I'm working reception at Children's Aid and a little girl, perhaps four years of age, is running around with her shoelaces untied. She's waiting for a visitation with her father. It's thirty minutes past the appointment time; he's most likely not showing up. A worker walks up to her and tries tying her shoelaces, but she runs away from him, shouting, "I want daddy to tie them." He then sighs and begins arranging a ride for her back into foster care.
I go to the washroom. I come back after a few minutes and see a man's face pressed upon the glass door, frantic, his car unparked. I open the door and he asks if she's still there, I say yes and he looks at me as if I gave him the world, as if every moment of the past week has only been lived for these two hours with his daughter. No reprimand is given for his lateness, one look deciphered that anything that might have been done was done. The daughter sees her father, and him his daughter, and I need not describe the purity of excitement and relief that unfolded between them.
I remember a conversation I had on the topic of humans being each other's hell. But maybe it's selfishness that leads us to believe we're capable of appreciating anything more than a few drops of heaven.