She wouldn’t stop crying. I didn’t know why, but she wasn’t even able to talk, so I let her cry. I had other girls to take care of so she was left to calm herself down. Afterwards, coming up to me with her tear stained face, she asked if she could tell me why she was crying.

I said yes. Little did I know.

“Miss Britney, I’m afraid. My mother – she be on drugs. My grandma watches me and my brothers & sisters. If she dies, I won’t see them ever again.”

Not my many hours of training for working with inner city kids, not my many prayers to God, asking Him to help me with what lay in store, could have ever fully prepared me for what just came out of an 11 year old’s mouth.

“Dear Lord, what do I do?” The very breathe was sucked from my chest. I remained strong, for her, for the girls. I had to, for they were the broken ones. I had to dry their tears.

They eventually went back, back to their broken homes.

It was then that I never cried harder in my life.

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