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One day I stumbled upon a dream.
I had just moved to a new state in 2006 and had no idea how I was going to take living in a small town. I had raised my kids in San Diego and decided to live closer to my roots. The adventure began.

My mother being very independent at the age of eighty and still working full time gladly welcomed me "home". I had been working as a physician office trainer for several years and mom had the perfect job for me. She was working at an assisted living home and they needed a midnight person. I thankfully took the job offer. Working midnight hours was not my idea of perfect however, I needed the income.
I enjoyed my position. In the mornings I would help the residents get ready for their day of scheduled events, give them their medicine, breakfast, and go home and go to bed. The next day I'd do it all over again listening to the men talk too loud and the women complain about it The occasional arguments between them were all too entertaining. I felt a sence of accomplishment in my work. I enriched the lives of societies old old and oldest old who were clinging to life for whatever the reason. I made great relationships with some of the wisest people I've met. They had regrets though and I listened carefully as they shared how they wished that they could've lived closer to their dreams. It's been ten years my mother has passed and I am fifty years old now. They echos of those residents voices telling their stories of regret ring in my ears. "Live your life the way you want, not the way others want you to".

I tried to take this advise and use it, however, as the years passed mom retired and I became her caregiver full time and quit working in the nursing home field all together. I went back to college to get my BSW for I have a dream of making a difference in the lives of those kids like the little boy I found on the sidewalk years before. I dedicated myself to my mom and my studies but never lost sight of Madeline's place, for when the inspiration set in I had written on a post-it note "Madeline's". I stuck it on the wall above my desk. In times of despair I'd take it down and put it back up. I couldn't give up my dream. I had every reason to keep on dreaming. After all, if mom lived to be 87, I still had many years left to accomplish my goal.

to be continued ...

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