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A Happy Mother's Day Greeting from Social Services

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Arthur when he was 8 years old. For mothers they are always our children


Two women, Michelle Hammond, and Lynn Sears, accompanied by a sheriff, Deputy Kemmerling, drove up to the house in two white cars, one a patrol car and the other a government vehicle. They asked to see Arthur, my son. Arthur is 30, but disabled. Arthur had left to take a short constitutional after having lunch, he had then been gone for about 15 minutes. I told them he would be back shortly and went inside, leaving them to wait on the driveway.

The house is a cabin located in a small subdivision. Most of the cabins are occupied only on weekends as most owners only vacation here. We live here full time to save money and since Arthur needs full time care this is the only way I can provide that care and survive, and that just barely. I work from home doing free lance writing and an online radio show. The downturn in the economy has hit all of us.

I was informed that there had been an anonymous complaint regarding the care of my son. When I let them talk to Arthur out of my hearing I later learned from him that he was asked if I abused him. He was asked a series of questions that each served to demean me, prying into our personal lives in ways that clearly violate our rights. My son was asked if he used illegal drugs, among other evidently routine questions. It was manipulative, ignoring my son's Constitutional rights. This would have been true even if he was not severely disabled.

We are obviously being targeted. My son represents potential income to the system. Income that amounts to more than $400,000.00.

There was a time when being poor did not make you fair game to predators like the people from Social Services. That time is past. Having ascertained that Arthur is not abused; he was astonished at the suggestion, any legitimate inquiry should have ended. Instead they used intimidation as an opening wedge in an attempt to influence my son. Having listened to their blandishments Arthur told them that although he was sometimes lonely he preferred to stay with me. Arthur helps when and where he can; he knows families pull together. At that point they transferred their attention to me. Arthur had unwittingly thwarted their agenda.

There was a time when we all knew that the family was the center for our lives. Families stayed together, in good times and bad. Families were and are the kind of insurance that both protects and makes our lives whole. We are who we are because of our family; being a good mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter carried us along with our faith in God through things that otherwise would destroy us.

Refusing to tell either of us who might have filed such a charge they demanded answers to questions that no part of government has a right to know under the Constitution. Arthur and I have a happy and amicable relationship having passed through much pain and adjustment; he receives all the care I can afford and participates in every event and activity possible. Hearing his voice makes the hardships of the last ten years unimportant. He has his own computer and spends time on line. He attends church and goes to Bible Study once a week. I drive him to events when possible but attend few myself since it is costly and interferes with my work. At our small church I usually read the weekly lesson.

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Melinda Pillsbury-Foster is the author of GREED: The NeoConning of America and A Tour of Old Yosemite. The former is a novel about the lives of the NeoCons with a strong autobiographical component. The latter is a non-fiction book about her father (more...)
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