Can you name an Unsung Hero in your life? Or can you be one?

Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.” ~ Albert Camus

Inspired by the incredible people who helped to put on the March of Dimes event that we participated in on Monday night, it calls to light the concept of unsung heros.  There are so many around us everyday. People who give their time and energy to others whether through their profession or through the gift of their time. The jobs of these folks are often less than glamorous and often unpredictable.  Service has been part of our family in that my dad was a Police Officer for 30 years.  So while you may not like to come across him when he was giving you a ticket, you were sure as heck happy to see him if there was a break in in your home or broken down by the side of the road.  For his family and those around him, his career brought both pride and fear, for you never quite knew what might happen.  My mom currently works for Social Security and she too is much like a case worker for many folks who are going through a difficult time in their lives.  There are others around me that I watch as they tirelessly volunteer for a cause that is near and dear to their heart.  Whether it’s Cancer based on a loved one who has been afflicted, pediatric complications or one of my dear friends who started a charity collecting used cocktail and formal dresses for the underprivledged youth in her community so that they might attend their school function with the sense of beauty and pride that we all deserve but seems to be that much easier to find when we have something on that we feel good about.

Today’s post I want to feature an unsung hero who was recently qualified as such by a woman in her community, my sister D.  A couple of weeks ago, D sent me this link to a blog of one of the parents that she works with in her community.  In addition to being a loving person with a sparkly laugh a wonderful husband and mother of 2 fabulous children, she is a  juvenile probation officer.  For me, she is my best friend who just listens when I need her to or gives me advice at just the right time.  Although I wasn’t always so sure about her:

Um, Mama, how long do you plan on keeping her?

Eventually I did come around:

Ok, you are kind of cute

But I established early on that I was the boss:

Listen missy, I was here first....

But as we grew older, and then ultimately grew up it has become about respect, love and friendship.  So, 2 weeks ago when D, sent me this link to a post written about her by a local mom with a troubled teen, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of pride. I always knew D was amazing at her job, she actually volunteered to “get maced in her face” for purposes of her training, but the stories that she would share with me always gave me great levity and perspective whenever I was having a stressful day in the entertainment business (read, a Producer on a hit TV show telling me they did not want to do the advertiser integration deal that they were contractually obligated to do, see, serious stuff).  I remember one day, before I was pregnant with the minis and D was pregnant with my niece.  I called her because I had been having a rough week.  She allowed me to ramble on about work, trying to get pregnant, blah blah blah, and then I asked her how she was.

In all seriousness, she said, I doing pretty good, but today was a little rough.  A kid spit in my face and then tried to attack me.  What!!!???? Yes, a troubled teenager spit in my pregnant sisters face and then tried to attack her.  Obviously, on that day, my saving the world one advertiser integration deal at a time seemed small and silly.  This is just one of many stories that my sister can tell of the so many children and families that she works with on a daily basis.  She doesn’t get huge bonuses, or raises and noone does a press release about her various accomplishments of counseling these families, but she does it with love and pride and finally on this day, one of the parents who happens to have a platform recognized and acknowledged her.  It was amazing.

Here is an except from the blog:

“Unsung Heros of Bucks County:

Posted: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 11:50 am | Updated: 12:56 pm, Wed Sep 7, 2011.

By Jenn Smith | 0 comments

You may have read some of my previous blog posts with information for parents of troubled teens regarding where to seek help in Bucks County. You may also have read about some of the struggles I’ve had trying to get connected with some of these agencies.  In this blog post I’d like to call out, by name, some of the unsung heroes helping troubled youth in Bucks County and publically thank them from the bottom of my heart for the amazing work they do each day.

Denae Sweeny of Bucks County Juvenile Probation, thank you!  Thank you for being strong when parents aren’t.  Thank you for opening doors when they seem closed.  Thank you for not judging when others do.  Thank you for missing time with your own family to help other families in need.  Thank you for your acute ability to recognize B.S. and call it exactly what it is.  Thank you for never giving up.  Thank you for being you.”

How great  is that?

So today, think about any unsung heros in your life and acknowledge them.  They are exactly that, unsung meanwhile they often deserve a Pavarotti style performance.  Their generosity toward the future comes from their giving in the present.  And of course if you are so inspired, find a small something you can do to give back.  Join a walk, volunteer in a soup kitchen or rescue shelter.  Clean up garbage in your park.  You may not hear a choir of angels sing above you but you will feel a little light in your heart which will possibly affect others as well, which can make all the difference.

D, I love you my sister.  I am so proud of you, and often you have been the one that has helped make that day ‘mynewfavoriteday.’ I hope today is ‘yournewfavoriteday’.  I love you and congratulations, I will sing some Dionne Warwick for you now:)

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