FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2012
A VIP Guest Post - A Strange Quirk Of FateA few weeks ago I received the following message from a dear friend...
What strange quirk of fate brought you to my life as my friend? I can only hope that I add to your life as you do to mine. Happiest of birthdays. Have a gorgeous day. Warmest hugs, Suzy"
Strange quirk of fate indeed! When Suzy and I first met some years back on an online forum we *clicked* from the get go. A lovely friendship blossomed. We share similar heartsongs, likes and dislikes. We also have slight differences of opinion from time to time, so it is never boring ha! However we respect each other way too much to ever let any lil difference get in the way. We were amazed to discover that we lived walking distance from each others houses! When Suzy and I first met online we had no idea that fate had introduced us and that the Universe had a master plan :-0
I wrote the following blog post for Brenton, around the time of his 18th Birthday (August 2011).
You will be turning 18 in just over a weeks time. How can that be? 18 years have flown by seemingly in the blink of an eye. You will be flying to New Zealand on your 18th birthday for a 3 week snow boarding trip. You have saved and scrimped to pay for this trip and your snow boarding gear from your part time job wages. You will be travelling with your best mate Sam and staying with Sam's extended family (many of who Heartpoet and I have met) who reside in NZ. They will look after you as one of their own and that makes my heart sing.
You have won many awards at your pt job over recent weeks with your boss offering to promote you and put you through Tafe Courses. Heartpoet and I are proud of your work ethic. However nothing makes us prouder than to know you live your life with a kind and open heart. That you notice things and act on them without being asked. Like secretly mowing the lawns of a local divorced mum of three, a hardworking school teacher whose daughter (a dear friend of yours) was your year 12 formal partner and who often has you over for her homemade authentic Italian lasagna.
You already have lots of wonderful friends (of both sexes) yet when I told you a few weeks back of a friends son who is a tad older than you and was born with Cerebral Palsy you were all ears. I further explained that he is totally dependent upon others for the necessities of life. He can't eat, be toileted, stand, sit or roll over in bed without intervention. I went on to say that since completing year 12 and moving into independent living his mates had sadly drifted away leaving him a tad lonely. I made no hint or suggestion of any involvement from you. As I turned to put the kettle on you enveloped me in a big bear hug and said warmly "Mum I would like to go visit your friends son, I am sure we could be mates!" And that is exactly what you did and that is exactly what has happened. A wonderful friendship has blossomed. My friend emailed me recently to say..."If you could have heard the 'disguised' pride in his voice this morning when he rang to remind me to arrange for Brenton...his friend...to get into the unit, you'd appreciate how much this means to him."
You have been undecided as to what career path to follow since completing year 12. Police force, The Australian Defence Forces all looked into but nothing settled on. When Heartpoet and I picked you up from a visit with your new mate last week you were very animated the whole trip home. You had had a light bulb moment and decided that you would like to work in the field of disabilities. It's funny how life works isn't it? How your meeting a new friend turned into your light bulb moment!
Heartpoet and I love you so very much Brenton. May you always approach life with an open heart - experience all experiences - opening yourself to the world and the people in it.
Blog friends near and far please warmly welcome Suzy who is guest posting today here at The Serendipity Cafe - Suzy is the Mother of the young man Brenton cares for :-)
Kimmie and I were motoring along individually when an online forum threw us together in the most delightful fashion. Then, out of the blue, our sons form this bond, which no-one on Earth could have predicted.
Bizzare? Or meant to be?
Kimmie's son Brenton has enriched my own son's life in ways we never believed possible. The mere fact that after many long years of haranguing politicians at every level of government, we found ourselves with accommodation and funding for support for our son was reward enough. But to then find friendships blossoming for him through contacts that did not exist short years ago, is mind blowing.
Brenton is a most sensitive young man, in the best possible way. He attends to our guy and his needs with enormous dedication and discretion, is loyal to the core, and believes, as we do, that our son has the right to an equal life to that of his peers. They scoot around the local shopping centre together, lunching and movie-ing, order takeaway pizza and watch horror flicks, discuss girls, and discuss girls...did I mention discussing girls? Brenton has given our guy the one thing in his life, that we as his loving family could not...a mate. My son now considers himself a 'bloke' and Brenton his 'mate'.
Oh, and there's one other thing we can't give him, that Brenton and he are working on....yes...a girlfriend. No news yet, but stay tuned.
I can't thank Kimmie and Heartpoet enough for raising such a wonderful young man, and giving us the privilege of getting to know him. I think she feels the same about my son. Am I right Kimmie?
Brenton is one of a team of five 'Personal Assistants' for our son but has the very important task of training all PA's up to his admirable standard :) Brenton will also commence further studies in the new year.
The most important message here is that caring for a disabled person can be a rewarding and satisfying career. The industry is so desperately short of good male carers that a bloke could do worse...honestly.
One of the best things that Brenton has done in accepting this important role, is to elevate the profile of male disability support professional to something approximating 'cool'. So much so, that he has introduced at least one other friend to this role with my son (with enormous success) and from what I hear, Brenton has quite a few others on the sidelines hoping to follow a similar path.
The almost certain introduction of the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) is going to see enormous growth in this industry in the next decade and who knows where our boys will end up.
I don't think either Brenton or his parents, Kimmie and Heartpoet, have a full appreciation of the significance of that side of our tale.
More blokes lookin' after blokes I say....bring it on!