April 25, 2008


"What's up?" I ask. The pharmacy will not fill his client's meds until the following day. Does that sound right, he wonders. "Yep, sure does, Medicaid will not fill the script if it has been filled in the past 30 days." I tell him. He quickly picks up the conversation we had started earlier when we were both too busy to chat. He relates his client's most recent problems.

"She's a special girl, but no one sees that. People do not treat her right, it's just wrong!" he rants, I agree. I know the case, she is not easy, she's troubled and no one has ever called her "special", not in the way he means it. Teen years can be difficult for any child.....but what do you do when you've grown up in group homes, therapeutic homes or psychiatric lock-ups? You're different, you're strange, and you are constantly rejected by peers and adults. Many pieces are due to no fault of your own. You are truly lost in this world. What can ever lift you out of this place, is there any hope?

This case manager sounds tired and troubled about the girl. I tell him he should go home to his family, he tells me he will, but first he has to make a home visit. I imagine him eventually arriving home flopping on a bed, kids jumping on him, older ones with tales or problems of the day, little ones who just want his attention, and a pretty wife who thought she was marrying a "hot" athlete, not a underpaid social worker!

I hang up, still thinking about the girl. If she has just ONE PERSON in her life, JUST ONE, who sees inside her very dark world, just ONE PERSON who knows how she should be treated and treats her that way. JUST ONE PERSON who knows she's special and tells her so. That's all it will take to change this child's world, JUST ONE PERSON. She will still have problems but when you know someone who cares journeys with you, well, it does something to your heart. In some small way you know you are worthy of some things good and right.

But for now the young case manager is weary, disappointed, and tonight he is righteously angry. No matter what he does, it probably will not be enough, it never is. Judges will make unreasonable demands of him, some foster parents will fall short of giving the kids what they need, and some of his foster kids will not even make it in this hard world. But he will make a difference in the life of the girl he calls "Special" because he is the ONE PERSON for her. In years to come she will remember and believe maybe, just maybe, there are others like him or that maybe she, as remote as it seems today, will be that ONE PERSON for another.

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