This is not goodbye.
I just need you to know that. You have the luck/misfortune of being a part of our family now, for better or for worse.
To Lorrie and TammyG– you have been here from the beginning. You walked into our house on a cold March morning almost three years ago, there to do your job, not knowing what to expect. And you fell in love with our girl, and have fiercely fought for her, with her, alongside her, for those three years.Megan – your time here was cut short by your move, but your impact on Kendall will never be forgotten. Lynda and Lynnis and TammyJ – you came later, but your love for Kendall is no less for the months/years you did not have. And Lora – the last of a long line of illustrious ST’s – you blended right in with our family and the rest of the team. We have been blessed. You are all absolutely amazing at what you do, and we would not be who we are as a family today without you.
When you started working with Kendall, she was hardly able to stay awake for an entire session. We had to wake her up when you arrived, and she’d often be conked back out before you were packed up to go. We had no idea what was wrong with her, we just knew it was something. And you all listened to me – as I worked through the sometimes agonizing process of accepting that your child has significant delays, and understanding that some of them might not ever be caught up. But you never gave up hope for her, and you never let ME give up hope for her.
Y ou came on rainy days, sunny days, freezing cold days. Days that you didn’t feel good and didn’t want to be there, and days when kendall wasn’t feeling well and did NOT want you there. You dealt with me in my pajamas, my girls spilling cereal on your toys, pets and friends and the general chaos that is our home. you came not ever really knowing what to expect – and the joke quickly became that it was like having a new client every week because she was just that unpredictable. You could get happy healthy ready to work Kendall, or you could have a Kendall totally opposite of how she was last week, and hooked up to oxygen, not able to sit up on her own, grumpy and out of sorts cause of tummy pain. But no matter which Kendall you got, you went to work. And because of you – she is who she is today.
You started with a baby who had no skills. She could barely even keep a pacifier in her mouth on her own, couldn’t coordinate her muscles enough to swallow properly, couldn’t hold her own head up, really wasn’t even aware that she had arms and legs attached to her. You painstakingly started with the basics – these are your arms, they can move, you can move them, you move them like this. And while it was like watching paint dry, we slowly but surely started to see progress. I remember the day she brought her hands to midline. I had no idea what that even meant with my first three babies – it was just something they did! For Kendall, we pushed and fought and begged and pleaded and REJOICED when she finally did it! And our rejoicing scared her so much that she startled and lost her concentration and i think it was another couple weeks before she did it again. Because of you – she learned to roll over, hold her own head up, use her arms to play with a toy, sit up, wave, swallow (errrrr – we’re still kind of working on that one!), interact, use words, and BE KENDALL!!!
This last year has been the one she fought the hardest probably. Fought the odds, fought her body, fought the circumstances she faces every day. But it’s the one that she came out the most triumphant.
You did it!
You prepared her for the next step into Preschool – PRESCHOOL can you believe it?
So forgive my tears tomorrow. It’s not that i’m sad. It’s that I’m scared. You have been all we have known for almost three years. I don’t know what we will do without you. You have become not just Kendall’s therapists, but MY therapists. the ones who listened to my teary pleas for help, and the ones who held my hand through every new attachment and diagnosis we received. You have helped me figure out who I am as the momma of a kiddo with some very special needs, and you have helped me find my voice for her. As Kendall learned how to use her arms and legs, I was learning to use my brain, my voice, my fingers to help me find the information I so craved and needed to help her in all facets of life. You confirmed my thoughts and feelings that we needed to keep pushing, keep searching, keep hoping for MORE for kendall.
So like i said. This is not goodbye. Not by a long shot.
You don’t get to just leave our family that easily! Words are not enough to thank you all – for everything you’ve done for our baby. For putting up with the extra chaos of her ever-present “twin” Kaylen. For giving our family the tools we needed to cope, adjust, learn, grow.
You may not be here every week now, but you will never be forgotten.
all of us.