- A young woman, seven months pregnant and has yet to see a doctor. She notices my screen saver, “Girls are not for sale, ” and says “they need to stop advertising girls then.” When I asked her if she was in “the life” she said she was briefly at the age of 17, her pimp was 40. He would have men come down to the basement………. that’s all she wanted to say. After we got her set up with Medicaid, she asked me if we have DV (domestic violence) advocates. She said she needed a safe place to stay for her and her daughter. Tears came to her eyes. I quickly made a referral to the county DV advocate program and gave her the phone number to the DV crisis line.
- A 27 year old man recently released from prison. Because he was on disability and Medicare before he went to prison he has to go through all the red tape to get it turned back on. Its lengthy and it confusing. We are on a time line because he has mental health meds to refill and he only has a couple days left of the 30 day supply he received from the prison. My colleague and I take him to the local Aging, Disability and Veterans Services office and sit with him for an hour as we wait for the worker to get the paperwork started for his medical benefits. I am glad we went with him, he is impatient, short-fused, somewhat delusional and every other word is fuck.
- A 75 year grandmother who’s granddaughter died of the flu in December. Her husband has dementia and she takes care of him full time while her 50 year old recently released from prison son lives with her. If this isn’t enough she is now taking on guardianship of her great grandchildren 11 and 12. The strength of this woman who is barely five feet tall and maybe 110 pounds is amazing.
- She just got a temp job but unfortunately because she makes over the income eligibility limit for Medicaid ($1396 a month before taxes) she loses it at the end of the month. Meanwhile, she is having medical issues and finds out she needs surgery the following month with a two to six week recovery time. She has to have it but who it going to pay for it? She won’t have insurance next month.
This is a small sample of the clients I worked with within one week. They are are on parole or probation (except the grandmother, it was her granddaughter that passed that was on probation). You might have your own idea of what a parolee looks like. Some have done some really horrible things but the reality is the majority are victims of their trauma-filled childhoods. I have been working in this field a long time, it can be sad and emotionally draining. But I am lucky, I get to help them with the good stuff and see successes, here’s what I know:
- I saw her the other day and she told me she has a doctor’s appointment for next week.
- We were able to get him another 30 day supply of his mental health meds. He went to his appointment with Social Security to get his benefits going again.
- Her great grandchildren are doing well and have full medical coverage.
- We got Medicaid to cover for another month so she can have her surgery.
And this why I am still at it
I saw this video last week and knew I would be posting it when the next shooting happened. I just didn’t think it would happen this soon. How much more can we take? How many more children’s lives do we have to lose?
Reblogged from braveandrecklessblog.
Thank you for being my pilates role model!
Have you seen the movie Hidden Figures? The first time I saw it was after I marched in the Women’s March in 2017. I walked away from the theater thinking I cannot believe we are just now hearing about these incredible women. It made me angry. In school we were taught that John Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth in 1962 but we were not taught that the only reason he was able to return to Earth was because of an African American woman mathematician named Katherine Johnson. Ms. Johnson recalculated the landing coordinates after the IBM computer miscalculated them AND THEN when the space capsule had a heat shield problem and was close to imploding her suggestion for the fix proved correct and John Glenn returned to Earth alive and the space shuttle in tact.
I have since watched this movie again several times and every time, I still shake my head in disbelief. In honor of the MeToo movement, the TimesUp movement, the Women’s March and Black History Month here are a few other incredible women that have made an impact on this world despite facing deep rooted racism, sexism and stereotypes.
Madam CJ Walker(1867-1919)– One of the first American woman to become a self-made millionaire. She invented a line of hair products for African American women in 1905.
Dorothy Vaughan(1910-2008)-An African American mathematician and human computer who worked for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, and NASA, at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
Maggie Lena Walker(1864-1934)-The first black woman to form a bank, and the first woman of any race to be a bank president in the U.S.
Septima Clark(1898-1987)-An educator and an activist who laid important groundwork for voting rights among black citizens, used literacy as her chosen weapon in the fight for civil rights.
Bessie Coleman(1898-1926)-In the face of poverty and discrimination beat all odds and became the first African American female pilot in the United States. Despite issues of racism and sexism, Coleman graduated with an international pilot’s license and went on to become a wildly popular aviatrix drawing thousands of people to her air shows.
There are so many others. It’s time we know and educate ourselves on the hidden figures that made history but are not in our history books.
Ibotta (eye-bought-uh). Ever heard of it? It’s an app that saves you a little money. My friend told me about it a few months ago and just recently I decided to give it a try. It kinda works like Ebates. You go on to the app and check the items on their list that you normally buy. The items are listed under specific stores; Target, WalMart, Winco, Whole Foods, Cost Plus, Fred Meyer, Trader Joe’s, Costco, Dollar Tree, Amazon and tons of others!
What I like about it is it’s super easy. After going grocery shopping I just go to the app, hit the redeem button and take a picture of the receipt. The app identifies the items from your list that are on the receipt and credits your Ibotta account. For instance today I bought two 24 oz. yogurts, some cream cheese and some sour cream. My Ibotta account was credited $3.75. You can redeem your credit once it hits $20. I am still new to this but I think when you redeem you can get cash through Pay Pal or things like gift cards to a movie theater.
The Ibotta app is like using coupons without having to cut, save and organize. It’s also free! For me, the app is just kinda a fun thing to do to see how quickly the credit adds up. I also noticed you will want to check it every week or so because they add different items that you might want to check.
Check it out! Just sharing.
Bear with me…
Apparently May was my month, both of my children were born in January. Two years and two days apart. This past week they celebrated their birthdays and for me as their mother they were particularly significant. My older son turned 21 and my younger son turned 19. For the last couple of weeks as their birthdays approached, I thought a lot about their childhoods, so many times I wish I could turn back the clock temporarily to have them small again. When they are young you look forward to the day when they are more independent, when you don’t have to pay for a babysitter, when you can finally have some peace and quiet for an hour or two. But now, now I wish I could go back to those days. To appreciate those days more because before you know it, your kids are 21 and 19.
So now, I treasure the time my kids are at home, just hanging out. I try to plan Sunday dinners and vacations to be able to spend time with them. Now, if they ask me if I can make them a sandwich, I say for sure! I still ask them what they want from the grocery store and make sure there is food at the house they like. But the best? The best is when they ASK ME if I want to hang out with them. Yes!!
This kids growing up thing is hard for a mom. It will never matter how old my kids are, I will always worry, always be too much in their business and will always find reasons for us to spend time together.
In 1999 one of my best friends sent me the email below. At the time I was the mother of a 2 1/2 year old and a six month old. I have kept the email all of these years and at times have given it to new moms. If you are a mom, bring out the tissue. Copy and paste the link below to a new tab. Just sharing.