So I left off at George’s launch into parenthood. Now let’s go to work and career. Again, pretty clear…not too hard…thanks, Nancy H., I did drop the ball on this story…

George had an amazing career. He was a serious, devoted, educated, thoughtful, extraordinary social worker. He worked in hospitals, neighborhoods, with coalitions, with sick and dying children, with sick and dying adults. He had a private practice that included struggling addicts, renowned CEO’s, young adults who needed support to keep growing up, adults who had been terribly mistreated as children, families, couples, blue and white collar people – people of all colors, ethnicities, sexual identities…Maybe everyone. George never hesitated to take a call from a client – to think very hard about what was best – to show up – to care – to really care – and to love his clients. George, who had grown up with so little love in his family, loved big. I lived with him for the last few years of his life – he lived and breathed his work – every day – every day. I wonder how this man who got so little – and suffered a fair amount early on – blossomed in so many ways. And gave so much…

The career was special – hard to encapsulate. For me it is partly embodied in the folders of letters – so many letters – from families of George’s dying AIDS patients. His palliative care patients. So so many of them. George cared about – took care of so many dying people – so many people died.

So many people also lived. George worked full time in private practice from 2000 to 2012. Some HIV positive clients…continued work with the gay community…but also so many people who defy grouping…who were George’s patients – I don’t even have the words to describe his practice. Because I’m overwhelmed…because there are not the right words…

For me George’s career is embodied in the grateful, kind, caring outreach that George’s clients have provided for me since his death. No gasps – no judgments please. I am a licensed Mental Health Counselor – like a Social Worker – I practiced for years. Nobody I have known or worked with practiced with George’s expertise, his devotion, his humanity. Nobody. He had real relationships with his clients. Real, healthy relationships. That’s what feeds all of us – real, healthy relationships – real, healthy relationships. Yeah.

Although I don’t feel like I have this quite right, I’m posting – someone will help me I hope – chime in – chime in…

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