I started working for the county WAYYY back in 2000 and it was 2002 that I met Dusty. Actually, I was training her as she had just gotten hired and would be covering for me while I was on medical leave…my thoracotomy surgery where I would initially be diagnosed with fibrosing mediastinits.
And in 2002, who knew that Dusty would become one of my dearest friends to get me through sadness, health issues, frustration and just all of the overwhelming things in life. But we would also share so many joys…including the birth of our new babies only five days apart😍
A girl who showed up to do direct care…in high heels and done up nails! And me in my hoodie, blue jeans and tennis shoes…no sense of style🤓 But I guess friends are like spouses…opposites attract!
Dusty shortly got a new position with another agency, which of course didn’t take long with her education and job performance but eventually she ended up back working for the county as the lead case manager…a great one too!
It was Dusty who then advocated for me later on when my health began to decline and I was no longer able to do direct care due to the severe physical limitations I had developed from my illness…I had no stents yet and I was in bad shape!! Dusty got me my new office position as a social worker/transcriptionist, the job I am currently at today years later!
Once Dusty and I were back working side by side in the office, we began talking daily…well minus a “rookie” mistake I made causing her not to talk to me for three days! Haha! 😳 It didn’t take long though for us to get back to calling each other every day…when our husbands are not around because after four phone calls within a few hours, Tim often asks how I possibly have that much new stuff to talk to her about! 🙃 Cmon!!! We are women with children, a husband and a frustrating job at times…if we don’t talk at least once a day we have to take notes just to make sure we remember to tell each other everything we wanted to say the next time we visit.😉
Dusty is the one mentioned in my book because while we are total opposites in a lot of things, the one thing we do have in common is the love for our kids, our husband, our family. Dusty was just coming in to my life when I was diagnosed with an illness I knew so little about…an illness that would continue to slowly take over my life…at least if I allowed it to….and back then I did exactly that…I let the despair and fear swallow me up.
So, Dusty is one of the few who has seen me at my worst…and at my best…but luckily she is extremely blunt enough to tell me how it is…something I need to hear at times to help regain my focus and get me back on track! We have both matured and come a long way over the years!!😬
And then Jenni comes on board in 2008! Another case manager and one of the sweetest and most sincere women you will ever know. Definitely a free spirit who loves to have fun and smile…not to mention potlucks😃 Also a wife and a mother so someone else to relate to in our office especially when it comes to understanding priorities 😉
Dusty and Jenni have both had their shares of heartache and health issues as well, whether it be themselves or their precious girls, yet they always have time to listen to me and while so many people ask me how I do it? How can I deal with so much? I often ask myself the same thing about these two women. The struggles, the unknowing and uncertainty in situations about their lives that break my heart while listening to them confide in me…yet they are both able to push forward with a great attitude and an honest heart! The strength they exhibit is inspiring!
Life is what we make of it and I am happy to be surrounded by these two women who make the most of it!!
Now, both Dusty and Jenni have made career changes so today was their last day! It was hard seeing them walk out and seeing the empty office space…the office won’t be the same. But hey, I have quite a few new job responsibilities now which means I get that big office😉 While I am sad for myself, I am happy for them! I am confident they made the right decision and will be praying for both of them as they begin this next chapter in their lives!
But really? Both of you had to leave me? On the same day?😩
Bremer County is losing out on two of the most honest, caring and compassionate employees they could possibly have. Not only have these girls touched my heart, they have advocated and touched the hearts of all those we serve as well!
Thank you Dusty and Jenni for all of your support, encouragement, love, patience and laughter you have shared with me over the years!! I am blessed to have coworkers who turned in to amazing friendships!!! 😭😍😂 And monthly lunches are a must!!