Temporary Home

Based on the song by Carrie Underwood

My name is Hillary Blake. I am 24 years old and work as a social worker in the busiest city in the world. My main focus is family and child services and I am lucky enough to only have two open cases.

My afternoon is one that I never know the outcome to. Sometimes it upsets me and other time it makes me feel really good inside. Joseph is a little boy that I have been watching for the past two years. When he was first brought to me he was a loud, upbeat four year old who couldn't sit still and had just lost both of his parents. Two years later that boy has completely disappeared. After being bounced from foster home to foster home I'm not surprised because I am sure that I would be doing the exact thing that he has done. Picking up my briefcase and leaving the office, I hailed a cab. Driving down the crowded streets I am so glad that it isn't rush hour, knowing that if it was it would take me half the day to get across town. I stopped and waited just outside the old building that young minds congregate to learn in. Joseph smiled brightly as he skipped up to me. This was the one thing that had stayed consistent with Joseph. Every second Thursday I have to pick him up from school and see how he is settling into his new home and school. Unfortunately he does move schools and homes a lot.

"Hi Miss Blake," Joseph chirps, and to be honest this is the happiest I've seen him lately. I smile back and ask him how he's been as we get ice cream and sit down on a bench in the park.
"I've been good," he replies and it's easy to tell that he's lying.
"You're lying to me," I say to him and he nods, "So how are you really? Are you settling in, making friends?"
"Why? This is my temporary home. It's not where I belong," Joseph replied. We stood and made our way back to his new home.
"Joseph, it will get better," I said to him as he ran into the house.

The next day is a day that I feel really good about and I hope after today that my visits with this family will be the last mandatory visit. Elizabeth Mallory is a 22 year old woman with a six year old daughter. Elizabeth would do anything to provide for her little girl, even if that means turning to something illegal. Elizabeth turned to drug dealing so she could afford to raise her daughter. This unfortunately turned ugly and Elizabeth almost lost her life and daughter. Walking into the café that she requested I meet her in I can already tell things have changed. Elizabeth smiles and hugs me, we order coffee and she starts to tell me about changes. They are still living in a halfway house and Elizabeth has just been given a job, a legal one this time.
When I ask how she feels about living in a halfway house she replies, "They're just windows and rooms that we're passing through." I nod at that and hug her again before I leave.

It is such a beautiful day that I decide to walk back to my office. When I'm about halfway there my phone rings and the caller I.D says "Mum".
"Hi Mum," I sing into the phone.
"Hillary, where are you?" She asks and it's easy to tell that she's been crying.
"I'm in my office," It's only half a lie, "Why?"
"Your grandfather's sick, they're telling us that he only has a couple of hours," she replies.
"I'm on my way," I answer with tears catching in my throat.

I run all the way to the hospital and see my whole family waiting outside a hospital room. My mum hugs me and whispers in my ear, "He's waiting for you." I walk into the room with tears streaming down my cheeks.
"Hi. Thanks for waiting for me," I whisper as I walk in and hug him.
"I wouldn't leave without saying goodbye to you," He replied.
"Thank you," I can feel the tears down my face, "Are you scared?"
"Not at all. I'm going somewhere better; this was just a stop on the way to where I'm going." He says to me in his wise old voice but it's not the same.
"I love you," I say to him, choking a little.
"I love you too," He replies to me and those are the last words my grandfather says to anyone.

"I'm not afraid because I know, this was my temporary home." The last line my great grandmother uttered to my grandfather before she died and he never let me forget it. The earth was just our temporary home and there is always something on the outside for us. No matter how bad things get there is always a silver lining beneath the clouds.