If there is one thing parents universally love, it’s people telling them how wonderful their kids are. I know I’m not technically a parent, but I’ve always considered myself to fall somewhere between a sibling and third parent to Dude.
That’s why being copied on emails like this make my heart SUPER happy.
The below exchange is between a young woman who helped with Dude’s morning care at our parents’ house before he moved out. She has since been (deservedly!) promoted to a case manager role within their organization and also heads up their buddies program. She doesn’t get to see Dude as much as she used to, but loves to see him when the opportunity arises!
We were in Leadership Training today and I mentioned Dude. Our two new site directors both had stories about him and we ended up bragging on him. I saw him at his day program on Monday and he was beaming…it made my day. He also came and stood next to me at the Buddies Christmas Party and ended up sitting next to me and being my side-kick while I was doing the gift exchange. I just wanted to give you a little encouragement today and brag on him a little bit=) I miss seeing all of you! I hope you are doing great!
This made me very happy (I was smiling the whole time I was reading this email!)! I could just picture him just plopping down next to you at the gift exchange waiting for a “back pat” or some kind of funny interaction. I am surprised he actually let you do anything related to the gift exchange when he possibly could be getting back pats!!
I get really excited when Dude sees people that he remembers and “reconnects” with them. While he does it in his own way, it is something that, years ago, we never thought we would see. Stories like this reinforce for us that along the way we have made many good choices for Dude and that the people who have worked with him and are working with him all made/make a big difference in his life. On a daily basis we are grateful for all the people who have touched his life and made such a tremendous difference for him (and by extension, for us!)!
Thanks so much for sharing!!
Couldn’t have said it better myself, Dad!
To anyone reading this who either currently works with Dude or worked with him in the past, please know that you matter! You matter to him (even if he doesn’t show it in the “traditional” way). And you most certainly matter to us! Thank you for what you do!