I Didn't Have a Chance to Say Thank You
It was the night of my 21st birthday, and I wanted to go out with a friend of mine to a club in downtown Fort Worth. I was finally of the age to legally buy and drink alcohol, and I was going to make the most of it.
All night long I kept drinking and dancing. I would buy a drink, set it down, go dance, then come back and finish it. What I didn’t know is someone had slipped some Rohypnol, (commonly referred to as the date rape drug) into my drink.
As the night went on, we closed the bar down, and we needed a ride home. There was no way that me or my friend could drive at this point. As we were waiting outside by the street, a man who I had previously met inside the club pulled up in his car and offered us a ride.
At first, we didn’t want to accept it, but he promised us that we could go back to his hotel room and continue to party. At the time that sounded appealing, so we hopped in his car. That was one of the last things I remember…
A few hours passed that I can’t account for what happened, but when I woke up, I was laying on a bed being raped by this man. I jumped up out of the bed and grabbed my clothes. As I was stumbling to put them on, I was trying to make my way to the door.
I fumbled around and finally got the door unlocked and took off running. I tried every hotel door running down the hall, trying to find a door that was unlocked, or one that would lead me to the stairs.
I ran down the stairs, (who knows how many flights) through the lobby, and finally outside the front door of the hotel. As I stopped to put on my shoes, I heard the voice of the man behind me. I didn’t look back, I just took off running as fast as I could.
I ran and ran, through downtown Fort Worth, at what I guess was around five in the morning. I found a pay phone (this was several years ago, before cell phones), and I called the only phone number I could remember… my stepdad Richard.
Richard knew something was wrong but didn’t know what. I told him I would meet him at the Methodist Church where he worked. I ran to the church and waited outside for my stepdad to show up.
By this point my mom and Richard were no longer married, but I knew he would come. He picked me up, took me back to his house, and I slept on his couch. When I woke up later that morning, he was already gone. I was hoping it was all a bad dream. But it wasn’t. It was very real, and there was no escaping what had happened to me.
Here’s my point in sharing my story. Sometimes we do things for people, and at first, they appear to be non-appreciative for our actions. But sometimes seeds that are planted lay dormant for years before they begin to grow.
All I know is that my stepdad rescued me out of a horrible situation. For the next couple of years, I kept trying to medicate the pain of that night by turning to drugs and alcohol. But a couple of months before my 24th birthday I finally surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus and was born again.
Fast forwarding, a couple of months ago I was thinking about my former stepdad Richard. Many years have gone by, and I never did get to say thank you. I wanted to see if I could find him, and maybe go to lunch to tell him the impact that he had in my life, and how that one simple act of kindness has rippled through my life, and impacted so many other people he will never know.
I was unable to contact him, and as I write this blog, I found out today that Richard LaBoon passed away just a couple of months ago. Maybe that’s why I was thinking about him. I don’t know…. But what I do know is, he will never be forgotten.
Never underestimate a simple act of kindness. You just never know the impact you can have in someone else’s life. Choose to be Kind. Choose love.