Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What a beautiful day

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. ~Anne Lamott

I am renewed.

I am astonished. Surprised. Humbled. Speechless (yeah I KNOW! how often does that happen?!)

My cup is full.


Sometimes you come across people who have walked a pretty hard path in life.  Sometimes I meet people whose lives are pretty rough. Sometimes I meet families that because of where they are in life I feel like there is really nothing I or anyone can do to be of any assistance at all. I really try hard not to judge. I really try hard not to come across as looking "down" at them, I just really try to be okay. No matter the environment, but sometimes I do walk away thinking..."really. what can we do here to make a difference?" And we will team and brainstorm and plan and try and before we can even take a step we are diving into a different crisis. As much as I hate to admit it to myself, sometimes I do judge and sometimes I do give up a little on hope.

Sometimes I see families who live in chronic crisis. Every day is a new battle. The rent is due. The electricity is being shut off. There is no milk. There is no food. There are no diapers.  The kids are dirty. Diapers sag. Trash sits. Crumbs linger. Piles stack. Stains stain on top of stains.  Bugs crawl. The house is dirty. Their own childhood stories leave you speechless. The sheriff stopped over the day before. They were fired from their job, so they had no money to pay the child support. Drivers License is revoked due to lack of child support payments. Can't drive to get a job. No one will hire them anyways. They jump from place to place and life is hard. Every day is hard.

The kids run amok as the parents drown in stress and crisis. Sometimes when I leave some homes there is a tug on my heartstrings because I "know" where this childhood goes. I know and you surely do too, the "rest of the story" as to who these kids will be as teenagers and young adults.  The tug~the fear~the realization that the pizza stained-innocent face of that chubby cheeked 2 year old, will be pregnant or in jail by age 18.  Oh yes, there will be a few that are able to rise above and succeed, but they are the exception.

Today a mom stopped in my office. I had not seen her for 4 maybe 5 years. The last time I saw her was at the funeral for her ex husband and three of their children who died in a house fire early one morning.

As she shared her journey the last few years. I was touched, moved, motivated, astonished and most of all proud. Words cannot do justice to her story. Words cannot capture my feelings today.

Maybe. Just maybe. Today was the "proof" I needed to keep going. To keep going back even when steps forward are few and far between.  To keep trying. To keep trying even when there seems to be little point or hope. Just keep trying.

Because today proved that I will never know when I have met that one. That one that will rise above. That one that will overcome the life they were born into.
That one that despite every single card being stacked against them, will somehow manage to come out strong and making it.
Making a new life.
Defining a new self.
Strong and insightful.
To keep trying because they could be that rare one that finds a way out. To keep trying even when I may never know if it makes a difference.
What a beautiful day.

When the world says, "Give up," 
Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."~Author Unknown


Jen said...

I know these comments are for you to leave not me, but I am completly loving this song and am feeling to lazy to go back and add that to the post. I just want to sit here and listen to it again! Silly! I so love it though! I think I should go to bed! =)

Paige said...


Kim said...

The end of the week is finally here for you Jennifer!