Friday was a special day. I had the honor of giving the closing keynote at the Alabama Conference of Social Work in beautiful Orange Beach, Ala. My role and goal was to show my appreciation for conference attendees and to send them on their way happy, motivated and inspired to continue to do the great job they do of helping others.
I really wasn’t sure what I was going to write about this week, and then it happened—a special moment.
I was supposed to go down on Thursday night, since my session started at 10 o’clock in the morning; however, while it would’ve been nice to have been at the beach, I had more important issues that needed my attention. I had someone to take care of, which is exactly what social workers do every day.
Whether it’s children, the elderly, inmates or veterans, just to name a few, social workers play such a pivotal role in simply making lives better.
One of my lifelong friends is a social worker for the VA. He is a combat veteran, so he knows exactly what many of his patients have been through and can relate to them directly.
My counselor at the VA in is a social worker. I go see him every two to three weeks, and his counseling has helped me tremendously. He, like me, is a three-time war veteran, although my three tours pale in comparison to his. His three tours were in Vietnam. Mine were in Iraq, and I had Facebook on the last two.
So, I was aware of how social workers have impacted my life personally but I was in for a very special treat.
During my presentation I mentioned my father, who, as many of you know, was blind and passed away when I was eight years old. After my presentation, as many of the attendees were coming up to shake my hand, hug my neck and take pictures, one lady politely asked if my dad’s name was
When I said that it was, she told me she was his social worker the last couple of years of his life leading up to his untimely passing. She had nothing but good things to say about him and even mentioned how much he talked about his two boys. At that point, I needed a social worker-or at least a box of Kleenex. She’d even been to the old Fuller home place in rural
We talked for a while, took a photo together and gave each other a big old hug before parting ways. It sure was a special moment, and one that I never saw coming.
Every day isn’t going to be perfect, and every day isn’t going to be great, but every day has the potential for a special moment, so hang in there. Life is good. It’s special. It really is.
Jody Fuller is from Opelika. He is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com.