Am I wrong to feel numb to the Florida shooting? Is it bad that I don’t want to even engage in watching the interviews, the videos inside the school, the over the top questioning of the victims of “what was it really like in there”? I don’t want to know what the hell it was like, probably traumatizing as hell people!!
Being a mental health worker/social worker in a high school, it all hits too close to home. Did I ever think a profession such as helping others would essentially be done in a place I’d fear for my safety? No. But I do know that more of my days are filled with helping more kids then not, and I don’t choose to be fearful, I choose to fight for kids to feel safe, valued, appreciated and respected so that they know at least some are there for THEM and THEM alone.
I will tell you though we’re exhausted. We’re tired. And the needs keep increasing with sometimes what feels like no added support. I need YOU parents, community members and teachers to be there for me for us mental health workers in the ways of listening more, watching more, being there for kids with your wisdom that life isn’t all that bad and just helping kids to see their potential. Spend time outdoors with them, watching shows and talking about them with them, dinner with them and putting all phones away, the list of TRUE HUMAN INTERACTION CAN GO ON AND ON.
I truly believe it comes down to added time together, learning emotions of others, how it could “make someone feel” and having empathy for others. understanding that someone else has a struggle you may not understand but being able to say it’s going to be ok cause we’re in this thing called life together can go a long way.
I am often a put it out there kind of person so that others don't feel they have to hide from the struggles they may endure themselves. I have learned over many years that controlling ones life and the things you wish could or couldn't happen isn't reality. At this point in time I feel I need to be real again with myself to help the healing process within.
I've struggled now through postpartum anxiety with two children, while this time around it became a little more depressed moods mixed with it. I am writing this post today for myself and other moms who need support from their partners, family members and friends, with the hopes I can help someone who may be in the midst of the hard times after having a baby. I want to focus on embracing the joys of what mothering can bring for ME as an individual, instead of being consumed by the constant worries and negative thoughts of how mothering is SUPPOSED to be.
This go around after having my daughter, all I wanted to do was hide that once again, I was plagued by thoughts that would just continue to swirl around in my head often times leaving me paralyzed in moving forward with any decisions. To my close family and some friends they saw it, they saw the swirl, the stress of wanting everything to flow and go as planned, the pain that comes with the anxious days and all the tears. The tears because you can't get your own thoughts together enough to even express what you need/feel/want and don't even know where to begin.
I've had to spend some time looking into what my anxiety actually looks like and what it is that I want others to understand in order to help. There was no real easy way to explain to others what the daily struggles were with this awful inability to think straight, often times leaving myself and family and friends at a loss some days on how to help. I have identified some of the basics, the basics I am becoming aware I struggle with still, in hopes that some of you won't feel alone in those lonely, yet not always alone, moments motherhood brings. I continue daily to use coping skills I've learned to lessen the anxious feelings, but I understand now that it may always be there when all I've wanted is for it to go away and just let me relax!
#1 The simplest of tasks become nearly impossible since it feels like you are doing them while walking through thick mud, in heavy fog sometimes. The thought of any seemingly insignificant change to your "carefully crafted schedule" is completely overwhelming and sends me into the negative swirling thoughts in my own mind.
#2 The papers and clutter on top of the counters and toys on the floor, along with the spills/messes, make me cranky! I often times in my head hear that it's me causing the mess. I then think my spouse is out to show me I can't handle it all, "You and your mess you create all day while you're home, why can't you keep it together?!" Is that really legit that he's thinking that? No. Not at all. But my anxiety and mind will make me believe that and so the day goes.
#3 I dread doing those messy "projects” with my son because I just can’t deal with the mess and extra time it takes to clean it up. Hence adding to the mounds of clutter and mess that piles and piles when we do actually do these projects because I don't clean it up, haha! But let's be real, the life of a toddler and kid stuff anyways just is what it is, MESSY, ans I try hard to continue to keep it looking "decent enough" in my own head which becomes exhausting.
#4 While I play with my kids, my mind is a million miles away. I am at times not engaged with them because I'm obsessing over the never ending list of tasks for that day or the next. I desperately want to abandon that to-do list, and just be able to give all of myself to them, to be truly free to live in the moment. It’s tempting, but that list keeps sucking me back in telling me "things are not done yet lady, keep going!"
#5 You obsess over whether you’re feeding your kids enough, if they’re getting enough sleep, is this reflux again with my daughter, did she poop today or is that maybe why she's fussy, or whether you’re spending enough time with them. You worry all the time that you’re not a good mother, and believe there is no way to really know whether you are doing anything right.
Whew! That was a lot to actually sit down and identify that I constantly think about! I just drained myself writing it all out even. Now, how can some of you help those of us through these struggling times....
Support system ROCK STARS and how you can help us:
-Be there physically, and be there mentally when we are struggling. Offer words of support like "I know this has to be hard for you right now" "I can't imagine it being easy with what you are going through. You are doing a great job though" "I am here for you and always will be, to just sit next to you if you need". It isn't always easy seeing the tears day in and day out, but we like to feel they aren't looked at as someone who is breaking, sad, upset, emotional every time they come swirling down. Sometimes it simply is that our own mind hasn't turned off in hours, days, and we're just tired of that.
-Don't take things personally in the moments when she explodes with anger (this may be the hardest one for you, I know!). Most of the time it's many irrational thoughts coming together at once that if you ever try to piece them together and what they really mean, you'll entangle yourself in more confusion for you and your partner in those moments.
-When you come home, or when you come over, ask what things you could do that would help her for THAT DAY. Sometimes all were thinking about is how to get through hour by hour. It's nice to offer to bring a coffee, do the dishes sitting in the sink, fold the laundry in the dryer, get some food for her, and just sit on the couch with us and watch tv.
To wrap this one up I'll leave all of you who are still reading with this.....I’m finally starting to realize (4 months after having my 2nd child) that there is no such thing as perfect, even as much as I try to keep it perfect in my own head. Teaching my son and daughter to look adversity in the eye and stand back up when things get hard or feel out of control, is so much more important than teaching them to strive for the impossible ideal of perfection. I've been at this parenting gig now for almost 3 years and I will probably spend the rest of my parenting career working through anxiety and what moods come with it. They won’t go away just because I want them to. But I now am finding that perhaps I don't need to let them define me anymore.... perhaps I can choose to accept them as I have with all other challenges and take them on head on. My children will never face a life free of trials and they will find their struggles come from both the inside and the outside. I’m just hoping that my struggles will at least provide in them a little hope that they can live with them even if they don’t necessarily want to.
I have been asked by a few friends for my inside opinion about why the Board in Douglas County School District should change. Without spending all the energy I have left on a Monday night while watching debate between two school board candidates at the high school I work at, I will try to help others see things from my lens. No I am not talking for ALL teachers, but I think many are feeling the ways I will describe below. As a School Social Worker, we often define ourselves as being "agents of change", yet this role often comes with a level of frustration. As we try to function as change agents in society, we invariably encounter resistance. The nature of my job is to try to get people to make changes that at least a part of them resists. No wonder so many social workers get burnt out. I am in support of voting for 3 NEW members for the Douglas County School Board, and I will give you a little into to why. VOTE YES FOR Anne-Marie Lemieux, David Ray, and Wendy Vogel!!! November 3rd!! Get your ballot in!!
My career blesses me every day to somehow shape a young persons mind. With that comes the ability to have the time and resources to do this. Currently the time spent on proving WHAT TEACHERS WILL DO to teach students on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis is taking away from what these teachers ACTUALLY have the time to do directly with your child. Sure, you may like your child's elementary school teacher or high school teachers or even love them, but do THEY feel valued by the community and the board in the current state it is in?? What you may not understand is over the last 4 years under the current board, many of those teachers have become extremely overwhelmed, don't feel valued, and/or respected as a teacher. Like any place of employment, if there are no incentives and reasons to make you feel valued in your job, you leave. You find other places that value your profession and what that job is intended to do for you as an individual. So no, not all the BAD TEACHERS are the ones leaving because their evaluation proves them to be ineffective. They are leaving because they truly feel the time spent WITH your children, is less effective because of all the time spent having to collect evidence of what they are doing FOR your children. They are also leaving because other districts still in this Denver metro area are not demanding them to spend more time on PROVING IT FOR THEIR PAY, while leaving less time for actually TEACHING IT. Keep in mind also, these other districts still have the same state standards for teachers with the intention of using the Colorado Department of Educations evaluation tool. So why does Douglas have to feel elite from the State and create their own?? Taking more money away from our individual schools to create "committees" to do so? And closed board meetings?? You're a board built of the people, for the people, yet you shut the door and turn your head to the issues knocking the doors down?!
Now should teachers be held accountable in their job, absolutely! And is Douglas County trying to find those ways to help improve teachers? In some ways, yes. But at what cost?! The cost of losing good people (younger and older) to the profession of education all together because no one wants to go into a field where they don't feel valued?
Douglas County completely put a cart before the horse on the entire pay for performance evaluation. They rolled out something that was nearly impossible to even evaluate because they didn't have the manpower to evaluate it! Your childs teacher is unfortunately being asked to do so much more now to be considered "highly effective" in the eyes of that cumbersome evaluation, that they are often chasing that more then spending time with, or looking at, the needs of your child. Is that their fault?? Should they be teaching to an evaluation that is tied to pay and worried more about that then the well being of students? That's where I feel this effects my job. Children today are becoming victims of many social forces that negatively affect their role as students in a school. Families are in a state of change and until it becomes stabilized, in whatever form, children's unmet physical and emotional needs will continue to interfere with their ability to learn and adjust in school. So if these teachers become so stressed and focused only to teaching to this evaluation, they are missing crucial social/emotional needs of these developing young minds.
The hardest thing for many teachers with this evaluation system is that how can you say you are the best in the building, when you aren't spending nearly as much time as you once were with kids?? Teachers have lost sight of what it used to look like to be transformational leaders for children because they have had no choice but to feel exhausted at the amount of effort that takes to stay afloat. Inspirational teachers strive to have students leave with a desire to want to be educated, and want to learn more. How are we moving this forward if we lose teachers who are our mentors as future educators??
I've come to the realization that many of us can all relate to one thing....surviving in the game of life with the cards we've been dealt. In a book titled "If life is a game, these are the rules" Cherie Carter-Scott discusses the Ten Rules for Being Human. The first rule being this
You receive one body when you are brought to earth. The thing people struggle with seeing is that the body is only storing what lies inside of it, your hopes, fears, thoughts, expectations, and beliefs that make you unique.
In the field I work in, I see across the board not only in teenagers but in adults as well, that they are not recognizing the purpose of their bodies. They subject their bodies to the harshest judgements and their only measurement of self worth. Imposing harsh judgements on your body only limits the range of experiences you allow yourself to have and to enjoy.
What one must do first to get in touch with their body is to spend time internally on self-acceptance before spending time and money searching for those external solutions (hair color, wrinkle cream, plastic surgery, wardrobes). What does this look like you may ask? It is perfectly natural for us to want to look and feel our best, but it does not mean at the expense of criticizing, judging, or finding fault with your body. Cherie Carter-Scott stated, "Even if you are not the healthiest or most attractive, the drive for self-improvement is completely healthy as long as it comes from a place of self-love rather then from those feelings of inadequacy."
After having my son I felt frumpy and desperately wanted the weight to go away to feel better in my body again. Weight in places it had never been and an ass that quite frakly was larger then I had ever experienced before. But I had to ask myself the question of "Did I feel like I needed a new body shape to MAKE ME HAPPY?" If the answer was YES, then I needed some help with that internal self-acceptance part. Did I want to lose weight to ultimately feel better again? Sure! Of course! But to make me HAPPY, no, not at all. Because my husband, my son, friends, family time, and wine were what I looked forward to. My body had nothing to do with enjoying all those things that made me happy
We must love all the parts of US. And if you can't love them, CHANGE them. If you can't change them, then accept them as you are and go help others to accept those things about themselves!
**Peace, love, laughter and Wine!!**
Be a Role Model:
As a mental health professional, I knew about what postpartum depression/anxiety was and resources that helped women with it, but I wondered why there weren’t more resources on how to effectively manage anxiety during the postpartum period of having a baby.
After all, anxiety and worries are so common during this time.
I don't remember the feeling of panic and the anxious "what now" feeling hitting until my husband and I looked at each other for the first time and said "we have to take him home now with just us!?". I wanted to enjoy motherhood, not fear it. But all my life the worry and fear of what I'll be, what I am, and what I can be, was all to scary to think about and by adding another human into this mix, it made it all that much harder to admit I was scared shitless and I didn't have it all together.
Some tips I would love to give new moms, moms struggling, moms to be, and anyone else interested in hearing my story about being real with my struggle into this amazing journey of motherhood.... Read On:
1. Ask for support. Part of being a good mother is knowing when to ask for help. So don't be afraid to ask for it during this difficult time. Help comes in many forms, ranging from friends who cook meals and fold your laundry to good old fashion therapy. You need support from others so you can get better.
2. Tell a girlfriend you trust, hell tell as many of them as you want. Someone other then your spouse is a good person to help support you. My husband was an amazing cheerleader and helped me through these days immensely. Some days he had to direct me around as to what I would do next with myself, and for our son, to make it seem more do-able. You may be surprised at how many women are experiencing similar feelings and how by opening up about your fears and struggles, they will almost feel better talking to you in return about theirs.
3. Be around others to distract your mind. Everything gets better if you can distract yourself with others who are healthy and loving life. Hang out with second-time moms. They literally show you that life mellows out and people actually want more of these little energy draining human beings :) Get outside the house, go on walks, enjoy the actual time spent with other people and their children who are older. They show you what is to come and that it all gets better and better as they become little kiddos.
5. Lastly, do what works best for you. Asking the opinions of many others, leads to more anxiety about those choices now others have given you. Retreat back to those few trusted friends you first relied on and ask them, then make your decision. Don't ask the world, because if you haven't noticed, the world raises many different people in many different ways!
Peace, Love, Laughter, And Wine
There comes a point in a parents life that they think to themselves, "self... I really think a vacation with my child, at 10 months old, could really be fun!". So these eager parents decide to give it a whirl, and head out to Destin Florida, despite what all those other parents say, "ohhhh traveling with kids huh, good luck!" "Oh lord, you're taking him on a plane?!" How bad can it really be....
Day 1: We arrive in Destin to find our bags did not arrive with us. I mean this clearly happens to plenty of people so who cares, go with the flow, smile, and whatever.
Day 1 Evening: We gather groceries, pack n plays, and alcohol for the week. All four adults in our party get carded for alcohol and I have to return to the car for mine. Oh but wait!! I have realized my little energetic child who needed his 85th toy to play with on the plane to stay entertained, had grabbed my wallet out on the plane and that was actually where it still was! Are you kidding me!? First day! I can remember feeling my knees buckle, almost throwing up, and feeling like I was going to pass out as I had to call my husband inside the store "it's on the plane..." "Chels what's wrong?? Did you get hit by a car I can't even tell what you're saying!" "Babe, it's on the plane.... My wallet is on the plane!!" Silence on the other end.
Fast forward- I find the airport lost and found number, airline found my wallet from the plane and had it still, I manage to get the wallet back along with our luggage which was delivered at 10:30 that night! Yippie all is good for the week!!
Day 2: It's a beach day with the baby!! Oh sorry did I say beach day?? I meant beach flipping HOUR!! Why Cayden couldn't last all day on the beach, I'll never know, haha, apparently those morning and afternoon naps still need to occur on the vacay so you don't create a monster in a new environment :) But oh my gosh how cute is he!?
Day 4: I proceed to leave my credit card in the billfold after paying for dinner, leave the restaurant only to be informed by my husband that our dear travel companion and friend Dave picked up the card for me and saved my ass from a verbal lashing from the husband for losing something yet again.
Day 5: Awaken to the sounds of.... My son in an uncontrollable couging attack that sounds like a seal and wheezing that would not stop. Complete panic sets in! I calm down enough to get the little seal into a steamy bathroom and see if that can help. We Ultimately make our way to the ER and get the news that he has Croup. Just a little breathing treatment (hey! how come Cayden gets a spa day and not this mommy) and some oral meds later.... and we're off back to beautiful beaches of Destin, for our hour of fun in the sun :)
Days 6-7: Start Entertaining our little guy from 3am on because it's just what happens when your kid is sick, and on vacation. We then take the overly exhausted child on a walk in a backpack that doesn't exactly fit him, and later have him hang out in his cage on the balcony so he can at least enjoy the outdoors for the day and I can "relax" for all of 20min :-)
The last and final night of our Vacation! Enjoy a yummy pizza and wings at our favorite little hole in the wall place called the Landshark! Yayyy! Return home for a somewhat good nights rest before travel day again.
Day 8: We arrive at the airport and check-in. I proceed to pay for our checked bags only to find I don't have my credit card (here we go again) anymore in that beautiful little hot pink wallet of mine. Yup you guessed it! Landshark owns the card now.... right there in that damn billfold again where I left it. Only this time my friend Dave didn't help me out and grab it (damn you Dave).
Lets just say I am pretty sure at this point my hubby wont take me anywhere again unless I wear a money belt or velcro everything to me.
Anxiety sets in.... ready set FLY.... and Cayden does very well given the two flights he endured for the day!!
Until we had to sit on the plane for 20min before even leaving Dallas and then another 50min once landed in Denver....needless to say I about fought a flight attendant telling me to sit down, and I wished I
had actually got thrown off the plane at this point.
Once off the plane and my anxiety levels decreased immensely it was smooth sailing..... Until we arrived home to this mess.
Our framed engagement picture above our fireplace had fallen off the wall, hit the mantel, and shattered into pieces. Along with our eternity sand vase (holding the love sand) from our wedding and candle holders.
Don't get me wrong, there are parts here along the trip that were absolutely exciting, hilarious, and tons of laughs and fun, just the not so fun ones I really never wish to experience again. I truly have experienced what it means to want a vacation from a vacation! These kiddos are a lot of work, but there is something about this entire past week that I learned about myself. I can survive. I can survive just about anything if i put my mind to it and if I just have..... Wine, Love, and Laughter :-)
Yup I was that chick at the gym today, the one I was always scared to become. I ventured to the weight machines area, a place I've been before and thought it's not that hard to figure out. Apparently for me, it is hard to figure out how to ACTUALLY use the machines! I decided that today was the day my flubby mommy triceps needed some help. Instead of trying boring things I already have tried in the past, I chose the "machines" to work their magic. As you can imagine, I was mortified as I sat there working away thinking "man! This just doesn't feel right but whatever, I can feel my triceps burning" when a pretty good looking trainer comes to inform me I am most definitely doing this wrong. How do you even act cool, chill, or not completely embarrassed when this happens?! Why couldn't it have been just another gym goer, and not a trainer that I'll have to see all the time that's probably like "Welp, there's another NEW YEARS RESOLUTION NEWBY not knowing what to do". I proceeded to take his advice and learn how to correctly do it, but not without my face turning bright red. That was from working out so hard the right way, right?! I then ran like hell up to my treadmill and elliptical spot that I FOR SURE knew how to use. As a few minutes go by, this trainer decides to find his way upstairs and again I am embarrassed as he walks by me. This time though I had it under control and wasn't going to let him think otherwise. I had to say to him, "looks like I at least know how to run on a treadmill!" :) he laughed and told me he could help again if I needed support on any other machines in the future. Ummm yeah, right. But thanks.
Why is this gym thing so hard to get back Into? And why in the hell is it that the one place we go to work on our bodies and literally feel the most vulnerable, has to be in front of a plethora of mirrors!? Because I know it's not helping me when I take a peak at other people around me, lookin all hot and shit, and I'm over here sweating like I just ran a marathon only to look down and realize it's only been 10min!
It's a mind game for sure this gym adventure. While I should just go in and do my thing and feel good, it's a continuous struggle to keep my mind focused on the reasons I have chose to work out. Hell, half the time I'm judging how long to run in order to just burn the glass of wine I'll go home after and drink. Or wishing my water bottle was a wine bottle because at least that would taste yummy in the process of this god awful exercising gig. But I'm doing it because I know the results will show. Because in the end, all the hype about staying healthy and fit IS legit and my mind and body deserve it. But I'll tell you what, if Ellen wasn't on providing me laughs while I was there or the amazing workout playlists on Spotify, I'd bring a bottle of wine with me and just sit in that hot tub thinking of how I really should go work out. :)
Peace, love, laughter, and Wine!
I started back to work Monday from a nice 2 week break from... teenagers and adult world. I really enjoyed my time with my son and my husband, and right as I start to think I could get used to doing this and enjoying staying home, it's time to head back to work. But I do have to admit, I was eager to get back to seeing colleagues again and these teenagers that most of the time I enjoy. These kids teach me more about myself and what is important in my life then they sometimes even know.
As I get things set up for the semester and thinking about what I want to do to help develop these young kids minds, I happened to come upon some notes/plans I had made with a colleague Joe of mine who had passed away in October. We were developing a time to talk with students where they could discuss and advocate for themselves their actual NEEDS in school. As I read over the notes, I began crying. Alone in my office I sat there and embraced it. Hoping that at that moment someone wouldn't be knocking on my door. It's crazy how grief can just hit you at odd times when certain things are thought of. I miss him, and the conversations we had at the beginning of semesters about how we could ALWAYS improve the ways we helped students. He made me positive again when I just wasn't, he encouraged me to think outside every box for kids, and I don't have that right now because I don't have his encouraging words to keep telling me to keep going. So much of what my job is now, is just fighting for what the REAL LIFE NEEDS are for kids. Something that Joe did every day passionately and always with a smile. Don't get me wrong, the high achieving students need to continue to be challenged, have new inspirations to help them think creatively... but that just isn't the majority of students in schools. Maybe I'm wrong. But we DO HAVE low level learners who will still go out and make a living and be successful. The real "life skills" of how to survive in a world full of people, are just as important. Social skills, life skills, problem solving, and God forbid survival skills, are some of the most essential things needed for our future generations.
My heart hurts too many days now. When some don't want to bend, don't want to listen, and just don't want to acknowledge the "real" struggles and issues that human kind will always have. Neglect, abuse (physical and emotional), stress, learning disabilities, substance abuse, mental health disorders, etc. all are not going away while our world tries to grow, develop, compete, and achieve, for more of the excellence title.
We can't pretend it's ok. In my field of work, I continue to see these issue increasing. I'm in no way saying that kids can't handle things on their own anymore. I'm simply saying the issues at hand are growing because we are failing to acknowledge that the demand on us all as PEOPLE, as INDIVIDUALS, is overwhelming to keep up with.
I am working to cleanse my heart and mind tonight. Remembering that I can only do what I can with the resources I have, and thats the best I can do. I can't control what I have no control over.
Peace, Love, Laughter and Wine :-)
Social Work is one of those careers in which you can truly make a difference in people’s lives. As a school social worker, I act as a liaison between the school and students’ families, essentially bridging children’s personal lives and education to make sure their needs are being met. You can imagine how many students I wish I could just scoop up and take home! I always come home telling my husband about the stories of some of these kids and their families and how blessed I have been with the opportunity to help them. Because of the line of work I do, I often keep my personal spiritual beliefs to myself and never really discuss being Christian with students or colleagues. One, because I work in public schools where all religions should be respected and taught and two, because I want those I work with to know I will always respect them, and work with them regardless of an affiliation with a religion. But there are some things in life that just present themselves where I can't help but think it was the higher powers that be, that helped facilitate them.....
I spent the last couple weeks before my winter break gathering presents from donors, wishes from families, needs they would like for the holidays and truly playing a little elf. But all while doing this, I was trying to find housing for a student (who we will call Ryan) who was soon to be homeless. The apartment his mother and him shared, would no longer be available for them to stay in after that week. His mother wanted nothing but the best for him but was slowly realizing she could not keep a roof over their heads even working two jobs. As a mother myself now, I can not imagine being in her situation and the worry and stress over trying to make sure her baby was well cared for and had a place to come home to. I was emailing, and asking around of anyone who was willing to open their doors to this young man while his mother went to live with a friend in another state to get her feet back under her. You see, he was just a semester away from graduating from high school and his mother did not want to have to move him during this last crucial semester in his high school career.
I received an email from a fellow colleague wanting to know how he could help a family this holiday season. My initial thought was, really sir!? At this point project adopt a family was about finished. Only a few days left of school....but I never want to turn away someone who wants to give. How could I take advantage of the fact someone wanted to help? Well, I did have one situation I wanted to ask him about :) As this colleague came to see me about the options, I started laying them out and then said "or you could always take in Ryan?" He paused and then started asking me more questions about him. The situation, the background information, everything you could think of that you would start asking if you were going to take in someone to your house. While we were sitting in my office discussing this, I had a knock at the door. I told the person at the door to come in and deliver what they had for me. What this person gave me next was unreal, given the timing of everything that was going on. He was delivering a thank you note Ryan had wrote to me, as this was something the teacher asked his students to do for one person in the building before break. Of all the people Ryan knew (and he didn't even know me all that well), Ryan chose me. He knew I was fighting for him, advocating for him, and ultimately helping his family during this struggle. I looked at my colleague and I said "you won't believe this, this is a thank you note from Ryan for everything I have done for him". Right then and there, we both knew what needed to happen. My colleague picked up the phone and called his wife. Ryan ultimately now has a place to stay for the remainder of the year and has been given such great people to care for him during this time. Now tell me that ain't something someone from up stairs wasn't helping orchestrate.... :)
Peace, Love, Laughter and Wine