Grateful Parent Shares Thanks to Lakeview

When we had to leave our son for the first time in August 2012, as my husband and I drove away from Lakeview, I cried. I cried the whole way home… all 8 plus hours. I was so sad to leave him and so scared…wondering if you folks would or even could take good care of my boy. I wish I had known then what I know now…that there would be a day I would be crying because he was leaving YOU and coming closer to home. While I am thrilled beyond measure he will be closer to us, I am sensitive to the fact he has grown on you and you will miss him. I am aware that he is leaving a place where he not only received excellent care, but also where he was much loved. Yes, I know it is a job and all of that, but no one works the hours you do, for such little money, with all of the danger, and stress, and headaches unless you love what you do—and that includes caring for the people it is your “job” to care for.

Thank you for all you did for him. Thank you for being patient with him when he was angry…for laughing with him when he wanted to amuse…for comforting him when he was sad or scared…for listening for the 234th time about the latest Lego Star Wars video game being released soon….. For ALL of it--- all of what went into making sure he felt safe, and happy, and loved. What you do is often thankless, exhausting, and frustrating—and I bet there are some days you wonder if what you do really makes any difference at all. I can assure you- your presence in his life has made a BIG difference—for him, and for me.

When our son was hospitalized in the summer of 2012, I had no idea it would be the last time he would live in my home. If you would have asked me at the time what my goal for him was, I would have told you it was for him to come home and live with us again. Having him at Lakeview this last year helped me see with the proper supports, he is fully capable of surviving without me! I have come to the conclusion it is not in Tad’s best interests to return to my care—we need to find ways for him to live as an adult, with as much independence as possible. Were it not for the support and care you all provided him, allowing him to thrive, I doubt I would have come to that conclusion. So my thanks are not only for the care he received this past year, but for the impact that care is going to have on our son's future.

I am hopeful he will do well as he moves to another facility, and I know we needed to have him make the move for a variety of reasons, but I want to assure you not one of those reasons had anything to do with the quality of care he received at Lakeview. It is just time for him to move on—and as he does, I have some anxiety—because the folks at the new place might know how to do their jobs well, but it is you folks who know him—you all “get” him. You see the light, the good, the joy, the beauty of him—as his mom, I am so moved by the way you have let him into your hearts.

Now it is time for him to move on—and I am sure you will miss him. I know I missed him very much when he lived so far away from us—but I took great consolation in the knowledge he was much loved where he was. I kept something else in mind that perhaps you might find helpful--- our son is special—you all know that, because you have been with him for the last year. You know how he can light up a room and how his cheerfulness is contagious, how his affection and charm can make it feel good just to be around him. Well you had your time to share in that goodness, in the “sunshine” that is our son. Now he is going to the next place where they need that same light. Remember what he gave to you and smile in the knowledge he is sharing those same gifts with the next group of people who need them. My gratitude for him is what helped me be at peace with his having left my home. I am hopeful it could do the same for you as you adjust to his departure.

Thank you for caring for our son like he was family. While he was with you, you all were often in our family’s prayers. Please know our prayers for you will continue—and you will always, always be in the heart of this eternally grateful mom.

Special Shout-outs--- To Paulina…who whenever I called to talk to him, took the time to ask how I was doing---and really cared about and listened to my answer. Thank you for your gentle compassion and graciousness—and thanks for letting me cry on your shoulder (literally) the last time we had to leave our son after a weekend visit.

To Olivia- No words, Miss G.…. No words. To say that you went beyond what would be expected is a gross understatement. I have no doubt he would not have done half as well as he did if it weren’t for you---and I do not just mean the behavior plans. I know you did far more than what is listed in your job description to make sure he succeeded. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for your commitment to his success.

To Kelly- I doubt I am aware of even half of what you did for him…and still I am so grateful for the tremendous effort you put forth on his behalf. Even more so, I am most grateful for your consistent, gentle acknowledgement and validation of my feelings when I shared them with you. I can’t tell you what it meant to have someone really listen and “get it” when my heart was breaking to have him so far from home.

Much love to you all---words just can’t say how thankful I am for all you did for our son.

Sincerely,

A grateful parent