Sister, Will You Be Devastated?

Women friendsLinda shows the typical paradox of many Williams Syndrome adults: she knows everyone and has friends on every corner and yet she has no one who really calls her friend.

I’ve struggled with this and would love to see her develop a friendship, to want to visit or go visit with someone, to have a special friend. And yet the concept seems alien to her.

Everyone is her friend. Does she like Jane? Yes, Does she like Hannah? Yes. Does she have a special friend? Yes, Jane. And Hannah.

I’m not worried about this but when I see that Linda doesn’t get anything more than a brief hello when she next meets Hannah or Jane – nothing malicious, just they are all stars in their own separate orbits – I sigh as I think Linda is missing out on that joy that comes from a closer friendship.

Today I realised that there is at least one special person in Linda’s life.

Bella is a paid Care Worker who has been working with Linda for one day a week for over six months now. Bella is a few years older than Linda and has a very different personality. Delightfully and appropriately caring but also just a little risque. Bella likes motorbikes, wears big silver jewellry and black leather, listens to heavy rock music and together they laugh.

Linda certainly looks forward to Bella’s visits and their trips out together.

As Linda’s birthday approaches she’s mentally making plans for the big day – as you know, many Williams Syndrome people seem to live in the future, always looking forward to what is coming next.

One morning, with a very serious look on her face Linda asks in great trepidation, “Sister, would you be devastated if Bella came on my birthday?”

I don’t know whether to be more amazed by the complex question “would you be devastated if”, perplexed by the thought that I might find such a request devastating or plain overjoyed that she has asked for a specific person to share her special day!

I decided on the latter in an instant. Bella is duely invited!