But today, I am traveling to Tacoma, a city about an hour away from Seattle, while on my day off to participate in a State-wide Task Force regarding the training and implementation of a recent legislative law that directly impacts my job. I volunteered for this assignment...because I so strongly BELIEVE in the legislative intent.
You see, in 2004, a colleague of mine was killed in the line of duty...the very same duty I perform day in and day out on my job. The duty of assisting the mentally ill. The task of "keeping the mental health peace" and making legal decisions about individual dangerousness as it relates to their mental illnesses. The duty of providing, watching over, and advocating for one of the most vulnerable populations of our society. The DUTY of human services.
I did not personally know the colleague and man who was stabbed to death while providing assessment and service in 2004, but we shared the same job title and role in a different part of the state. I attended his funeral service along with many other colleagues from across the state...it was incredibly moving and such a celebration of his life and work. I left that memorial service with a conviction to do what I could in the strongest ways I could to safeguard against the tragedy of such a death again...I left that service KNOWING, but for the grace of God go I.
As in any political arena, there are agendas...some blatant and many hidden. I am about to enter one with an entire state impact, which may be a mix of chaotic agenda and politics. But as I sit here this morning at my computer remembering the man who's death and circumstances caused these political wheels to churn, I am solidly clear of my AGENDA. Life is fragile...in ANY circumstance...and we MUST nurture IT and handle IT with the fragility of a snowflake while it is still ours to admire and touch.
"Marty. Your LIFE and your WORK will never be forgotten."