While driving down a road that runs through a lovely neighborhood full of mature shade trees and old oil barron mansions, my sister called me (you know the one who is supposed to write here...)
I told her how it was such a lovely street, but I was about to cross into the "he double hockey sticks" hole neighborhood that it bordered. Same wide streets, same stately old mansions, but so ugly. The mansions have been chopped into dirty dark little apartments with broken windows and blankets and boards covering the windows. The trees have been chopped down so the sun is hot and blaring. There is not grass, but tall weeds, dirt piles, and people everywhere. I would love to travel back in time to see how the two neighborhoods used to be. Even when I moved here 10 years ago, the latter neighborhood was much statelier...
(I work in home based speech therapy. It affords me the ability to be flexible in my work and explore the area while getting paid for it.
It is such interesting work, I really get to know the families and help treat my clients in a more holistic manner due to this.
A person's environment is such a part of who they are.)
But I digress...
While talking with my sister, I was being stood up for an appointment.
The address I was given was non existent.
I decided that I'd go to the next client's "home."
"Home" is a loose term...it was a shelter.
My sister told me I should write a book about the experiences I go through.
A professor who's previous job had been similar to mine told me that in one year, I'd see everything there was to see in a job like this...and so I thought it was true.
The first year I saw abuse, neglect, hunger and filth. I saw hope and dreams smashed, and flickers of hope become reality. I saw quick recoveries and sadly told a family that I was unsure if their child could hear (and was unfortunately right.)
I saw extremely wealthy parents who smothered their child to the point where all needs were anticipated....so why would the child talk if they didn't need to?
I saw extremely wealthy families who ignored their family members to the point where my clients didn't talk because there was no one to talk to...
The Nanny Diaries could easily be a true story...I've seen cases like it many times...
(For those of you not familiar, it's the story of the nanny for a child with a stay at home mom who is never home and needs a live in nanny.)
I thought it's not so bad if this is everything.
I was wrong.
Every time I think I've seen it all, something comes at me out of left field (sorry baseball on the mind.)
Like the shelter.
A glimmer of hope...
I never thought it would be the way it was.
Light and airy...clean and secure...colorful and full of life.
A hand up out of the poverty that so many of these families live in.
Still it makes me thankful for what I have.
A family and a home to live with them in.
Land to grow our lives upon.
A sense of security.
Slowly over the years I have learned something.
I will never see it all.
I hope I never will.
My sister often inspires me to try things...maybe I'll try my hand at writing.
(and yes my husband I know you've suggested this as well, but so I don't bore you with crazy stories.)