Black History Month

I meant to post this in February, but, you know. Life.

There was a video released on the White House Facebook page of a 106 year old woman meeting the president. She was so happy, and to think of all she had seen and lived through – from 1910 until now – its moving.

As Super Tuesday has just passed us in the United States and we are gearing up to inaugurate a new president, I wanted to share memories of Obama’s first inauguration in ’08. The first time a black president was inaugurated. A day that will live in history will live well in my memory.

Continue reading “Black History Month”

Job (In)stability

I’ve actually been thinking of writing about this lately, and then today’s Daily Prompt asked: How do you feel about your job? Do you spring out of bed, looking forward to work? Or, is your job a soul-destroying monotony of pure drudgery, or somewhere in between?

I am a social worker with a Catholic agency in north St. Louis, and I work with homeless addicted and mentally ill people.  My patience and enjoyment of the position has fluctuated over the years, and maybe that’s normal.  When I first started in this position, I was happy about the work and wanted to try new things, explore different ways of helping the clients. Then I started to see the same people again and again, the revolving door, and anytime I tried something new, I was met with resistance. Later, I started graduate school, and I spent a lot of time focusing on research and macro-level intervention, something I really wanted to get into.  I had hoped to find a job for after graduation (nope) or get into the next PhD cohort (not happenin’).

Continue reading “Job (In)stability”

Pure Love…on the Streets

Reflecting on a moment of kindness, as was suggested in today’s prompt, I remember one of my clients.

I don’t know Tony’s diagnosis, but he’s not very lucid. He generally only speaks when spoken to, and when he smiles, his eyes crinkle into a dozen lines. He is one of those people who had fallen through the cracks and wasn’t doing well, but it’s been changing over the past couple of years and he’s recovered a bit.

With that recovery comes the singing of Jackson 5 songs, and you can hear his falsetto “tweet tweet” as he sings Rockin’ Robin.  He doesn’t even know the words, just the tweet, and the whole floor can hear him.

Last week, I learned that one of my female clients left the place she was staying with her son to avoid the drug use and dealing, and they were sleeping in the streets for several nights. I also learned that Tony accompanied them on the streets to help defend against possible trouble.  He’s in an apartment (one we helped him get into) but on those nights, he chose to stay with my client and her son to help keep them safe, without requesting anything in return.

He doesn’t brag about this; since he doesn’t really talk unless spoken to, how could he? He just did it. I heard about it in passing, and then when I asked him, he told me. I don’t know if he realizes how kind and precious this is, but it moves me every time. This is kindness like I rarely see it, and it comes from the humblest of corners.