Friday, January 14, 2011

It has all been worth it

Today, one of my people came in to tell me she had passed her certification test and now had a steady, good paying job. The joy on her face was unbelievable. I was so happy for her, and I can say with confidence that this whole experience, in all its challenges and surprises has been worth it, if for no other reason than this woman's progress.

This woman has improved so much since I met her in August. She is a stroke victim, who could no longer work because of her limitations with speech, memory and mobility. When I met her she was very dependent on her walker, had trouble with her memory and making words come out. I've been helping her chronicle her life story, and each time I met with her, her memory was more complete and she could move around a little better. Now, she is able to move around without the aid of her walker. Her memory is stellar. It's unbelievable how much she has improved.

I was lucky enough to be able to help this woman. I listened to her stories and recorded them, I helped her apply for the job, helped her with preparation for the certification test and helped her celebrate success with a big hug this morning. She knows that once she starts earning income, her benefits will decrease, but that seemed insignificant to her. Something she said to me stuck out, "I have to take this chance to start my life over. I don't want to be on benefits anymore. I don't want to live in a personal care home anymore." I did help this woman all I could, but make no mistake, she is where she is today because of her attitude and her perseverance. She has been through so many hard times, any one of which are too much for me to even imagine. Here she is, making that next step all her own. I am very proud to have worked alongside this woman, and thankful for the reassurance she has given me that it all has been worth it.

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