Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"I missed you!"

Last week I set foot in the L'Arche Community Centre for the first time in August. When our community leader is away, as she has been for much of the summer, there's less for me to do, and I can do much of it from home. As I'm only a part-time administrative assistant, it's easy to feel disconnected from the community at times, especially since many things happen and faces often change when I'm not around.

That's why I was so delighted with Thomas' greeting last week. "You're back!" he said, coming over and giving me a completely spontaneous big bear hug for the first time in recorded history. "I missed you!"

Usually, I have to coax an admission like that from Thomas by asking leading questions, but not this time. I hadn't realized that I had been away long enough for him to actually note my absence. His welcome made all the difference to my day. Not skipping a beat, he proceeded to give me his daily report about where everyone was and what he had been doing.

We all need to feel loved and valued, even if our role in the lives of others is a small one. It seems to me, often, that our people with disabilities don't take presence for granted, but have a special gift when it comes to reminding us that we're all important to the community because we're loved, valued... and missed when we're absent.

Who have you missed over the summer? Have you told them you missed them?

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