Wednesday, February 23, 2011


This is Abana.  He looks tough.  He sounds tough.  Actually, he is tough.  You'd probably give him a wide berth if you saw him coming your way on the sidewalk.  But here's what you don't know... He has to be tough after everything he's been through.  Abana had a life, a family, a job, a home.  His wife passed away a few years ago.  His son, an aspiring student who defied the neighborhood norm and refused to join a gang, was shot to death in his own doorway.  Abana bore this burden and persevered.  He was a janitor.  That might not seem like much as far as work goes but you know what?  It kept a roof over his head and it paid the bills.  That is, until the recession hit three years ago.  Abana hung onto his job to the best of his abilities.  He was one of the last people to be let go but eventually, there was just no more work for him.  And soon afterward, he lost his home.  I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to walk a mile in Abana's shoes.  He has my utmost respect and I'm honoured to know him.

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