26 November 2012

Some Days It Breaks Your Heart

I am back to work after having almost two weeks of holiday.  It nearly feels as if I've never left.

Working in social services has it's ups and downs. It's challenging at best.  Today, I've had my heart broken twice.  It's only 3:30

While taking an appliance repairman upstairs, an elderly woman who lives here stepped off the elevator before us.  She's an ethereal beauty - a classic grandma-esque lady whose mind is starting to wander.  I watched as the repairman saw her, registered who she was, and saw his heart break into many tiny little pieces.

Just now, as "River" by Joni Mitchell (one of my faves) plays on the radio, a woman came to the front desk.  Looking closer at her, she has a new black eye and accompanying scratches.  It is clear that she is distressed and lost.  Lost as in "how did I get here?" versus "I have no idea where I am."

My role in this situation is always that of a guide.  "Have you called here? Did you do this? Here, try this".  With this poor soul, the lost feeling overwhelmed her and she began to cry.  This is where I just want to lie down for a while. 

I'm always tempted to give them whatever is handy...kleenex, bus tickets, chocolate, $5, a puppy. Whatever, something, anything, to make them feel just a little bit better.

Some days it breaks your heart.

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