i want bones like iron.

I love my job… but I’ll be honest… the times when I la-huve my job are becoming few and far between these days.

But today, oh today, I la-huved my job…

[i work with adults with mental disabilities…]

Two Coins

I take two clients, Ronny and Sandy, to church every Sunday morning.  They don’t really know what’s going on, but they know they love church.  I ask them every week…

– How’d you like church?

– It was good.

– Do you remember what they talked about?

– God.

I have my skepticism to whether church is worth it for them, but they just love it so much… so every week, we go, sit, stand, sing, read, sit, stand, sit, pass the basket, stand, leave.

Yes, pass the basket.  Every week, they pass an offering basket and the three of us have our routine down of passing it right along.

But this week… was different.  They announced the offering and Ronny reached for his pocket.  He pulled out his old, dirty, plastic baggy of change.  I couldn’t believe it.  Ronny is definitely the stingiest client we have.  He won’t give money to nobody… ever.

He is one of the SWEETEST clients we have.  [claps and mumbles, “oh pretty lady, gorgeous lady, so pretty, pretty lady…” when you enter a room.]  But one day he thought a staff member was taking money from him and punched a wall… he likes what little money he has.  I digress…

The offering basket comes around and I cannot take my eyes off Ronny… I really can’t believe he has his coin baggy out.  The basket is placed in his hands and he sets it on his lap and starts rifling through his change.  He carefully pulls out one quarter, places it in the basket.  Rifles through his bag again with intention, pulls out another quarter, places it in the basket.  Turns to hand it to me and meets my eyes with the biggest smile.  I, of course, am crying.

Giving.  Giving when you have nothing to give.  That is love.  And it is powerful.

[the obvious song i had stuck in my head for the better part of the morning… as interpreted by the blockbuster hit, troy…]

Parking Lot Confidence

Later in today, I had the pleasure of snowshoeing with some clients.  [sandy being one of them.]  Now, this isn’t normal, casual, snowshoeing… this is preparing-for-Special-Olympics snowshoeing… watch yoself!  That means we stretch, drink plenty of water, and do drills all around the nordic track at the Village… aka We. Are. Awesome.

So… Sandy was having a bit of trouble today.  She was terrified of snowshoeing.  The whole thing weirded her out.  When we’d go down hills, she’d freeze up and almost tip-toe-side-step down the hill.  [not gonna lie, kinda hilarious.]  And when we’d line up to race, she’d tell me, “No!  You can’t make me!”  Then when I’d ignore her and say “On your mark, get set, GO!” and she still wouldn’t run, I’d have to have a bit of a chat with her and remind her that we’re a team, Special Olympics is awesome, this is good fitness, etc.  You know, good coach stuff.  She would eventually get on board, but overall, she was pretty difficult.

Anywho, we finish up our drills, take off our snowshoes, stretch and drink some water.  A good end to a great session.  We gather things up and head to the van.  As we’re walking in the parking lot, Sandy looks down, looks around a bit and says…

– I bet I could snowshoe this.

Oh man.  Ah-mazing.  “I bet I could snowshoe this.”  YES.  Yes, you could Sandy.  Cuz you’re awesome.  Made my day.

Made my day.

[the song i visualize being a badass to when i completely-jokingly say to my friends, “i bet i could ski that”…]

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