I actually have been waiting for the call that finally came this afternoon. It came in the form of a visit of a distant relative looking for information on how to contact my friend's children. It seems that he was found dead in his apartment today.
Life was anything but easy for him. He grew up with a severe learning disability, FAS, and was in foster homes all his life. He had an addiction to alcohol that more often than not he lost the battle to.
He rarely had any food and was on a form of social assistance that would help keep him in a derelict cold messy apartment where he could sleep.
He was a friendly guy mostly, but he got beat up a lot. He was rolled often as people took what little he had.
He had an approach to life that was pretty easy going. One day he would have money to live on and the next he would have nothing, but tomorrow was always a new day. He would do odd jobs for people who would give him some cash, and he would collect bottles and get some money together, and he would hit the road and hitch-hike to some distant province to "visit" friends. But he would always find his way back home, to Prince Albert.
And he had faith. Faith in God, faith in Jesus Christ. He would always ask me to keep him in my prayers and we would pray together.
After a particularly long drunk or after he had been beaten up again, in frustration he would sob at me "How long will this keep going on?" Both his questions and my responses always spoke to the eternal "How long," rather than some temporal answer. I would answer "I don't know George, I just don't know," and I would think but on that day you will be free of the addictions that torture you, and the limitations that have ruled your life and you shall be free indeed.
I am glad that day came sooner for him than later. I think it shows how much his God loved him.
George Goulet, today you shall be with your God in paradise. Enjoy.
I will miss you.