Making a Difference

A couple of years ago, I decided that I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life, not someone that I knew but, rather, a perfect stranger. I contacted the Epilepsy Foundation of Connecticut and they gave me the first name of a guy named Frank, along with his phone number. I was told that Frank was not feeling great about himself, partly, I believe, because of his seizures and the fact that he didn’t work or drive.

From the very first time that we talked, it did not appear that Frank had a very big supporting cast. I’m not saying that to be cold-blooded. It just seemed, judging from the discussions we’ve already had that, other than his mother and one sister, there were no other people that he ever saw, met with or just chatted with.

Judging from the tone of his voice, the pain and frustration he seems to be living with day after day has been quite obvious. Frank lives with his elderly mother and does not drive. Sadly,nearly every single one of our conversations includes Frank saying these two comments, “No one likes me,” and “I can’t do anything right.”Truly heartbreaking.

And it’s not as if he’s ever stated either one of those comments with a hint of humor or sarcasm. Instead, Frank says these things with such sadness that, though I believe that I’m helping him just a bit, it is sometimes hard to tell. In our last discussion, I asked Frank if he had any brothers or sisters and he said he had one older sister.Thinking that maybe he could ask her to take him somewhere or even get together with her once in a while, he told me that, “She’s got her own family(husband, four kids). She isn’t going to want to do anything with me.”

I still hope that if I speak with Frank long enough, he’ll eventually feel like his life is more normal than he believes and that it does have purpose. Everyone faces different challenges in their respective lives, so if they have a couple of dependable, trust-worthy friends or acquaintances, that can certainly make a difference for how people view the world that they live in.I know it’s made a difference in my life, hopefully it’ll make a difference in Franks’ life too.


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