Today was different. I've been working in social services for over 25 years. I've dealt with a lot of things that for most people would be intolerable. I managed to handle it and keep moving forward. Today while I was sitting in my office someone was almost beating on the glass door to get in down the hall. The just keep on and on and I finally headed down the hall sort of yelling "ok ok". I swung open the door and a lady was standing there. I said "your suppose to use the phone". She said "I can't read or write. My mother stole my money, she stole my food stamps; I slept on the street last night; I don't have a place to live or stay". I was stunned. I asked her who she came to see. She didn't know there name. The police told her to come here. She said something about Adult Protective Services. I asked her name, told her to have a seat and I'd try to find someone to help her. I found someone in the Aged and Disabled area who came with me to talk to her. She was gone. We rushed down the elevator as we saw her walking out into the parking lot. When we got outside I called to her "Terry, come back". She did. She said "I was going home...you scared me". I apologized. She was tearful. We sat and gathered more information from her. She described her mother putting her check into her bra and as Terry asked for it she swung and hit Terry accross the face. The more she talked, the more I felt for her. She had stayed at the shelter but had gotten all kinds of bug bites (bed bugs), had a reaction and had to go to the hospital. She no longer had her Medicaid card; her mother kept it. She was hit by a drunk driver years ago and had a let that "was not all hers". It had taken her 5 years to learn to walk again. She had nothing to eat. She had no money. She said she had been told she had cancer in her stomach. She asked if we had a blanket. I called a few shelters and they were not helpful. My friend had reached her APS caseworker and she was going to come pick her up and take her to a shelter in another town. My friend had also called the restaurant down the street and they were going to give her a free burrito. I found some gloves, a hat and scarf and gave her. She was again tearful. This time in thanks. She LOVED them. I took them apart and she put them on and wore them out. I gave her some cans of soup, some crackers, and a blanket. She was appreciative. She continued to apologize for knocking so much on the door. I continued to apologize for being rude and scaring her. I finally said, "we don't need to apologize to each other any more. We will just be friends" and I shook her hand. She went away happy. Happy with her new items and happy she was going to get something to eat and that her caseworker was on the way to pick her up. It's going to be 18 degrees outside tonight. When I think about her and I think about me we are worlds apart. She is grateful for the smallest thing...for a burrito to fill her belly, with a new glove set from Walmart. I find myself often complaining about the smallest thing. God will put someone or something in our lives to see life different. This woman was a blessing to me today. Tonight I hope she is someplace with a full stomach and has a warm place to lie down.
Encourage One Another