanted to do was to hold his cat that he had not seen during the time he was behind bars.
As I sat in his dimly lit motel room with stained sheets on the bed, I watched him play with the young kitten. The world around him was silent. The cat was the one thing in his life that fully accepted him. Despite his drinking, cursing or even anger… the cat was the one constant that never judged anything that he has ever done.
I have used this quote before, but I like it:
“Judge tenderly, if you must. There is usually a side you have not heard, a story you know nothing about, and a battle waged that you are not having to fight.” ― Traci Lea LaRussa
In the case of the man photographed:
- His father, who served in Vietnam, died of cancer when he was only a teen.
- One of his twin daughters died at five months of age. The other daughter who is still alive today, has lived with a distant family member since the death of her sister. The last time he saw her was when she was three. Today, the family member lives in another city and will not allow him to see her. Today, she is about 12.
- He has lived on the streets for multiple years fighting alcohol and life.
- One more thing… He went blind at age 15. Today, he is 34.
It’s easier to understand where someone is in life, once you know a few more details about their past.