Mom sat on the couch with her eyes averted. She had just walked through the house to see where her boys would be sleeping, eating, playing, taking a bath and brushing their teeth. She had just met the women who would be taking care of them and now she was filling out forms that would tell these ladies about her children.
She looked at the survey that asked questions about some of the problems she might be having. She wasn’t sure if she should answer yes or no to the questions. She didn’t want to get in trouble for admitting she had problems and she didn’t want anyone to think she was a bad mom. Even worse, she didn’t want anyone to take her children away from her just because she needed help.
The lady who came with Mom helped her answer some of the questions. Mom wanted to make sure she got them right. The lady assured Mom that asking for help was a good thing because it meant she recognized that she needed help and had asked for help before she made a choice that might be bad for her children. Mom hesitated and then nodded her head in agreement.
Mom talked about some of the problems she had: caring for children with special needs, moving into a new home, struggling in a relationship, having no one to support her, dealing with her own health issues. As she talked it seemed that the sharing helped her feel a little better, but at the same time, her list of troubles explained why she kept saying, “I am just overwhelmed.”
Mom was glad to get help. But she knew it was going to be difficult to get rid of her feelings in just a few days. Mom made plans with Sr. Mary and the lady who brought her to Blessing House to begin to look at some of the issues she was dealing with. All three knew it was not going to be easy, but they knew that the hardest step, making the decision to come to Blessing House, had already been taken.
We have all said at some time that we were overwhelmed. We have all had plates that were too full, family issues that seemed unsolvable and financial troubles that threatened to pull us under. Some of us are fortunate to have resources in place to pull us through our difficult moments. But others of us are not quite as fortunate. We need help but cannot always find what we need. We need encouragement, but we don’t know anyone who can give it. We need spiritual strength, but lack the faith to believe that hope might be available to us.
Calls come in every day from these moms who are trying. They begin each day hoping it will be different from the one before. They hope that maybe they will find a job or that their children’s father will drop off a pack of diapers for them. They hope that they have enough gas to get to the food pantry and enough minutes on their phone to call their landlord to say they will have the rest of the rent money soon. They hope they will feel like playing with their children instead of crawling into bed and sleeping all day. They hope they will smile and laugh and not feel so . . . .
After Sr. Mary had finished all of the paperwork, Mom walked a little taller as she walked out the door.
She said she would call later to check on her children.
She said, “Thank you.”
And then she was gone.
Maybe tomorrow will be a little better after all.