(Safe Place – Kristene DiMarco)
I am more of a Caribou girl (especially because Caribou has a zillion more choices for caffeine free drinks), but I went to Starbucks today and got a Pokemon Go Frappuccino. The girls working there didn’t know exactly how to make it, but I showed them the picture on the menu on the website and they made something up that at least looked mostly like the picture. Sugar works pretty well usually to dull emotional pain for a while. Plus I was proud of myself for using my big girl words to ask for what I really wanted.
There are a lot of things that are really really hard about everything going on in my life right now. Here are two of the things on my heart today as things that I am having to leave now that I have accepted a full time job away from the home in which I’ve lived since second grade.
First, I will be spending a LOT less time at the hospital at which I have worked since 2009. (I’ll find out tomorrow if I can stay at all). Besides how so many people there are my friends, I was really proud to work there. The organization has some really amazing caring people who do incredible things for kids and their families. I haven’t ever experienced another facility with the same level of care for and about each other. In fact, I’ve asked questions at interviews in which I didn’t get to experience interactions and had people respond as if I was crazy to think that an employee would stop to make a patient or family feel welcome and important or that there might be deep partnership and/or respect between employees in disparate departments. A couple weeks ago I was having a day where not a single person had insurance already in our system, and I’d had multiple frustrating conversations with insurance companies when I had found the information and discovered that the insurance company wasn’t covering the medication for a stupid reason that I couldn’t get them to change…and a foster parent came in with the children she was fostering without any insurance cards and medications that I knew we should absolutely not “pend” despite the pharmacist I was working with pressuring me to do it to get them out the door faster. Getting people out the door is not a reason to pend medications. I figured out what insurance company their coverage was through and called to get the information to get their medications covered. The mom was so thankful to get the medications covered, and I offered to give her the insurance information in case he needed it for another pharmacy before she could find the kids’ cards. She was almost crying happy tears when she told me that this was the reason she came to this pharmacy – “because you guys always go above and beyond to help us.” People recognizing how hard we are working to provide excellent care more than makes up for all the rude and entitled people that I also serve. I love being a part of an organization that provides care that meets more than just the basic physical needs.
Second, I will probs be leaving the church that I have been at since August 10, 2008. It is more than just holding little babies. I did absolutely love holding a 2 month old for a good part of the morning today while watching and managing a room of other kids of varying ages, and I could totally get used to doing that all day every day, but holding babies isn’t the whole reason I am there. It is about pouring into the lives of kids (including infants) and their families/parents. It is awesome to have found an area to use my leadership skills and childcare skills. Sure, that was one of the things I did at my old church, but this being a bigger church, there are more opportunities. I want to protect the privacy of the kids and families lives I am involved with, so I can’t share too much detail about any situation, but working with kids for a long time I have been involved in a lot of really difficult situations and had a lot of kids who really needed some extra love. Although there are a lot of them, it never becomes less heartbreaking to hear a crying preschooler confide why she didn’t come with her parents. It is one of those things you never want to hear but at the same time really want to hear if the kid needs to talk. It is a huge honor for a kid to open up, and to give kids in these situations a safe comforting place where it is okay to be sad and scared. Not going to lie, for some of these kids finding out whether directly from the kid or indirectly from a guardian definitely explains the behavior I am dealing with, but when you work with kids you pretty much have to have a thick enough skin to understand that most if not all little people are not trying to be difficult and are not trying to be disobedient. Their behavior usually has a pretty clear origin if you can find out (even infants though it is going to need to be a guardian telling you since they can’t use words yet). There are so many little kiddos stories that I hold in my heart. I wish I could make it okay. I wish we lived in a world where every child could grow up with their loving bio mom and dad.
I guess this should probably make me realize that the things that I am grieving are so stupid compared to the things some of these kids are facing, but while I can hold these kids’ stories in my heart and I can sit with these kids, it doesn’t really take away my personal pain. Sure, I am distracted from my own pain while holding their pain, but that isn’t the same as my pain going away…