My mother was a single mom who never had the opportunity to move forward; she became dependent on the system for her support. I know that having to turn to the dole office when she had me and my sister was a basic survival move. Unfortunately, it appeared to me that being on the dole gradually robbed her of the motivation to be independent. She just lived within the parameters of that minimal existence for the rest of her life.
It seemed to me that my lot in life would be just getting pregnant and winding up on the dole when I was growing up. There just did not seem to be any other options when I looked around.
I remember doing things that fed my interests when I was in school. Candystriping at St.Clare's Hospital was so important to me. I worked as many days as they would have me; I carried trays to the patient's rooms. It was so good to be a volunteer there; it kept me out of the house. When I asked the Sister if I could bring my little sister with me she was good with that. So my little sister and I carried trays, brought drinks, and anything else that we were needed to do. We would get a free meal in return for our volunteer services. It would be a good meal and it felt good to work for that. It also helped me to build my work experience.
Why am I so apprehensive to give up working to retire? The work gives me such satisfaction; I love interacting with the patients and their families. I know how much it means to me each time there is a new diagnosis or syndrome to look up or research. I want to keep on learning.
The part of me that misses my little house, my flower beds, my life at the lake, and my friends at St. Joe's is making me wonder if it is my heart speaking...it is like being called home again.