Ah, the best laid plans, how they do love to fall apart.
When two incredibly generous women decided to fulfill a homeless man’s wish of reuniting him with his long-lost sister for Christmas, they thought it would be rather straightforward.
However, things did not work out exactly as they had expected—but the little hitch simply made this happy ending that much more memorable.
“I just want to go home to my sister and see my sister.”
52-year-old Alan Duffany had been living on the streets of Sacramento, CA, for nearly two years. He had fallen on some tough times and was struggling to survive.
But then he met his guardian angels: Stephanie Rice and Jody Revak—two West Sacramento women who would often stop to give Duffany some money and have a chat with him. They eventually formed a friendship with the homeless man, and one day, a few days before Christmas, Revak asked Duffany what he would like as a present.
“He said, ‘I just want to go home to my sister and see my sister,’” said Revak, according to KCRA News.
The answer touched Revak and Rice deeply, and the two decided that they would work hard to make his Christmas wish come true.
Duffany was thrilled—he was so close to his cherished reunion.
“We said we’d meet him at the Greyhound station,” Rice said according to KCRA News.
Duffany was ecstatic, but the two women were not about to send him off to his sister’s just yet.
Before he began his journey, the women bought Duffany new clothes and gave him a good grooming. With his new dapper appearance, they drove him to the bus station and sent him off to Sneedville, Tennessee, to meet his long-lost sister.
Duffany was to arrive in Tennessee before midnight on Christmas Day, travelling the full 64 hours from California to Tennessee.
It was an emotional goodbye, and Duffany was eternally grateful for their incredible act of generosity on his behalf.
“I’ve been looking for him for over two years.”
Duffany’s sister, Rose Cooper, was also both shocked and thrilled at the prospect of seeing her brother again.
“I was so excited,” Cooper said. “I didn’t think I was going to see my little brother again. … I’ve been looking for him for over two years.”
Cooper pledged that when he arrived, she would do all she could to support him and help him find work. Duffany would finally be surrounded by a loving family, and he would never be out on the streets again.
But first Duffany had to get there—a prospect that would prove more difficult than anyone first realized.
Then something unexpected happened.
Christmas day arrived and Cooper waited for her brother at the bus station. There was only one issue: Duffany was not on the bus.
It turns out that he had boarded the wrong bus and got off in the wrong city.
“Yeah, I got turned around between Nashville and Knoxville,” Duffany said, according to KCRA News.
It was a mixup of epic proportions, but easily rectified—and eventually the reunion happened, albeit later than either sibling expected.
Unfortunately, this meant that the dream of a Christmas reunion were dashed—several days passed until Duffany finally arrived at the correct station.
“They are my angels.”
Despite the unexpected turn of events, Duffany and Cooper were thankful to the two wonderful women who helped reconnect the siblings with one another.
“The two ladies that helped me—they are my angels,” Duffany said, according to KCRA News.
“They really are angels from God,” Cooper added, according to KCRA News.
But Rice and Revak do not think of themselves that way. Instead, they just saw a man needing a second chance and wanted to do something good for him.
“I just wish that everybody would be kind to one another,” Revak said according to KCRA News. “It just takes one helping hand to another.”