In our living room celebrating 22 years together. We are taking pictures. Lynne loves taking pictures. A glass of champagne… we have grown so much, side by side. Since we have known each other I got my LCSW, Lynne got her EDD. We share our lives. We have built lots of memories together. Travels we have done a lot together; we love the river boats. Vikings River Cruise’s prime members we are. Lynne still works hard. She coordinates a Research Project. She does teaching at UM as a faculty member. A couple of years ago, longitudinal study results from her research team were published. Fascinating findings. A must read. Lynne is part a National League of Lecturers, training the trainer to promote best practiced, quality parenting especially in early childhood. She works closely with the Juvenile Court. She participates in efforts to promote and replicate model court in other parts of the country.
Believe it, in our community, we still have cases of abuse or cases of severe neglects of newborns. They are at risk in the care of emotionally absent parents, hopeless, stolen by parental drug addiction. Often Dead-Alive. Parents that need help themselves. The percentage is high but even one is too many.
At the UM/Linda Ray Center, the newborns are guaranteed emotional security and at the minimum, a safe environment, a balanced nutrition, for five hours daily, five days a week. Lynne manages the Linda Ray Center, insuring that these newborns experience security, nurturing, consistency in human rapport, opportunities to develop secure attachments and group socialization skills. The concepts are a proven, tested model of early childhood education. Better yet the babies are mainstreamed later, at age three, into Head Start.
Lynne knows about some of the babies now contemplating college education. This is her reward; she has been part of their lives from the neo-natal period. Their educational success is vicariously hers. A long time awaited reward.
As for me, I retired in June 2013 , from Miami Dade County as a Project Manager. A social worker by heart and by trade, I was nominated Social Worker of the Year twice. Once I was selected…. and received a beautiful plaque, EE bonds and great peer recognition. My luck has been working alongside superb human beings. My colleagues at the time brought the best out of me. The project was defined as Family Builders. We actually helped resurrect some families. They just needed that little injection of hope. We walked clients through the family court system that had established guide-lines. We gave them a plan to follow, to retain parental rights. Treatment was court ordered. We saved some seriously at- risk newborns and their families. Here is where our two careers intersected.
Well, all that is behind the picture, and then some. Should I start talking about grand children. That’s another story.
By the way,nobody sent their congratulations for our anniversary.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Moment in Time.”