Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Going "Home"

On Monday, I went to Douglas to attend a rosary and funeral.  One of the wonderful board members I worked with in Douglas, lost her 21 year old son.  She means the world to me and I wanted her to know  that by going to the services.     She was so supportive of me during some difficult times and she has become a good friend.   I love her and sometimes the only thing you can do for some one is to be there for them.   And Patty was there for me during some very difficult times with a few very unreasonable people.     Fortunately it was only a few and they had their own set of  issues that are very sad.    I will always remember what Michele Obama said in many of her speeches..."when they go low, we go high!"     I so agree with this because no one wins when you "wallow in the mud" with people who are just plain mean.     And the other sad part of this, is that often people with agendas who have things in their past which are nothing to be proud of.  Over the last 18 months, I have met with so many people from Douglas who have ugly stories about some of these people and what they did to them.     But as my cousin, Cecilia, says, "what goes around comes around."  So I can only say that a few very pathetic people who need attention for the wrong reasons try to interfere in what is right for kids.   But they have to live with their choices and they will have to answer to a higher power someday for the many abuses  to children and the community that they have done through the years. 

With that being said, my trip to Douglas was so therapeutic   for me.    I had worried about going down to the house knowing that Teresa will probably never be able to go back again.    The sad and good part is that she doesn't realize it.  I was just worried about how I would deal with it.   Teresa gave everything to the community with her generosity and kindness.   After she retired from the City of Douglas after 44 years, she started her own business.   She had a couple of paying clients, but nothing compared to the work she did.    Until she turned 80, she did the books and PAYROLL every two weeks for the Douglas Area Retarded Citizens, Loretto School, St. Vincent de Paul and for the Catholic parishes.  She has a few other clients who paid her a bit, but most of what she did was because she wanted to do it.  It tied her down as the payroll for most had to be done very two weeks.   Just after my mom died, we "made" her quit.   It was hard.

When I went to Douglas in 2010, it was to give her a few more years down there.  Plus it gave me an opportunity to give back to my community.    The last two times I have been there, I have met with teachers, administrators, board members, and parents who have been extremely supportive of me and who feel that a few people did everything they could to try to make me unsuccessful.   But I know that wasn't true, because there was never a time when I didn't do what I thought was best for our kiddos.   And the kids in Douglas deserve the same education as the kids in Gilbert.  It is not a level playing field and people who want to criticize need to focus on the state level, not the local level.   But it is much easier to try to be a "big fish in a little pond," then it is to really try to advocate for what is right for the kids!!

Teresa did not deserve to have what happened to me as being the driving force in why she had to leave Douglas.   And I know that my conscience if ABSOLUTELY clear!   The few mean spirited people have to live with their actions and their total disregard for the children.   And in some cases, disregard is a kind word for the way children were treated.    

I was so fortunate to have incredible board members  through the years who understood and wanted what was best.   Thank you Susan Kramer, Patty Lopez, Mario Ramos, Chuck Hoyack, and Mike Ortega.    I always appreciated our dialogs when we didn't agree and the respect that I always felt.  

So my time in Douglas was amazing and I will be back soon.   I loved connecting to so many great people and I loved my visit to the District Office with the wonderful employees who I know supported me and who I will always value.  

Even though going down was under difficult circumstances , it was very healing for me.  I loved being there and love so many wonderful people in Douglas who deserve the very best there is.

And my puggies love 858!!


 


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