In this asylum called life, no one makes it alone.
In my own times and trials, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that in my own life, there have been good people, people who don’t look like me, who came alongside me when my fortunes reversed.
From the late 90s through the early 2000’s I went through a serious thyroid illness, a divorce, and severe financial distress, one paycheck away from homelessness and having my only means of transportation repossessed.
It was humbling to need help, and embarrassing to ask, but need overruled pride, because I came to the realization that I would do whatever was needed to keep from being on the street, because, to be honest, I didn’t think there’d be any coming back from that.
So I asked. And sometimes G-d provided without me having to say a word.
And with unconditional love and no hesitation, there were friends and acquaintances who simply came to me and said, “What do you need?”
Color, politics, entitlement, privilege, condescension, patronization, and a sense of supremacy were never part of the equation. A man in need was aided by good people, in the spirit of the Samaritan.
They made sure I had food, gas, bass lessons, and shelter. They gifted me vehicles for transportation before I was finally able to afford a car. They opened their homes, finances, and hearts to me in my darkest moments.
They encouraged me when my spirits flagged, but they also loved me enough to hold me accountable to make the changes needed to get back on my own two feet. That meant leaving them and pulling up my roots to start over, and they helped me with that, too.
Without them, there is no Alfred Smith, wannabe author and occasional bassist.
Without them, there may well not have been a 2017, where I’m now back on my feet and moving forward with a lifelong dream.
I am honored and blessed to still number them among my friends, even though way has led on to way.
So it is to them, I say: It’s been a long road back, but you’ve all walked the extra mile to get me here.
And for that, with love and gratitude, I thank you with all my heart.
God bless you, all ways.