Jerry had a sense of humor, always a twinkle in his eye. He is a retired Tonsorial Artist. A barber. His eyes definitely twinkled when he told me that. Jerry has suffered from cancer and leukemia. You would never guess that to look at him, or hear his view of life.
His hat said “Cuba.” I asked if he had been there. “Many times.” I said that I thought that we were not allowed spend money in Cuba, and hence, were barred. But Jerry goes with a sponsored mission, C. Q. I. Missions, that brings Art, Education, and Global Health to underprivileged parts of the world. The website is HERE. Jerry's name is prominently displayed. Their Facebook page is HERE.
Jerry is very enthusiastic about the Cuban's responses to his help. He says, “They love Americans, but can't admit it to their government.” Jerry nodded approval as I explained 100 Strangers. He said that I should accompany him on one of the Cuban trips to photograph the population. He said that I'd be accepted enthusiastically. He is very attuned to personal connections, and the inner joy that they bring.
I think that Jerry has found a meaningful way to spend the latter part of his life. His outer persona is one of humor, but I think that inner currents run deep. Hopefully his health problems are under control, but even if they aren't, a purpose larger than oneself can bring inner peace and satisfaction. I suspect that Jerry has found this.
An aside; One man, Vic Strecher, has found a purpose in his life, and passed it on through a book and website. The site is HERE. The URL sounds funky, but do not dismiss this out of hand. His book is HERE.
I found this an eye opening read. Caution: keep a tissue handy.