Ron’s Story

My mind is an enemy to purposeful rest.  I am awake around 4:00 am, without an alarm, and my mind races for a while until it prompts me to move and I quietly get up.  That’s okay; I love the morning, the beginning of a new day, thankful I have the opportunity.  My early morning routine hasn’t changed much in years.  Thirty-two ounces of water while I’m alone with Morning Prayer. Finished, I play a daily challenge game of solitaire, make a bottle of ACV, greens and water and make the first of many cups of dark, hot, black coffee. Coffee is my time to preview the day, what do I need to accomplish?  I jot what I need to complete and what I would like to do on a Post-it note, knowing full well I need to be flexible between today’s meetings, calls, emergencies and life. Today, I plan to change the world!

Before COVID-19 and schools closing, our “retirement gift” (our youngest daughter) would get up around 5:30 am, feed her beagle and prepare for school.  There was always some small talk before I left to go to “the house,” talk of how her day was to unfold.  My bride, up at 6:00 am, preparing to go to work herself, routine busyness before business.  Our son also lives at home.  He is on the spectrum, very high functioning but socially awkward and prefers to be alone or not, depending on his minute-by-minute mood.  I worry about his health.  He doesn’t seem to care but we worry enough for him I suppose.  Type 1 diabetes is no joke, especially when brittle.  There is always a fine line when to address health, money, cleanliness or any other facet of life because, although diabetes is a very real challenge, so isn’t cycling between the highs and lows of being bipolar.  With all these challenges, it’s difficult to step out of the way and let him live HIS best life, regardless of how different it appears from my own.  In my mind, I am already late for work…

Man on knee wearing mask sitting next to man with disabilities on a bench
Ron doing paperwork with Keith

I read T-Logs, GER’s, behavioral concerns, today’s medical appointments, supports…I know the team already has a plan, even if the plan is to roll with what the day brings.  Supporting twelve people with varying needs, desires and personalities means being flexible.  There is a particular fluency to what may appear as chaos.  I’m thankful for the staff working beside me.  What a team!  This is the best team for this particular time.  They care, they work, they feel, they build relationships.  It’s not “support”, it’s extended family, with all the excitement, pain, worries and drama unfolding in every life.  It happens here too.  What can I do to lessen the pain, worries and drama?  Where do these feelings come from?  We’ve ruled out medical, maybe it’s environmental?  Maybe it’s boredom, an unfulfilled need to do something?  Day programs stop and the world stops turning. The majority of the folks I’ve supported require a different schedule. They need something flexible to take into account their unique needs and supports. Some cannot work an 8-hour day, but there is a plan out there that does work for them. I am always thinking of new ways for those we support to contribute to the economy. Working is valuable for self-esteem, for self-sufficiency, for skills. They have so many unique skills that will benefit them.

I’ll think more about this as I start making dinner.  One thing though, it is difficult to change how we do things, how we support, how we grow.  Part of life is taking chances and sometimes our best lessons are in hiccups before we find success.  Tomorrow is another day.

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