Two weeks ago Ronald, a veteran of the Navy, was living on the streets with his canine companion Chance, but life is different now. A day after I published “A Chance For Ronald the wheels of the universe started turning in his favor.
My friend Magaly kindly offered to drop off a bag of food for Chance. She was going to be passing through San Luis Obispo all the way from my hometown St. Helena, CA. Once we had arranged a meet-up time I went to look for Ronald throughout SLO. I found him at the transit center with a big smile on his face.
Before I could tell him the good news he said, “Your article was beautiful, you made me cry at the Apple store. It changed my life, I’m getting back together with my wife because of you.”
Ronald explained that his wife, who he had separated from six years ago, read the article I published about him and contacted him on Facebook. The same day, an anonymous council member donated money for him to move to Arkansas with his wife. In the span of 24hrs, Ronald had a chance at a new life.
“Your simple interview changed my life,” he said in a comment on the About Page,
“sometimes just having one person who cares can make the difference between alone and hopeless to family and hope for the future i will never thank you enough.”
Unable to travel with Chance, he had to leave him behind with a friend. “Leaving Chance was like leaving my child, but I know my friend will give him the same love that I gave him.” The many nights of cuddling up with his dog as they fought the weather made them an inseparable duo.
Last Friday, which happened to be Veterans Day, KSBY did an interview with Ronald as he was about to board the bus to Arkansas. (To see the interview click here.)
He made it all the way to Texas before a conductor at a bus station said that there was some trouble with his boarding pass. Lacking the money to continue on the bus, Ronald decided to hitchhike most of the way. He threw away everything, except his backpack and jacket to make the walk faster. “I wasn’t going to miss one more holiday with my wife.”
Ronald finally made it to Arkansas on another bus. Beth was waiting for him at the stop and they shared their first hug in 6 years. “Everyone on the bus was laughing because she wouldn’t let me go.”
“I was so anxious to see him. I just kept smoking cigarettes, it was cold out,” says Beth.
“I’m not going to forget the mistakes I’ve made in the past. Since things are going well for me, I’m not going to let my guard down. When things are going right you have to be more careful,” says Ronald
To Ronald and Beth-
I’m so happy you have a roof over your head now. Thank you for your kind words and for speaking with me all the way from Arkansas. May the universe provide you two an abundance of peace, love, and happiness. Here’s to your new life. Happy holidays!