Celebrating Again: A dear friend and colleague who lives three doors down from our daughter’s apartment visited last evening with her daughter, a cake and a splendid bouquet of yellow flowers. My husband and I escorted the ladies out to a local restaurant where our daughter regaled them with her take on Planet of Apes, old and new versions and other cinema lore. She does wow the crowd with her knowledge and wit. What fun.
The Men: When we returned from dinner, in addition to her apartment-mate, who had been out to dinner with her family and one staff, two gentlemen were seated on the red couch. They had come with the ABD nurse assigned to dispense medications and vitamins (in our case, our daughter takes vitamins only). Both men, physically handicapped and middle aged, were known to my husband who is a consulting psychiatrist at ABD. The nurse was not known to any of us but was delightful. It was a bit strange but not to our daughter. Because of the ratio of staff to client in their residential apartment, some blocks away, the nurse was required to bring these gentlemen with her to the apartment. We were all quite congenial, our friends, the staff, the girls and the men. Cake was shared and everyone chatted about all sorts of connections. Our girlfriend’s daughter knew the staff person because she had worked in the local school. The men had some activity overlaps with the apartment-mates, attending the concerts in the park and so on. When they left with the nurse, I walked out with them because the brick pathway to their car is so uneven. Sure enough one of the men slipped into the bushes along the path. He was quite fragile, and using a cane. I caught him and helped him right himself. He said he was fine. But I felt terrible. The nurse said she would check him out when they were back home. The pathway was unlit, needing a bulb replacement. (I sent an email to ABD immediately and apparently they had tried to replace the bulb but found some electrical complication.) And the bricks are treacherous. Fortunately our daughter and her mate are physically quite agile. Alas, the precarious state of so many disabled struck me as very sad indeed. (There is another entrance to the apartment which is safe and I suggested to the nurse, but they had parked on the other side of the building.)
Senior Residence Interview: Today our daughter has her interview with the program coordinator of the senior residence in town. Her job coach is sick so the head residential staff is taking her to the interview. Fortunately for me, our daughter called early this morning to relay gossip about the engagement of a former Idol winner, who was related to a staff member of her school which gave me a chance to check on the plans of the day. I asked the coordinator if she had the file of materials prepared by Riverview/Grow, our daughter’s boarding school. The file includes her job resume, descriptions of her work history, her autobiography and letter of introduction. NO! I have tried for the last week to make sure that whomever took her to her interview brought the file. The coordinator promised to get it scanned and emailed immediately to the apartment. I will be following up in about ten minutes, you can be sure.
CEOs And Mothers: I work with a number of type A personalities, male and female, who run companies or have high administrative positions and they always insist that they have to do everything. Their spouses moan and groan about how little time that leaves for family and that their partners must learn to delegate better. I try to sort through all the feelings and facts of each situation but I must say, when I am faced with my own life, especially in dealing with our daughter’s world, I identify with those CEOs and business owners. If I don’t check in frequently, stuff slips between the cracks, important stuff.
Follow-Up: Now I will call the staff and see if they have received the job file. Fingers crossed they did, or I am going to drive over there with my copy. Crazy. She has been volunteering for a month now! Intense. That’s my rep. Yep, “in tents.”
©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011