A note of sincere gratitude, Mr. Mesirow. Life could have turned out very differently without your support.
In 1999 you helped a young Norwegian student in San Jose. I am him, and I never got to meet you. I ran across the paper work from back then and wanted to send you my thanks one more time.
My case was probably too small for you to remember, but I was arrested on suspicion of lewd acts to a minor under 14. The whole thing was over within two days because the investigating officer found that the mother of the alleged victim had coerced her daughter and allegedly no less than 13 other witnesses to lie.
I have never investigated into the reasons why somebody would harm a stranger like this, and I have never understood why. This summer I had the chance to visit the USA again, after 10 years of border and immigration problems, and I drove past the address which was noted on the official paper work as that of the alleged victim and I felt nothing. The address was just around the corner from where I used to live.
The trauma from spending time in San Jose jail and the fear and insecurity I have felt since has been devastating. For 10 years now, I have been a sleepwalker, figuratively speaking, not getting on with my life, not trusting people, halting.
I cannot even begin to consider how it could have turned out had it not been for your help. It would most likely have been so infinately much worse.
I want to take this opportunity once again to thank you for your assistance and underscore the immense importance of your actions and assistance.
I was just a foreign student that easily could have been forgotten in "the system", had it not been for your help. As far as I know, Mrs. Claire and her husband were the ones who got in touch with you while I was in jail, and I never knew what had transpired during my short time in jail until they told me much later. I was just released with my bathing clothes that I had been wearing at the time of the arrest, and nothing as much as a goodbye or a sorry.
I was so profoundly disappointed in "the system", and the beacon of light in this piece of dark hisotry has for ten years been you.