Today I got to shadow the service coordinator who I am replacing. Her husband's in the military and they're moving for his new station, so she's leaving on good terms. Her goal is for me to meet most if not all of the 40 or so people on my case load before she leaves. We met probably about 15-20 today.
These are some of the sweetest people ever. Today I was hugged more than you can imagine (plus one guy tried to kiss me, but I ducked that one) and was told that I was "a very pretty lady." The woman I'm replacing told me that it's hard for her to say good-bye to some of the clients, and I can see why. Many of them tugged on my heartstrings today.
For those of you who don't know, this week I started a job as a Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Service Coordinator. The people in my case load have various levels of disability ranging from highly functioning to non-verbal persons.
One thing I know will come of this new position is a renewed gratitude. We often take our health for granted, but even more, we take for grated our basic functioning. I don't think about how lucky I am that I can walk normally, can work, can talk, can make my choices regarding what I wear or eat, and in general, can interact with my environment.
Obviously, I don't know what it would be like to have some of the impairments that my new clients have, and I know that they are receiving the best of care to provide the best quality of life possible; and if not, it's my job to make sure they do (and I will take that responsibility very seriously).
I guess what I'm grateful for today is that God has given me the opportunity to have these forty or so people in my life and the amazing blessings that I know will come from my friendships with them.