My Most Vivid Memory of 2016: Mothers

The most vivid memories I have from my past year at the QCFE are the mothers.

Many mothers, from many parts of my borough, representing various cultures, speaking several different languages, but all calling to tell me that their son or daughter has a gambling problem. In many of these cases I can vividly remember the outline of the call, the stress cracking their voice as they tried to explain, the distressing sound of tears muffling their words as they pleaded “…can you please help them?”

Those acquainted with struggles of problem gamblers know that they are typically characterized by isolated sadness, the chasing of loss and tragic conclusions. So, as you would likely expect, these things are never easy to hear, but are particularly challenging when heard from the mouth of a mother, challenging to become intimate with such personal pain and hear the fear, frustration, exasperation and suffering in a mother’s voice.

In short, those days can be “difficult”.

And yet, as you might also expect or even predict, those cases and those days can also be deeply rewarding. The reward I refer to is the simple but empowering pleasure of being able to help, the inescapably personal reward we experience when we are able to transition from an appreciated sympathy or a profound empathy, to practical help and positive solution. And this is what we do, through a team of caring professionals and a network of concerned community partners, we are able to help.

We are able to help and, when remembered with humility, it is an honor. 

And as I reflect and write about this honor I recognize another reward, not as obvious, but closely related, equally emotional and just as real. This is the reward of being reminded what we are working for, the reward of remembering what is at stake and having this value inspire you. Perhaps the best and simplest way to describe this emotional prize is as the feeling of knowing that the help we provide can change a son or daughter’s life forever and, in time, make a mother smile again.


To learn more about problem gambling and help for those struggling with it visit the link below:

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