I made a fast and furious friend the moment I sat in the chair across from her at the middle school, she was on the phone, writing with one hand, and on the computer with the other and communicating with me with her eyes!! Talk about multi tasking!! She does it! Instantly you sense a genuine love for what she does. A sincere and strong and fighter's spirit, but also a weariness from the heartbreak she has had to witness daily. We have become so calloused and judgmental about people on social services, just yesterday on fb people told what they would and wouldn't do, I sat there and thought, how unqualified I felt myself, even after navigating 2yrs through the system, to even place a comment or opinion. There was a proposal in Florida which would take social services from people who tested positive for drugs. It is a thorny issue and one which sounds so correct when you first hear it, however, I know now it is not quite so clear. None-the-less, most of the people I have met at the Department of Social Services (that is the people who are applying) are generational welfare adults, who witnessed there own parents with substance abuse, now having children of their own, if we just cut there "funds" as everyone so readily suggested, we also cut the funding to those children in that home, they will be punished also, they will have no hope, there life is dark and sad as it is and it will be one more burden to bear not having enough food to eat. It is true, the drugs need to be addressed, the alcohol, the prescription pills, the meth, and all the rest, but it has to be done in a civil and cautious way. I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Condeleeza Rice she said, (not speaking about social services, but about America in general) Yes there are abuses and, no, we are not perfect in America, but if we can save that "one", that is the "spirit" of America. I was that one, in Mobile Alabama. (what she was referring to was her eventually obtaining grants and scholarships and pursuing her education), but isn't that also the spirit of God? Extend grace to be given grace. As I sat there listening to this women I had just met I knew I was going to like her!. We spoke in half sentences, we would jump in, we wasted no time getting to know one another, there was no judgement, she showed me no pity, just true compassion and she connected with me and shared she was going through a divorce herself and was struggling to keep her home. I have also seen the other side of the coin when it comes to Social workers being berating and degrading and making you feel small and less than human. But so often we only hear about the bad and never the good. Well my friend immediately, funny I would call her my "friend "so soon, got on the phone and started resourcing for me and did not take no for an answer until we got what I needed. And to this day, I still have those connections. I have a circle of 3 friends that if I need anything, ANYTHING I just call. The children's school has become a place of valuable resources, as well, to our family, I don't think there is anything, if I truly asked, they wouldn't do for us. We meet a teacher right now and she drives the kids into school to save on gas, and we still have some nice clothes from the better years, which I give her for her kids and for her, none-the-less, not many people would go out of their way to help anyone, everything is some form of inconvenience.. But so many people are ready and willing and able to go out of there way to cast a judgement or give there opinion on what you should have done differently or what you should be doing now. I asked my friend how she holds up under the burden of seeing such sadness and hardship, she is a social worker in the public schools so your imagination can fill you in, she said, "You just help the one in front of you and then just go to the next one." I think about today as I have my coffee and think about the Virgina job and how I was emotionally flattened I was, so I say "God help me to see today, the people, things, the moments I need to take in and not let them pass me by." I see so clearly now the importance of this blog, if only for myself, it is as though our life, though difficult and hard and "makes no sense at the moment, not until you are looking back", it is like a concert (which we attended for Wyatt's band at school recently), every instrument has been put in its place and the right piece of music on its stand and once it starts to play it like "Ahhhh, I hear it now". All these people, all these things, this house, the kids' school, Wyatt's group of friends ( Wyatt was diagnosed Asperger's Syndrome this yr), these mountains, that Bronco, and freedom she has represented to me, too many things to name. How will I pay the insurance for the Bronco, or the gas, or the lights, the entire nation is looking for work, those things are paid today, so today, I will enjoy the music God has written for me and my family in these remote mountains, because when I close my eyes, I will lose today forever, and, trust me, tomorrow will come and I will have the chance to face it all again. Today I am grateful God is my Maestro.