Playing Catch Up: Wednesday was “Individualized Home Support” day. Since the ladies have not as yet moved into their apartment, the home support consisted of a residential staff person, Melissa, arriving to pick up our daughter so they could spend time getting to know each other. The plan was to take her to the new apartment, and then catch up with the apartment-mate and two other residential staff for lunch, a walk through town, a visit to the apartment and the creation of a shopping list for household items (which I have yet to see). Melissa is one of those bouncy, adorable, upbeat young women with whom our daughter totally resonates. She had a tattoo of an eye with a complement of luscious lashes on her sandaled foot which I immediately recognized as a portrait of her own pale amber and amply mascaraed eye, an engagement ring on her manicured finger (wedding next year) and a tremendous smile. Perfect!
The Meet Up: The lunch date at John’s Best Pizza in Ridgefield was further enhanced by running into a young fellow from their Sphere group. A delightful coincidence, which our daughter reported with glee. Arriving home almost an hour earlier than expected, Melissa explained that the day was over. Good thing I was home.
A Busier Day and Another Screw Up: Thursday was an “Individualized Day Support” day, which means different staffing and volunteer work. Laura, a special education teacher who was unable to procure a permanent teaching position over the border in New York State, and new to Ability Beyond Disability (as is the aforementioned Melissa of the eye foot) arrived at 10 a.m. to take our daughter to get her Ridgefield Library card (where she will begin volunteer work) and then to the Maritime Center for fun. Alas, as a newbie, I didn’t realize that I had to supply both money for the outing (forgetting that recreation was on us) and lunch, and some I.D. for our daughter as a resident of Ridgefield. (I only have the lease so far as no bills have come in the mail as yet and in fact won’t come to me but to ABD.) Stupid me. I thought that the funds were coming from other sources, and the I.D. had been taken care of two days ago when they visited the library for the volunteer job interview. After they left, I called our daughter, realizing that perhaps she needed money and had none, and was informed that one, they couldn’t get the card without I.D. (DUH!), and two, she had no money for lunch. The former teacher offered to fund the outing to be reimbursed later. This was going to be a long day with a staff shift, a visit to another residential apartment of three ABD clients, and a finale at the Sphere group art class ending at 8:30 P.M. She adores the Sphere group, as does her apartment mate.
Calls For Help? I had my own pressures, naturally. I had to purchase bedroom furniture, sign her up for Ridgefield Park and Recreation so staff could begin to bring her to the pool ASAP, publish posts for the blog by the five o’clock deadline and see patients. While attempting to achieve some of these tasks, I received a number of phone calls from daughter. The first was about money. The second and third calls were about fatigue. I thought, shoot, this is just like the old days, and she will unravel from exhaustion and I will have to pick up the remains of the day, which I hadn’t the time for or the interest. Hydrate her, feed her, do whatever you have to do to keep going. But she made it, every bit of it, and when I scooped her up at Sphere at 8:30, she was all bounce, proudly reciting the activities of the day, getting a great big bear hug from her apartment-mate and a compliment from the art group teacher who said she had quite the sense of humor and a great personality. Yep, she is a real spark, most of the time.
Fingers Crossed: It is all still working. Now the other mother and I have to find living and dining room furniture and with clashing schedules over the next week, much of the time with the other mother unable to access emails, voice mails or texts due to her job and the girls scheduled to move in August 1, we have a challenge, but it is just about “things,” not people. Ever grateful. So far so good.
©Jill Edelman, M.S.W. L.C.S.W. 2011