I work with the most amazing Guardian Reps in the world. They go above and beyond what is asked of them. They are the unsung heroes who wear invisible capes. They get little recognition. They deal with mental illness and the intricate hardships of placing difficult folks into housing and providing medical care. And this is just a small portion of their jobs.

Social work is one of the most challenging careers out there. It’s grueling and rewarding. I read their monthly reports and I’m constantly wooed and blown away at all these heroes do. Omgosh! Unless you live it you can’t believe it.

This is a job that is moved by pure humanness. Every single day. The good ones and the most atrocious ones.

One of the younger Guardians shared a story of pure compassion with me this afternoon (this is one of the best privileges of my position…they all come in and share tidbits of some ahhhmazing experiences).

“Millie, I went to the psych hospital and I sat with him. I took my hand and placed his in mine.”

I stood as he shared this story in front of me. My eyes swelled while knowing some of that man’s history.

“You held his hands? You touched his heart, you know!” I said to this gentle sweet coworker. He is wise beyond his years.

“Yes, and in his manic and erratic moment, cause he can’t hear and won’t wear his hearing aids, I just tried to keep my hand in his. I felt him. “ He continued to share the heartache of how long he’s been in there and so much more that swallowed me whole.

At that moment I felt my heart come undone. One thing is to be empathetic but another is to delete all judgment and take another soul into yours, especially one who is deeply mentally ill. Especially one who has no one. Especially one who is vulnerable. Especially one who has been broken beyond what society wants to fix.

We are appointed these folks because they are incompetent. Today, my coworker showed me another side of humanity. He does this a lot. All of the Guardians do. I am filled by their stories of struggles, hardship, joy and most of all…love.

Thank you. My only prayer today has been infinite whispers of “thank you’s” over and over echoing through the heavens. ~m.a.p.

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