Today I only ate part of my lunch, and that was at 3:00 in the afternoon.

Today I met a young mother who served in the U.S. Navy for four years and now lives below the federal poverty level. 

Every month she makes a donation to disabled veterans, while pursuing her Associates degree and surviving on less than a typical mortgage payment.

But today I didn’t return all of my voicemails.

I met a woman whose four-year-old autistic daughter just learned to speak.  She struggles to find the resources her daughter needs, but once she pays off some bills, she wants to start saving for her daughter’s college education, while pursuing her own.

There were a lot of items left unchecked on my to-do list today.

And I sat next to a single mother, who was one class shy of the minimum hourly requirement to keep her son’s childcare voucher.  She couldn’t pay for that extra summer class, but now she can’t afford childcare when her scholarship enables her to attend school full-time this fall.  If you push one domino, they all fall down.  Today I met the woman upon whom they fell.

I forgot about something I needed to do today.

But I met a young mother who will graduate with a nursing degree in May, little more than a year after losing her young daughter.  She’s behind on bills because the money she had started to set aside for her daughter’s college education didn’t cover all of her funeral expenses. 

Today I met four women I didn’t know yesterday.

And today much of my work was left undone. 

But I was reminded of why I do my work today.