TIME FLIES!!  (Whether you’re having fun or not!)

It is hard to believe it is already March!  The last few months have been quite exhausting…hopefully this means we can relax for awhile!

My daughter turned 7 in January, and my oldest son turned 10 in February.  (Happy occasions.)

The last week of February, our state surveyors showed up for their surprise visit, ending my long weekend early!  In the middle of ‘dealing’ with them, one of our long time residents passed away suddenly.  It was an extremely difficult week for the group home.  He was very dear to all of us and will be extremely missed.  For this blog, I thought I would share an article written by one of my employees, Ardell.  It explains very well how we make it through difficult weeks!  (I inserted ‘—‘ in place of client names.)

People always ask me why I work a full time job, which I love, and spend 3-5 hours a week at a group home where people with challenges live … my passion. The question came up again today and as I thought about an answer on my way to Lenten services with a couple of my extended famly from the group home. It suddenly hit me that my pal — aka “ Mickey” — had gone home to heaven, and would never attend Wednesday church services with me again. I reflected on that first day when I was hired at 17th Court group home and met the eight people who lived there, — and now — both gone ahead.

I firmly believe when you meet someone who touches your life, it is through Devine intervention, and God knows you need that person or those people in your life and I landed at 17th Court going on five years ago. Apparently, at that time and even today that is where I needed to be. I was introduced to everyone including —. He said, “Nice to meet you Mrs. Olson.” We all thought he misunderstood when they introduced me.

As the days went by, staff kept reminding him I was “Nelson” not “Olson.” It didn’t take long and I was wrapped around all 8 people’s little finger and I said, “No, for — ONLY, I am Mrs. Olson” and I was until he went to his beloved Jesus in heaven last week. (I always hoped it was some nice Mrs. Olson I reminded him of instead of crabby Mrs. Olson on Little House on the Prairie.”)

I could be dragging and I would walk in and he would cheerily say, “Hi Mrs. Olson, I am so glad you are here” or ” Mrs. Olson, how was your day?” and he revitalized my energy. We did “our thing”, He would call me Mrs. Olson, and I would respond with “How was your day Mr. —.” He loved it; otherwise he was “—” or “Mickey” on a one to one basis. He was aware of the happenings of his housemates and of his staff. I was sick for a month, and when I returned to work he said, “Mrs. Olson are you feeling better?”, and “Mrs. Olson I am glad you are back.” The staff did not realize he had been listening to their conversations.

He knew the Bible, read profusely, had an inequitable faith and lead us all in prayer at mealtime and always thanked the Lord for the day and to protect him throughout the night. He taught me patience and perseverance when physical disabilities seem insurmountable as time passes, you move forward anyway; that God does not give you more than you can handle; that a smiling face makes the day go better; that love is the key to life with God in the center and so much more.

Mr. —, you touched Mrs. Olson’s life beyond words. Even though I felt very, very sad last night because I missed hearing you say, “Hi Mrs. Olson, I am glad you are here;” I had to wipe away an escaping tear and smile, when I was greeted with “Dell, Dell”; “Hi Ran’Dell” and “Ardell I am glad you are here” by your housemates.

Another individual made a profound statement saying to me, “When God says it is your time, it is your time and you had better be ready all the time” and we said good bye to her a week later. Today is a new day filled with lessons learned from special people last night and before who are wise beyond imagination — I can’t wait until next week’s life lesson — “Mrs. Olson”, aka “Dell, Dell”, aka “Ran’Dell” aka Ardell.