Dear Inner Circle,

A little card, not much bigger than a postage stamp, which read, “To my darling daughter. Happy first birthday. Love from Dad”, was all that a young woman had from her father. She is 22 years old now and recently discovered that the father she had not seen since she was a little girl had recently died. All she had were lots of questions and an ache for connection. She discovered her father had a connection to Wayside and went to some trouble to make contact with me. In last week’s note I anticipated a meeting which took place last Friday evening. Am I the luckiest man in the world? It was holy ground where I spoke for hours about the Dad she didn’t know. I assured her that her father was a good man who was well loved and who made a wonderful difference to our community. I presented her with a “book” that he had written to her. There were perhaps 20,000 words written by a man who was largely illiterate but who sat with a one of our volunteers for hundreds of hours in order to leave behind a record of his love for his little girl. Our volunteer has since moved out of Sydney and I worried whether I still had a connection to tell her this story. Thankfully, she is still in this inner circle and she made contact with me on Saturday. She said that she barely hoped to believe that one day the daughter would have all this work in her hands and be able to receive this gift of love. Thank you Fran. You are truly an angel from heaven.

A man who has lived in his car with a little dog for a year was allocated housing this week. What a difference a day makes. This is a softly spoken man who actually asks nothing of anyone. He is a proud man whose sense of independence has seen him struggle but survive and even thrive through a life that had few, if any, free kicks. He has the most devoted little dog in the world. He could command his dog to stay and walk away for the day and be certain that the dog would be waiting for him. He looks like he belongs around a camp fire in the bush somewhere and indeed, that has been his home for most of his life. Can you imagine what it means for him to have keys in his pocket to his own living space. I haven’t seen the flat but I’ve seen the keys often enough.

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