Monday, October 24, 2011
I was so nervous the day I met Kathy and the rest of the gang. Fresh out of college, I had stars in my eyes. I was green as they come as a new upcoming professional in the Social Services field.
I will never forget being introduced to the seven residents I would spend the next three years of my life with. Before that front door opened, I had such excitement about it but so many worries that I might not work out. Maybe they wouldn't like me, what if I couldn't connect with them? So many thoughts, but most of all, something deep in my soul Knew this job was going to change my life and it did.
Each and every person I met became so special to me and made me a better person. I worked with "adults with mental disabilities" and believe me, they taught me so much more than I taught them. Everyday my friends lived and worked "life to the Fullest." They were involved in so many social activities and events that most "typical" adults either take for granted or are too afraid or embarrassed to try. Each person I worked with became family but one special lady found a part of my heart that I never knew existed. It would be too difficult to describe all the wonderful attributes that made Kathy so amazing. All that really matters is that Kathy was my friend. We connected in a place that had nothing to do with mental capacity or IQ. We were two women who had a blast together and loved each other unconditionally. Our relationship was one of the most beautiful connections I've ever had the honor to have in my life-time.
Other than the two of us singing songs in unison to the radio for the other six residents, one of my favorite memories of Kathy is about Halloween. Every Halloween I brought my gang to a Halloween Party with all their work friends. All Staff and Residents dressed up in costume and I was always a scary witch. I never lived down my costume choice.When Kathy got in a silly mood, I knew what was coming from my buddy. She nicknamed me "Witchypoo Linda." Sadly, Kathy lost her courageous battle with cancer but I can still hear her calling me "Witchypoo Linda."
I will never forget her~