Last week at my internship, I met with a woman who had an overwhelmingly long list of challenges she was facing in her life. Over the course of an hour, she opened herself up to me and told me her worries - the biggest of which were financial. I listened, empathized, and told her I'd work on connecting her to resources that could help her. I followed up with her later that afternoon after she had met with the resource specialist, but didn't get to see her again after that, as they were discharged the next day.
Today when I returned to work, I found a note waiting for me. It was from this woman to the three of us with whom she had worked most closely, and the first few sentences really summed up why I do the work I do - because often I can make a difference - and every now and then (like today), I get the honor of knowing that I've made a difference:
"Getting to the point of having to ask for help at our age in such a humiliating and shameful feeling. Thank you for your grace and sense of ease in making the process feel slightly less embarassing than it really is."
No list today.