My sweet developmentally disabled sister, Lisa, calls every night — like clockwork — at 6pm. When she’s a little off schedule or if we’re out, I’ve tried to remind her she can call on my cell phone but managing technology is a struggle for her. For reasons that I don’t fully understand, she believes calling me on our house phone/land line is a less intrusive, better-bet for connecting with me each day.
The hubster pointed out recently that Lisa enjoys leaving long voicemail messages for us…sometimes like a rambling speech about her day…and she doesn’t REALLY engage in that much conversation when we do speak…it’s more of a download of her day. What she ate, who she saw, what’s on TV that night. He might be right. Lisa enjoys the telling…and that’s a good reminder for me the next time I sprint around the house risking life and limb to get to the phone before it pops to voicemail.
Last night Lisa and I both had scheduling blips. I knew I was going to be on a call with a client at the “appointed hour” of 6pm and low and behold…Lisa had plans, too! She called early (at 5:15 which distorts all space-time continuums in the galaxy) and breathlessly shared that she had a DATE and needed to call early.
For several years, Lisa’s had a boyfriend (we’ll call him George) and he lives in a wonderful, sheltered group home, as Lisa puts it “for the guys”. George has been blind from birth and has mobility challenges and developmental delays, like Lisa.
What’s most charming about their relationship? Their long, languishing conversations – comparing notes about their day, their housemates, and the latest reality TV news. (“Survivor” is one of their favorites and George’s brother makes sure – along with Lisa – to provide an excellent color commentary recap of every episode.)
Last night, Lisa’s loving team…and George’s… arranged an outing for ‘date night’. It’s a big deal when the stars line up in this way because each house is home to five other residents and freeing up staff to chaperone and drive Lisa and George to their favorite sandwich shop is no small feat.
When Lisa called at 5:15 she was waiting to depart for ‘her date’ and made sure she packed her purse with George’s favorite gum and hard candy – for their after-dinner treats – and excitedly shared that George had written her another love letter in Braille. Lisa proudly reminded me that she also remembered to pack a Ziploc bag so George’s letter wouldn’t get wet or damaged before her social worker Marla could read the letter to her today.
Tonight? I’ll get all the details about George’s letter…their dinner, their chat and the loving reminders from Lisa that spending time with those you love, holding hands over sub sandwiches is the good life.
Whatever you’re doing today…I’m sending hugs to you…from Lisa and from me!
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com
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