I have just went through the most brutal meeting of my life. That is really saying something! I have advocated across the table for 21 years for my son Max. For the last 15 years that I have been my sister Kathy's guardian, I have taken providers, County, and State on and won! But I have never been through such a difficult meeting as I went through today. At this meeting for Kathy, the County and Provider were present. But the State, who is in charge of the financial decisions were an obvious absence. All present and making some of the decisions, have conceded and are in agreement that Kathy's health, and safety is at great risk with the cuts. But we all only get a form letter of denial from the State. This is the same State that 11 yrs ago agreed Kathy was very abused, mistreated and neglected in a State Institution that had caused her life long mental and physical illnesses to go along with her initial disabilities she was born with. The State helped to set up her current program, but with the financial trials of the budget, has now decided she can live with many others without constant supervision! Nothing has changed with her condition. She is the most vulnerable of our society.
I must add here, I am not oblivious of the necessary cuts that need to be made in our State. LL, has taken a pay cut, almost twice as many furlough days than the people who work under him. As a consequence, he makes less now than many of the people who he supervises and he does so without complaint. Although, we are not hurting as a family compared to so many others, we are making big sacrifices and are willing to make more. We can take it. Even if we were to lose our house and sell everything, LL and I are big believers in shared sacrifice. But not when it comes to risking the most vulnerable in society. Not when it comes to my sister losing all ground we have made in her mental and physical stability. THAT IS GOING TOOO FAR.
There is a rally in front of our state capital Wednesday morning. If my digestion allows, I will be there with the most personal sign I can think of.
I am tired. I am wiped out. Truly the most brutal sad meeting I have ever attended. And we are just beginning the fight. I have contacted an advocacy group and hope for the next meeting scheduled in two weeks, I have a not so nice lawyer by my side. A girl can hope!
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