When we lived in Michigan, I had a part time job in the schools.
I was a teaching assistant working in PPI Kingergarten.
For 2 years, I worked with a young girl named Martha.
Martha was severely handicapped.
Inclusion was a relatively new concept in the school system.
Her mom, Mary, somehow managed to remain pleasant while advocating for Miss Martha with countless teachers, therapists and counselors.
In trying times of parenting, I would think of Mary and realize how small my worries were.
Martha's spirit was unbreakable.
She had a personality that was a kick!
Although she couldn't communicate like we do, she always made sure I knew what she was feeling.
And she loved being a part of the classroom.
She delighted in the other kids, especially the boys.
She didn't love some of the therapies, but she never held a grudge.
I always knew she was happy to see me.
After working with her for 2 years, she moved away.
I saw her once or twice after that, when she would come to A2 for appointments.
I remember one visit at my house in particular.
She was watching Eli, our labrador retriever.
Eventually, we lost touch.
I often wondered what ever happened to her.
A few years back, I found her on Facebook.
I've been following her journey, and she's quite remarkable.
She's riding therapy horses, going to dances and weddings.
And, she has a business making animal treats!
'Shoot for the Moon Animal Treats'
How perfect is that name?
Anyway, I commented on a post about peanut butter treats.
Mary sent me a message, offering to send treats for Frannie.
She wrote me a lovely note, telling me how important my work with Martha was to them.
It warmed my heart.
But that's Mary, positive & caring.
And, she sent a package of delicious treats for Frannie.
Needless to say, Frannie loves them.
I'm not sure why I'm feeling so compelled to write about this.
Perhaps it's because I want to acknowledge these special people.
Maybe it's because I'm overwhelmed by the kindness.
I learned a lot from Martha & Mary.
I'm proud to have been a small part of her journey.
And I'm grateful for what they taught me.
A perfect example of the kindness we need in this world.