This is a story that’s 20+ years in the making. I don’t know anybody in the story personally, but it’s something I’ve followed along with over the years. Out of respect for the individuals I’m not going put in any names, as I would expect people mentioned would want privacy. Still, even in generalities, it’s a story worth sharing.
Tragedy: A Daughter Lost Forever
In the early 1990’s a story unfolded in a nearby community where a pre-teen girl went missing overnight after a sleepover at a neighbor’s house. The residents of the place where she was staying were ruled out as being involved, but a couple of months went by with no word. Tragically, her body was found a couple of months later. A man who had worked in the neighborhood was arrested and later found guilty of her murder and remains in prison.
A Father Is Unable To Cope
Several years later, I was watching the news and saw a story that featured the father of the young girl. Unable to cope with his grief, he began drinking. He lost his job, his wife divorced him and he found himself living on the streets. The reporter of the story was tipped off as to who it was and filmed a story that was aired, trying to encourage the man to pull himself back up.
A follow-up to the story aired several months later and things were looking up. The man had gone to a recovery center and went through treatment. He had relapsed at least once but was working toward getting his life back on track.
I never heard much after that but I was in my mid 20s and probably missed a lot of news. There wasn’t much in the way of Internet, but there was e-mail, and after a while, I found an e-mail for the reporter and asked if he had any follow-up. He e-mailed me back and said that sadly, the man had eventually fallen back down, and was back on the streets.
Looking And Looking: Further Sadness And Losing Hope
Every so often, a couple of years apart, something would remind me of the story and I’d try to look him up. I never really found anything, and since it has been at least 10-12 years since my last follow-up, I really didn’t have much hope. I did find a story that made me even sadder. His son, now a grown man, was jailed after one of his children got a hold of drugs and died. There was a death notice and there was no mention of the man I was looking for, but this tragedy didn’t sound promising. I couldn’t imagine that he would cope well with this, if he in fact was even still alive.
One Last Look And Success!
Recently, there was a news blurb about the original killing, and I looked him up once again. Wouldn’t you know it, but he’s on Facebook? He pulled himself together, I think around 2010, and is now sober, working, and close with his remaining family.
I admit, I shed a small tear when I saw that. There were pictures, and you could tell that everything he’d gone through had taken it’s toll, but there was one thing that also came through. He was smiling.
He earned that smile. This man basically went right through hell and he came out the other side, and after following along for so long, I was really pleased to see that sometimes, there are happy endings, and I hope that his sticks.
Readers, have you ever watched a story where it didn’t look like there would be a good outcome but a surprising and welcome happy ending turned out?Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.