Sunday, April 21, 2002

I photographed eighty-year-old Reuben Worster and his son Ronald for a Journal Star story the other day.

I can’t get him out of my mind.

Reuben lost his life savings when a bank closed about 20 years ago. The money was to help support his mentally retarded after Reuben died.

The thing that echoes in my mind over and over is when I left Reuben’s house, he bid me farewell by saying, “I truely hope you have a better life than mine.”

He meant it.

I’ve maybe never met a more able person who was more miserable. This guy was angry beyond definition. He spends hours every day trying to recover his losses.

The two crosses in the photo are in his yard and read “COMMONWEALTH VICTIM”. One for him, one for Ronald. He took the one for his wife out when she passed away.

“I truely hope you have a better life than mine.”

He was making a statement about his own life, to be sure. But I listened. It is important not to waste away doing something that leaves you ultimately empty and unhappy. I’m going to make a concerted effort to do things that bring about an inner peace. For me that means hopping into my rinky-dink sail boat. Climbing a tree. Letting the sun warm my face. Beethoven.

I would hope that things turn around for Reuben, but I know they wont. My only hope for him now is that when he passes, his soul may finally rest.

Peace to you, Mr. Worster.

Thanks for reading!


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