"Angels live among us. Sometimes they hide their wings, but there is no disguising the peace and hope they bring." ~Unknown
It takes a team. It always has and it always will. I would love nothing more than to be all he needs all of the time but it doesn’t work that way and I know that... What better way to show this kind of love than to surround him with many people who also see him for who he is and love him as much as I do?
But…What about when a teammate has to leave the day-to-day grind that has so much determined our journey to this point?
He’s five. He can only appreciate in a way that five year olds do but I know that his appreciation with grow and change over time as he is able to zoom out and take it all in. I’m doing my best to write a thank you letter and through blurry tears I cannot come up with the right words; maybe there are no words.
Our occupational therapist was at many times over the years been the thread of hope that I hung on to. Just to get to that Tuesday appointment was all of the emotional strength that I had. Some weeks she was the only one that didn’t look at us like we were absolutely crazy. Never judging, never criticizing and she knew everything we went through; everything he went through. She stretched him; she challenged him in a gentle but persistent way. She celebrated the small wins because she knew just how big they really were. She gave us confidence. Whether it was six months before he could wear a band aid again. Including many weeks of her coming out of therapy sessions with band aids stuck all over her or how she truly listened and heard us as parents. Constantly blending our needs with his to create the best possible environment not only for him but for our entire family. She worked consistently with other doctors and therapists to provide supports that best fit his ever-changing needs.
She understood him and she reached him at a time and in a way that I couldn’t. In one sense she gave us our little boy back from an environment that he could only show as us being too loud, too bright, and way too scratchy.
I feel forever grateful that she came into our lives when she did and although she is going to be doing this with other families, our time together has come to an end. I know it’s time and I see the grand strides that have been made-I live them. The testing, the papers, all say loud and clear that it is time to let him go but I don’t want to.
It’s hard to describe how I can feel so full from appreciation and accomplishment through years of work yet at the same time have this hole of feeling like one piece is now gone. She has made a huge impact on who our little boy has become and the courage he shows to take on this world.
I thank her for all of the answered emails and phone calls, hours of listening, schedule adjusting, test administering, scoring, and presenting, tears and fears she has calmed, visual icons she has created, strong foundation she has built, and never-ending kindness she has shown.
We are both now on new paths ahead but the impact she has made is everlasting. I raise a glass for all of the accomplishments thus far and to the journeys ahead. Cheers.