In life, there are people who make an indelible impression on us. Whether it’s how they treated us, how they carried themselves, or all of the above, some people can never be erased from our memories.
Meet James.He had been living on the streets of Little Rock, Arkansas, for over a decade. He became familiar to the locals, including married couple Jody and Dawn Gieber.
The couple would see James on their way to work. Dunn when he went to the courthouse and Jody when he patrolled the streets. ames got a bit of a bad rap for being unkind, but Don and Jody knew that just wasn’t true.
Reaching out to a stranger.
One day, Don decided to stop and talk to James on her way to work.
Many of us walk past the homeless without even making eye contact, but Dawn wanted to show that she cared. She asked James how he had got to be homeless in the first place.
James admitted that he went on a bad road during which he lost contact with his family. He had no idea how he could find them now.
The truth was heartbreaking: James’s family loved and cared for him, but they couldn’t find him in their search and feared the worst.
Don explained to James’ niece that, in fact, her uncle was alive and well and had been searching for him for 15 years.
As proof that they weren’t lying to James’ niece, Don and Jodie arranged for James to speak to his family on the phone.
They couldn’t believe how emotional James became while talking to his long-lost relatives.
And that’s when they realized that James needed to properly reconnect with his loved ones in person.
But the couple ran into a roadblock: James had several outstanding warrants preventing him from leaving Little Rock.
Determined to help James return to his seat, Dawn appeared in court, explained James’ situation, and offered to pay the warrants.
The judge dismissed all charges and the case was closed.
Now the adventure could begin.Dawn and Jody packed their car and took James on a 600-mile trip to his family’s hometown of Illinois.
Dawn recorded James’ emotional reunion with her brother, who hugged and patted him on the back, and his niece, who sobbed while holding on to him.
James is now living in Wisconsin with his sister. The family sends Don and Jodie photos of James enjoying his second chance at life, putting up Christmas lights and napping on the couch with the family dog.
There is an important message in the story of James’ family reunion: the time spent listening can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
Thanks to Dawn, James is now enjoying his time with a family who thought he was dead. James’ brother said that Jodi and Dawn had truly brought their family back .