I want to tell you a story.
A story about a woman, desperate to start over. The mistakes she made were relegated to the past, she attempted to make amends, and wanted nothing more than to move on and make a good, honest life for herself and her children. At times, it seemed an impossible crazy dream, but dreams have always been her specialty. One day, she found a place, a starting point to make those dreams a reality. All that stood in her way was money, or so it seemed. So she worked. Hard. She worked as many hours as she possibly could, and saved more carefully than ever before. When she wanted to quit, when exhaustion made her doubt her ability to ever achieve her goals, the cries of her children, begging her to get them out of the situation they were living in carried her on. It was a long, hard summer.
Finally, the woman was close, very close, to her dream. Two paychecks. That was all it would take. She found herself smiling more, singing. She began to pack. Her children started to believe that she was going to get them out, to a better place, and they began to dream as well. There was one child, not a child anymore, who grew afraid. She wanted to stay with her father, but didn’t want to see anyone else leave. So she stole her mother’s credit card number, and shared it with her father. In one afternoon, all the woman had worked for was gone. All of her dreams were ruined, and the devastation on her childrens’ faces hurt even more than the betrayal of the child she loved so dearly. She was left, trying to cling to rapidly disapating hope.
So what can she possibly do now? She can continue to work, and teach her children to never give up. She can envision her dreams, and tell her children stories of one day soon, and dry their tears. She can come back here, to this place, and ask for advice from the people that she admires and respects so much. Above all, she can never, ever give up.