As I sit here at my desk where it is nice and warm, and some might say comfy, I was reflecting back on my journey through life and how lucky I have been. For the past seventeen (17) years, each day I come to work at Martha Lloyd and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such caring people.
A comment I know I’ve heard and possibly there are others is, ‘that it takes a special person to work with individuals who have disabilities’. The truth is that the individuals with whom we work every day are special, and not because of their disability. They are just special.
My younger brother had a physical disability; he was born in 1953 with spina bifida. He endured over thirty (30) surgical procedures during his life time and didn’t complain once. He worked for the majority of his adult life, bought a home, and drove his own car with hand controls. He was very smart and lived a full life, passing away at the age of 55. I remember growing up with feelings of being jealous of all the time and attention he got from my parents. However, as we grew older, I came to admire him more and more. I also recognized that my mother was his strongest advocate and supporter, a role that I see often, when I talk with families here at Martha Lloyd. Larry lived his life and wanted no sympathy or special attention, all he wanted was to be treated as a person who had something to contribute to society. All of the individuals that we work with and for have so much to teach us. In our frenzied day-to-day world, we sometimes lose track of what is really important, ‘human connections’. Working at Martha Lloyd we have that opportunity to make those connections every day.
My brother taught me many lessons throughout his life. He taught me to be patient and enjoy the moment. He also showed me that society had yet to understand the impediments that still exist for people with physical disabilities. I had no problem carrying him up or down the many sets of steps over the years that is just what we did. We continue to make physical improvements and modifications to our facilities at Martha Lloyd, so that we can ensure everyone has equal access.
When I take the time to get out of my office and go say hello to the individuals, I am reminded why I am here. Interacting with our residents is the best part of any day. Martha Lloyd is their home and it is our responsibility to assist them to live their life to the fullest. I have passed this advice along to my children and remind you to live in the present and enjoy the moment. Just like my brother.
Yours in Peace!