- On Friday December 31st, I bid Social Services a fond
adieu and embarked upon a new career....or, more accurately, no career.
Both natural and unatural disasters have reinforced my awareness of the
fragility of this planet. The Tsunami was a wake up call.......but everyday
there are many, many more. Too often they are drowned out by the noise
of our daily lives. And though, I am not positioned at my piano singing
"The Eve of Destruction" I am, I believe, a voice of reality,
crashing against the wave of my own mortality. Whatever time I have left
- My incarnation as a Caseworker was not without reward.
The lives I touched and the people whose lives touched me will go with
me in memory.....forever. The knowledge that I was able help an occasional
person.....to make an occasional life a bit better for my having been in
it.....was the pearl of great price. It helped to balance the ever present
The job of the Caseworker is challenging. I worked with families but I
did not live with them. There was only so much that I could accomplish
within the constraints of time. Anyone who has read a newspaper is well
aware that when things go wrong, it is the Caseworker who is blamed. In
the past, headlines have screamed about Caseworkers being "guilty"
of missing signs and symptoms of family dysfunction leading to such dire
consequences as abuse and, in the worst case scenario, death. Remember
- Several years ago, a baby died in a family with whom
I was working. The cause of death was ruled SIDS....and it occurred in
the middle of the night. No Caseworker could have prevented it.. .....no
finger of blame was pointed. However, the image of that beautiful angel
in her casket is etched into the mosaic of my memory. It goes with me as
I leave my job.
Helping others is an unwritten mission statement on planet Earth. The planet
is in serious need and one does not have to be a Caseworker to respond.
It only takes open eyes and an open heart. And yet, too often, we are self
absorbed.... consumed by our own story lines. Too often we are seduced
by our private dramas and distracted by the voices in our heads. Too often
we are so busy saving for our personal "rainy days" that we have
nothing to give to others.
The last day at work was, for the most part, like any other day. And then,
at the close of that day, I passed my cases to my coworkers and had one
last celebration with them. We hugged and I set out on the ride home one
final time. The landscape was changing......but I was not.
"We make a living by what we get and we make a life by what we give"
- Winston Churchill
Copyright 2004 Judy Andreas