When I was a freshman in college, I had the opportunity to meet a good friend of mine, Samantha. I remember meeting Samantha as she lived across the hall from me in the dorm in college. Samantha is from Zimbabwe (SP?) and hadn't ever been to America. The first time I remember seeing her she was asking someone to give her a ride to Wal Mart as she didn't know anyone but one cousin in the town we were in and had no transportation...I would be scared going to another country! Samantha took the task on with great pride and has taught me many things---not only as part of a new cultural but as part of being a friend.
I remember Samantha trying to teach myself and my roommate, Jill, how they dance in Africa. I was stunned, amazed, shocked, and every other adjective you can think of when she was showing us...I didn't know it was humanly possible to move so fast while cracking up laughing so much!
Samantha also taught me about extensions. For the longest time I didn't know she had extensions in her hair and I always ranted and raved about her hair...she waited for a couple weeks and finally let me in on her secret! I looked like a total country girl to her at this time I'm sure...I guess the joke was on me here.
I also got to play in the snow with Samantha the first time she ever saw it..that was an experience for sure. I don't think I've ever seen someone so delighted in the small things life has to offer...it was so fun I lost the keys to my dorm and my door room (those weren't cheap to replace!). We created Angels, went sledding, and she tasted the snow like she was a small child :)
The first Christmas Samantha was in America she didn't get to go home. She stayed between my house and a friends house. For me it was fun to have someone at home for Christmas break but I can only imagine how hard it was to be away from her family. Samantha rarely sees her family now due to her brother living in Australia and the majority of her family still in Africa. She has taught me to cherish my family more and more each day!
Samantha has such a strong personality and sticks to what she wants...she's taught me to be strong in things and believe in myself. She always has a word of encouragement and often calls/texts me just at the right time when I need some encouragement!
Samantha has always been a good, honest friend of which I cherish. Samantha doesn't always tell me the things I want to hear but she tells me the things I need to hear---even if I don't like the answer. She even told me the other night, "Beky, you need a pedicure." I didn't really know how to respond but it was the truth... (P.S. I gave myself a pedicure)
I don't always get to spend as much time with Samantha as I wish I could but she will always be near and dear to my heart--sometimes I think we fight like sisters but heck, her sister is so far away I just want to make sure she has that experience :)
I'm thankful she was put into my life as she reminds me of the following poem:
">People come into your life for a reason, season, and lifetime
When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.
When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway); and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. Thank you for being a part of my life, Sammer Whammer. Thanks for teaching me so many life lessons.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
For those of you that don't know, I love Martina McBride so much that I have danced and sang to her music while I'm out on the town almost like I am Martina!!!! P.S. I give one heck of a good concert too. Next time she comes in town I will be at her concert as I have gone to the past two concerts. Anyways...one of her songs reminds me of my life, during times I'm feeling a little down or simply need a pick me up I often play these words through my head that Martina sings so loud and proud....
"I have been blessed with so much more than I deserve, to be here with the ones who love me, to love them so much it hurts I have been blessed."
I've really been thinking about my job (to the right is a picture of myself and two co-workers the Valentine's Dance---does it look like we have fun?), the people I support, and their families a lot lately and realize my job is a blessing. For those of you that don't know--I work at a day program for adults with developmental disabilities and enjoy every minute of my job. Okay, on most days. I'm what is called a QDDP, Qualified Developmental Disability Professional. I assist with writing the customers plans, ensuring their daily needs are met, advocate for them to achieve their hopes/dreams/and additional supports as their needs increase throughout their adulthood, and also get to spend time with the customers. I get to do a lot of fun things at my job!
HOw many people get to dance at their job, take a break by riding a scooter up and down the hallway, jump in a moonwalk, or even have a popcorn party at any point in their day? Not a lot of people do--and that's one of the many reasons, "I have been blessed." Coming into my job on a daily basis is never the same thing. I get a greeting in the morning like I haven't been seen in weeks, get hugs and smiles that could turn any bad day into a good day, and get to see customers throughout their day that get excited to see me. I told a customer yesterday that with the look on her face when she saw me you would think Obama had just walked in the room! (Okay, I'm a little shorter, lighter in skin, and chubby than him---but she thought it was funny!) It's not only me that the customers look forward to seeing-they've made friends with other adults with developmental disabilities, have developed relationships both with their staff and individuals within the community, and some of them even have "boyfriends" and "girlfriends," at the program.
It amazes me that with all of the things these individuals could have to complain about individuals with disabilities seem to have the best attitude and outlook on life---something we could all probably take a lesson from them.
There are days no doubt that I get stressed as I have a lot of paperwork to get completed with a deadline by the state, but nothing can come in the way with me knowing that I'm making someone's day!!!! Better yet...they make my day. A customer I support has shown signs of increased dementia...he often can't remember where he last put his lunch box or that he was walking towards the restroom and gets lost on the way there--- somehow he can remember my name and for that I'm grateful as he reminds me in small ways that, "I have been blessed!"
I'm blessed that I was given the patience, heart, and creativity to work with individuals with disabilities. I feel as though my parents have a great portion in helping me become where I am---they taught me to strive for what I wanted, not to judge others, and most importantly to care for others in your own creative way.
Maybe you don't know anyone with a disability or maybe you have a child with a disability; at any rate we should all feel blessed in the small things life has to offer.
I encourage you next time you hear someone call someone "Retarded,"(EVEN if it's in a joking manner) or even if you use this word please educate yourself and others in knowing that there are so many abilities of individuals with disabilities. They have feelings too and you wouldn't want your child being called something in that manner. Please change your vocabulary and DISABLE THE LABLE!!!!!!!
On a side note---you can check out the web-site where I work: www.developingpotential.org
If you feel it in your heart to donate items, old clothing, or even old art supplies you don't use please let me know!!!! You may not be able to directly work with someone with a disability but you can make a small difference.
Thanks for reading why I have been blessed...now I want to hear why you are blessed. Mother--stop crying!!!