Such courage is seldom found as that in the heart of one standing in defiance of prevailing sentiments to defend the less fortunate. These brave souls are afforded no choice but to win. To lose is to prolong the suffering of a people who are afforded no other defense. To win is to open up an opportunity; to grant hope, to dole out the magic of chance. I know a soul who has devoted most of her life to such courage, and taken it upon herself to find chance for anyone willing to take hold of it. She has for 25 years worked to prove that public housing is not the terminal illness as it is so often portrayed in the oblivion of political rhetoric, but instead more like a row of pillows to soften the fall of someone destined to once again find their footing. And amazingly her arguments are not delivered in boisterous speeches with raised fists and anecdotes about the plight of little Johnny; her arguments are her will to do. She helps, literally helps, knows, loves and cares for the people that have been residents in the Cordele Housing Authority. She finds others like her and inspires them to believe that they can make a difference. She teaches and she learns and she becomes a part of the very community she has worked so hard to strengthen. All of this she does with all her heart, even though such social programs are seldom popular among the Cordele middle class. The dissenting voices are constantly replaying their favorite polemics, even family members have expressed their disapproval, but such spirit refuses to be quelled.
I will admit that my opinion is heavily biased since she is my mother, but I am not alone in my feelings. That was apparent on Thursday when many gathered to celebrate her 25th anniversary with the Cordele Housing Authority. They were the faces of the truly thankful. Among them was even little Johnny; though not so little after eight years in the Navy, he is still thankful that this circle of believers years ago gave him something few were willing to give him: a chance.
Thank you Mama, for doing what so few have the courage to do.