Today we kick off LifeSavor with an essay by Cathy Wolfe-Heberle. She is the C.E.O. of Blue Ridge Opportunities, which is a private, non-profit agency serving individuals with disabilities in Warren County and the surrounding areas since 1992.
She Brought Peaches
I don’t often write of my work, I usually keep the quiet joys to myself, but… He’s challenging, actually quite a bit more challenging that we have been used to, but the moment I met him I was hooked to the glimmer he has in his eyes. He’s spent the last 23 years being shunned and ignored and kicked out of program after program… or they just stopped showing up to provide services with no reason… His family has been struggling on their own for quite some time now that he is an adult and school age services are no longer available, desperate and tired. Very tired. They haven’t been able to keep staff and have been abandoned in most directions they turned. I doubted and I worried. I worried a lot if we were capable to meet his needs. He is rather intense, medically fragile and very dependent upon supports for all of his daily living skills. I told his mom after their walk-through interview… “I honestly don’t know if we can do it, but I am NOT willing to say NO because I have no idea. I’m willing to try.” I’m willing to try. I have to be willing to try. At the end of his first week, his mom talked to one of our staff with tears in her eyes talking about our program with the words “and they actually LIKE him.” Yesterday, she came to pick him up and brought us a box of peaches. PEACHES. She was so excited that she was able to pick and can PEACHES. A task that she could have NEVER accomplished without our care and attention to her son… a task she hasn’t been able to do in ages. Peaches. I actually LOVE him. I see him down to the core of his soul and he is so pure and innocent trapped behind a mountain of behavior that most people find off-putting… Today was day 7… and I ate peaches for dinner with joy and gratitude in my heart and the reminder that this is exactly WHY I do what I do. And it was they VERY BEST PEACH I have ever eaten. Thank you to all my crew for being willing to take the ride with me. We will not regret it.