Yesterday, October 12 2015 (Columbus Day) I handed in my notice.
I have worked as an occupational therapist in home health and in early intervention for the past 23 years!!!!!!!!!!!!! In my prior posts I have laid out the reasons for quitting. Of course I informed my so-called supervisor, human resources etc. True to form I have not heard from them, not a word! I have heard from two people in administration, about filling in forms, etc. And so it all ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper. (forgive the misquote)
Last week I was out of town, so I didn't see the children. I returned Saturday. On Sunday I went to the mall in Emeryville, and was standing in front of the parking ticket machine when the woman in front of me turned around and smiled. "Hola" she said. It was the parents of a boy I am presently working with. For a minute I did not recognize the mom as she had on makeup and was dressed rather differently from the way she is dressed in the home. I was delighted to see them. We walked together to the elevator. The father held the boy I work with and the mother pushed her older son in a pram. The elevator was crowded and the mom asked her son "quien es?" and at first he just looked blankly at me together with all the other unknown faces. Then I saw a look of recognition in his lovely brown eyes. He smiled at me and said "eta" - his version of my name, then he reached out and hugged me.
That hug alone makes the work gratifying.
After I handed in my notice I opened up a shoebox I have that contains photos of all the families, past and present, and thank you cards from the parents, in english and spanish. I went through them, smiling with recognition of each child. This definitely softens the blow of - I am not sure how to put it - dismissal? lack of the most basic of courtesies? ignorance? disrespect? - from those 'on high.'
I have nothing but admiration and respect for each and every one of the families I have worked with. I feel honored to have been on them in their difficult journeys as parents of special needs children. I have laughed with them and cried with them, and rejoiced in each developmental milestone. I feel privileged to have been allowed into their homes and families. They are all in my heart, and I will honor them by writing about them and our work together, and their precious little ones.