Thursday, March 04, 2010


I got a rather surprising call from Ruanita this evening. I wasn't surprised that she called...she calls me at least a dozen times a day from home and from work. Rather, I was surprised at the reason for her call. After our usual banter about what the children did or said that drove us crazy, her voice became very quiet. She whispered, "Shhhh. Can you hear me?" Then she went on to explain. "I shouldn't talk about this at work, but I need to tell you something." Immediately, I panicked. My first thought was that she had been fired...there have been grumblings around her office for years now about downsizing and cutting programs. Oh God...she's the primary bread-winner! There is NO way we cold survive on my income. "Ok...I'm listening. Is it bad?" My immediate jump to the worst possible conclusion was as far off of the mark I could possibly have been. Ruanita had not been fired. Rather, she had been given a raise...AND she was given an additional (fairly hefty) bonus for outstanding work. She was in a bit of shock, to say the least.

I am so incredibly proud of Ruanita. She is such an amazing person and I feel so very lucky to have her in my life. She works for Cigna Behavioral Health, counseling people with depression over the phone. She has a set number of clients with which she has scheduled phone appointments. It's not a crisis line, but she does counsel some extremely sad people living through truly horrible situations. I could not talk to depressed people every day and manage to maintain my own sanity. However, Ruanita has found her calling. She is incredible at what she does. She employs the perfect combination of humor and compassion and professionalism. She is truly amazing. Beyond sheer talent for the counseling profession, she also has a work ethic that is amazing. She works her ass off. And she does it on minimal sleep after spending an entire day with the kids. For four years now, she has worked the worst possible schedule. I complain about being sleep-deprived and overworked and exhausted, but my schedule pales in comparison to Ruanita's. Ruanita gets up with the kids at 6:00am every morning, gets breakfast for everyone by herself, takes Lucas to school, and entertains the twins' all day. She then gets herself ready for work with children underfoot...not an easy task. As I get home, finished with my day, Ruanita heads out to work a full shift trying to help poor desolate people find some semblance of peace. She gets home at 11:00pm at night, too wired to fall asleep immediately. She then gets up and does it all over again the next day. In addition to the kids and work, she has a mother with Bipolar Disorder who absolutely pushes Ruanita to her wits' end. Through it all, she manages to be a better mother, partner, and employee than I am. I am truly in awe of her.

She deserves every penny of that raise and bonus. It thrills me that her employer is noticing the amazing work she does. It is not often that she gets the recognition she deserves. It is not often enough that I tell her just how utterly phenomenal I think she is. I am so very lucky to have made a life with her. And I am grateful for everything she does and everything she is.


Post a Comment