It was a very emotional day for me, thinking of the past, how far he has come, the future, what does it hold for him as he will eventually transition to a group home setting-a phase that I am honestly not willing to even discuss yet. And also the largest part of the day, was happening right there-all these workers being joyfully celebrated for their great accomplishments against so many odds. 50, 100 years ago these workers would not be workers, they would be "put away", away from family, away from friends, away from "the view" of the oh so gentle public-but NOT TODAY BABY. Today, they and their work are celebrated for what they are and did! Hooray for all of them, especially our SS.
The place was so decorated to reflect a celebration,
large welcoming signs, steamers, glittery flowers a lineup of certificates and trophies, and a DJ-the same man who plays for the annual Christmas Party-which SS loooooves attending.
They started off with the usual welcoming remarks, but is was all about honoring the workers-no blah, blah about the business itself. These staff are dedicated to the workers, and they show it. Imagine if all employers treated their valued workers so wonderfully?
SS was wearing a shirt with his picture and some words celebrating his accomplishments-the picture is actually from his employers website-stolen, um, I mean borrowed by me for the family albums.
The music began, a theme of songs like the triumphant workout song for "Rocky", the audience was pumped up and the participants were actually bouncing up and down while waiting to be called. Then, each honoree was called out individually, with positive remarks about each, to a great round of applause. I have never been so proud of SS, and in honor of Matka-who was so supportive of her family, SSister#1 and I screamed a wee bit for SS!
Family was invited forward to pose with each recipient, and when family was not there, many times members of their group homes and staff members posed with the emcees-these people were never alone.
A group picture was also taken of each milestone group, 5 years, 10 etc. And, one individual was honored for being there 40 years-when the program, first began. And if this was not enough of a celebration, a fish fry was served to all attending-like it was custom designed to be SS's favorite day. Cake that was from a local well-known bakery, specializing in wedding cakes was provided, and that was the topping of a perfect day.
A Picture was sent as it happened to facebook, which generated many loving and supportive remarks. And that night, there was a message for SS from his best bud, who lives in a group home and was told of Tim's accomplishments by a fellow resident. Very sweet. Matka was there in the form of her favorite ring, thank you SS#1 for thinking of that, and that was another reason for tears of all sorts.
In parting, look at this smile-a man happy in his life.