Moment by Moment

One Second At A Time

Seventeen year old Andrew has just left. He came an hour and a half ago thinking of suicide. His life is not easy living on the streets. Andrew ruminates a lot about killing himself. As he was leaving he hugged me and said: “I feel safe talking to you because you never threaten to 51/50 me, you listen, but it is because you are just like me, you think of it to. I see it in your eyes a lot lately.” And I told him truthfully he was right. I do understand because it is moment by moment for me as well. As it is for so many, so many.


This upcoming surgery is scary. I have lied through my teeth to the doctors about having someone stay with me, even pick me up. Being in a cast for six weeks is scary. I will be alone most of the time. I have felt guilty when I expect to much of friends. I feel really like I have failed, and so I understand Andrew’s feelings. People ask me so many questions, and now I simply evade them because they wear me out.

It is moment by moment. What I hold onto are the simple things—being there for my guys, being there for Opal who is so totally a lone, and the fact I would hurt and disappoint so many people. It would also give my enemies satisfaction to say “he was a coward,” and that is one thing I am not.

And what warms my heart  and gives me hope more than anything at the moment, and gives me joy as I reflect is that my friend is giving me a dachshund for my birthday in eight weeks, and the thought of having a pet to love and be so non-judgmental means so much to me, and the fact my friend is showing me his love in that manner gives me hope. We have placed a part of our payment down, I talk to the breeder every other day, and the young girl is five days old today.

Scott Peck once wrote: “Life is difficult, once you understand that, you can live it productively.”

I will not hurt myself, but I think about it. Life is so f..cking difficult and painful.

There are no magic answers.  It is not a matter of money, housing, that prevents these feelings, it is having hope, having a trust in God that keeps us going.  The Spirit moves in the  little things of life to bring us hope, and for me it is a puppy at the moment. The little things. Moment by moment! Take time to listen and be present—the look in Andrew’s eyes when he left was reward enough. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

Temenos Catholic Worker


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