This story was contributed by Community Living staff member Bobby Thompson in response to the Crazy Socks blog last week. Read Bobby’s story and see my response below.
Dylan’s dream is such an inspirational story. We here at the Sycamore location also have a young man named Al who has Downs Syndrome. Last Christmas, his Mother passed away. Like many of our people we support, Al’s mom was his rock. She was receiving facility-based hospice care, and Al’s family was concerned about how he would feel visiting her. Al ended up spending more time with her there then anyone else in his family. Al did end up visiting and his family made sure other people were there to support him in his visit. He arrived in her room, first talking to the other members of his family. Then, he turned to where his mother was in the bed, and he walked over. He sat on the side of her and gently cradled her head on his chest and kissed her on the forehead telling her not to worry, everything will be alright.
When we really pay attention to the KenCrest mission statement concerning the “respect of individual rights, enhancing potential, and enabling people to have control over their own lives” and actually see this mission at work, it makes me feel proud. I see our people rising up even beyond the family’s expectations and becoming more than what people thought they could be. Dylan reminds me of our mission and his determination to dare have a dream. “GO DYLAN!”
When we sign on to support people in their lives, we also sign on to support people who see their loved ones passing on. I am sure that his mom was worried about him. Seeing him and hearing his voice may have been just the right reassurance. Inclusion can be a tough road; some choices may not appear to be correct. But if you think about your life, you will find moments that you were happy to have someone with you. Maybe someone held you hand when you when to the dentist for the first time. Maybe you went with a friend who was facing a difficult medical test. Maybe a friend sat outside while you had a job interview. Maybe your mom packed your favorite snacks for your first day in the dorm at college. Maybe your fiancé went with you to see your grandfather who was hospitalized gravely ill (mine did) None of us are self-sufficient. We all need each other in some way. And so inclusion should not be so hard to understand.