“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other”- Mother Teresa

I woke up on Thursday morning with nowhere to be. Nobody cared if I called in or showed up anywhere. I had no personal obligations. For anyone who has ever “retired” you know what I mean. You feel untethered, a bit lost, kind of scared, and a whole lot of happy as heck.

And on top of that I am now with a person with whom I, for the first time in a very long time, feel like I might be with for the rest of my life. She is kind of shy and does not like attention. Boy did she choose the wrong guy! Being with me and not wanting attention is like wearing a neon lit dress on a cave tour.

What would you do if you could choose anything to do with the rest of your life? I know, me too! I have had two offers to work part-time at local golf courses in exchange for free golf. I have had some interest in sending out my resumes. I know there are many opportunities in life and that at 65 years of age I can still do many things. For now — work is not one of them.

I plan on taking two-to-three months to write, do the Doddcast, spend a crap load of time with my girlfriend for whom I will be a personal servant and do anything she wishes, desires, or that I anticipate.

Then what? I have absolutely no idea.

In a perfect world I will find a two or three day a week position where I can spend my working days helping others. I found my calling a few years ago as a Court Liaison to the Clark County Sheriff. I learned about how many people need help. I learned how many good people can somehow do bad things and end up in bad places in life.

What the people I encountered in jail taught me were very important qualities in life. Forgiveness, patience, understanding, acceptance, and how some people’s lives were cursed from birth and never got better.

Then there came the most important lesson of all. Salvation. I believe in people’s ability to turn their life around because I know people very well today who have done that. People who should be still drowning in misery often of their own doing. People who were so immersed in drugs they had lost their jobs, families, and literally found themselves in the back of a police car at rock bottom.

I was walking on Court Avenue just this past week and walked by a young lady sitting on a bench in front of the courthouse. As I walked by, I sensed that feeling that I have known so many dozens of times during my career. I was compelled to turn around and ask her if everything was okay. It was not. This is the story she told me.

She was working as a CNA making $25/hour in Indianapolis. One day she was arrested and held in Indianapolis for a day or two and then transported to the Clark County jail.

She told me she went to court and was released as it was not her that had committed any crime but someone had stolen her identity and committed Medicaid fraud in her name.

She asked if she could use my phone to make a call to her family. She had no phone, no money, knew nobody in this town and was just sitting on a bench with no clue as to what she could do. I called one of my angels in life, Barbara Anderson. I simply said “Barbara I have a problem so you know when I call you if I have a problem, I am going to make it your problem.”

After explaining the plight Barbara said she would call Ashley at her office and to expect to see me and the young lady. I happened to be on foot as my son had borrowed my car. I went to Lifespring’s office to see another angel and friend, Denise Poukish. She was out of the office but a lady there put her on the phone. Denise had an employee named Ashton drive the young lady and me to Barbara Anderson’s office at the Quartermaster Post in Jeffersonville.

As of the next morning I learned the young lady was driven by one of Barbara Anderson’s employees back to her home in Indianapolis to be reunited with her family who was trying to arrange for someone to come to Jeffersonville to pick her up. I have no idea about her family except for how gracious and appreciative they were to me over the phone. I sensed they might not have been a family of great means and both parents were at work when I talked with them on the phone.

I walked by her as a stranger on the street. Something bigger than myself compelled me to simply approach her. My girlfriend Rhonda assures me that a higher power decided to put me there at random on that day for that moment to help. I do not know about such things; however, were that the case I was so grateful for it.

I was so blessed over much of my 13 years working at the Clark County Courthouse to be involved in such things. My heart is so full of joy when as was the case this week when I encountered a former drug addict who spent as much time in the jail as I did with my 8-hour per day office who was so proud to brag to me about being clean, working, and reunited with their family.

I know the other tragic and dark side of drug abuse. People who have been to the depths and stared death in the face and came back to us as normal, working, functioning regular family and parents are some of my biggest personal heroes. One thing I know about so many former addicts — they feel an overwhelming compulsion to give back to those still struggling. It takes one to know one.

I wish so much to thank my friends Barbara Anderson and Denise Poukish for being the angels I know in life that whenever I reach out to them their only response is,“ Lindon how can I help.”

This past Wednesday reminded me of and reinforced why I love living in this community.

Lindon Dodd is a freelance writer who can be reached at lindon.dodd@hotmail.com

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