Old before her time

Sometimes my job brings me into contact with some amazing people; people I would have never known about.

I met a young woman this month that completely amazed me. She will be seventeen tomorrow but she is much more mature than most adults. She is funny, smart and has a good attitude. She may be young and still has a lot of questions about life but she has a lot more answers than most kids her age.

From talking to her I found out that she has a job, goes to the alternative high school program so that she can work. She is living here with her mother and is an only child. Her parents recently divorced and it was nasty.

She pays half the rent and her own expenses with the wages from her job. The divorce left her mother financially and emotionally drained. This young woman is taking care of herself and her mom. Basically she is an adult even though legally she is still a minor.

She would like to get her GED but it requires her mothers signature to do so. It isn’t that this girl doesn’t want to go to school but right now she just wants to work. She has too much on her plate for someone so young. She just wants to only have one job (two if you count taking care of her mother) for a while, while she figures out what she wants to do with her life. Working and going to school is exhausting her. The irony is she needs the signature of the person she is taking care of to get her GED. I am not saying anything against her mother. Actually I feel sorry for what her mother has gone through, it sounds like it was a really bad divorce, they lost their house and had to move.

I also learned that tomorrow is this girl’s birthday. She has to work and doesn’t really have anything planned to celebrate it. She is still new to the area and doesn’t have many friends yet.

I am a firm believer that everyone should have cake for their birthday. I spent too many birthdays making my own damn cake. There were quite a few things about this girl’s story that reminded me of my childhood. I remember what it was like to not have anyone celebrate my birthday.

So tomorrow I am going to take her a cupcake. Everyone deserves cake on their birthday. This girl deserves a whole lot more but at least I can make sure she gets a birthday cake.

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13 thoughts on “Old before her time

  1. In many of your posts, I’ve sensed that you are trying, with none too disguised glee, to present yourself as a somewhat cynical . . . grumpy . . . curmudgeon. And in most cases, the people/issues/etc. you describe that bring these feelings/attitudes out in you are, quite honestly, things that I believe would bring these feelings/attitudes out in most of us ( oh yes, myself included! ).

    And then you post something like this, unflinchingly displaying the fact that, while there may certainly be some curmudgeon in your makeup, what you are, most of all, is a caring, considerate, loving person who, no matter what humanity may leave in its wake for you to step in, will never give up on it, and will never give up on trying to make this a more wonderful place for all of us.

    Know what? You have, and you do.

    • Ahh Richard I am cynical but it doesn’t make me uncompassionate. I am a realist so when I see a truly kind person I still recognize it.
      I have always had a dark sense of humor and I find it much easier to write from that side. The irony is even here I am still self editing, I have yet to let it completely loose. Being as there are people that know me for who I am in real life I may never but then again…..

  2. I really enjoyed reading this post. I am sure that young lady will be surprised and grateful that you thought of her on her birthday. (what a kind thing to do!) I hope there are more people in this world – just like you.

  3. When people are struggling hard to be strong, it’s really lovely when someone does something like make a cupcake – good on you! She sounds like she’s having a really hard time – but you’re a hero!

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