I was passing out jammy sandwiches again this weekend and found Cadence outside McDonald’s. He recognized me as well and updated me on what has happened since I last saw him. He had since acquired a few more items, including a knapsack, a sleeping bag, and a broken bike given to him by a boy. Cadence is waiting for an opportunity to get the bike fixed, which would increase his mobility. Also, he has met with a representative from local charitable organization who may be able to set him up with basic housing soon. He is very much looking forward to that coming into fruition. Following my advice about getting email access through the local library, he tried to access his old email but could not be sure whether he has forgotten his password or did the three people with whom he shared it changed it without notifying him. He was thinking that he might need a new email, but was not discouraged at all by the fact that he needed to set up a new account. Cadence told me a bit about his American wife, who is in Texas currently, and their children (from another father) in Toronto. His long-term plan is to settle down in Vancouver after he received his ID and obtained a job before he arrange for them to join him here in the city.
When I talked to him, Cadence presented himself as a man with so much more hope for the future. He repeatedly emphasized how he needed to be more optimistic and hopeful because without the latter, there would be nothing. He did not know that his prospects would change so positively since I last saw him, but after receiving help from a few kind strangers in the community, he became hopeful again as “you never know what life will bring you”. I was happy to hear about his new opportunities and the help he has received, and thanked him for sharing his story. I bought him a large triple/triple coffee and left him promising him that I would ask my friend about the parking space in her apartment to see if he can store his bike there 🙂
Cadence was very appreciative of what I had done for him and for others, but I confessed to him that seeing him and hearing his recent updates that night helped me more. Truth is, I had been a bit disturbed by a recent exchange from a local political leader of mixed Aboriginal descent. This local tribal leader (who happened to be my old schoolmate) contacted me asking to see my personal pictures (which he has done so several times now). I declined politely and asked that if his focus is on my looks only then to “please remove my contact. Thank you & take care”. He replied hurling insults at me. What was even more disturbing was the fact that he has children and is married but is advertising himself as single and childless to get dates (even though during his election campaign he marketed his Native family values/marital status to win votes). His private conduct chilled my bones, and made me question people’s morality. However, Cadence cheered me right up. I did not tell Cadence about the exchange with the political leader, but did about the few drunk people at late nights who thought I was selling drugs (lol) or stealing people’s properties when I was passing out the sandwiches. When he heard this, Cadence told me that people are quick to make assumptions and reassured me that I need not pay attention to them. He told me that I just needed to keep doing what I was doing, and that people who have eyes will come to learn the truth 🙂 I was encouraged by Cadence’s words and was motivated to continue my current efforts with renewed vigour ^o^