A friend who has worked closely with us for the last 6 years is leaving to return home.
While we understand why and know we will keep in touch, we recognise this is a major turning point and have been anticipating the loss for some time.
Quite amazingly, Linda suggested that she would make a suitable leaving card when she went to her craft workshop this week… Maybe an example of the empathy often seen in people with Williams Syndrome.
We were discussing this as we left Church with another mutual friend, Stan. Stan, also an adult with mild learning disability, was very approving and assured Linda, “If you make that card, I’ll sign it too.”. And that’s pretty much where I thought we’d left it.
The following scene, reported by the support worker were stressful. At the end of her working day at the craft workshop, Linda is ready to leave and bring her card home… when Stan’s Mum arrives to pay for Stan’s card. She takes the card from Linda, and, as she admires it, Linda’s anxiety mounts. It’s her card, not Stan’s but Stan’s Mum walks to the checkout…
Apparently, Stan’s mum believes that Stan commissioned Linda to make that card for him, and she’s here to pay and collect.
Tense moments follow before a resourceful support worker snatches the card and resolves the issue in Linda’s favour.
I know in the grand scheme of things this was a small event. There was plenty of time for cards to be made or be purchased but what went wrong?
Knowing the limitations of both Linda and Stan, who knows where the communication failed. Two very similar worlds collided and it was a sad affair.
I am so very sad about the misunderstanding, and so proud of Linda for her initiative and her heart. The good bye will still be sad but remembered with a personalised card – that was well won.