Monday, September 8, 2014

The Fella

I'm sorry I haven't given you much recently. Life has been a roller coaster for me lately. Highs such as going on a mission trip to Cleveland, Ohio a week after LeBron returned; seeing one of my good friends accomplish something he's worked hard for for years; and getting a decent raise. Lows such as being turned down for a ton of jobs I'd interviewed for; having a friend have some troubles; and my Packers getting stomped.

This past Friday was both a high and a low.  You may or may not have been aware of a ton posts, tweets, and random musings about "The Fella." For those who may be unfamiliar, I worked part time for a company that provided support to folks with intellectual and/or physical disabilities. For two and a half years, my assignment was The Fella. This past Friday was my last day with him. He has started the next step in his life. He has moved out of his home and into a group home. This is the best thing for him. He needs to be free of his mother's home and try to do things on his own. I'm sure he'll succeed as long as the group home he's in cares for his success.

Over the course of my time with The Fella, I've learned a lot about myself. I've learned that life sometimes isn't about all boring things like bills, work, and serious things. Sometimes, a dude just needs a bag of chips and a soda. You have to learn to enjoy simple things in life like throwing rocks in a river. I mean we would literally spend hours sitting at a river chucking big rocks and skipping little rocks until one of us got thirsty. We'd play countless games of HORSE at a basketball court. Sometimes, it was just sitting down and watch Scooby Doo and Three Stooges when it got rainy outside. Just enjoying those simple things taught me that I don't need to take myself so seriously.

I also learned that even those little things are important to people. I can't count how many times I've had to deal with The Fella's temper when I beat him at UNO. When he'd stomp away after he got the final "E" in HORSE after trying to make that show two turns ago, it's just his way of expressing his frustration with both himself and the situation. I had a Youth Ministry professor at Liberty put it in perfect terms: "You can call it puppy love, but it's still real to the puppy." A stupid little game of UNO or basketball may not mean much to you, but to The Fella, it was everything. Sometimes in life, you have accept that people's loves are not your loves, and you shouldn't judge them for it.

Friday was our last evening together. It started when I took him to his favorite place to eat, Rancho Viejo. He saw his favorite waitress after she had her baby, so that made him happy. He ate what he always eats, cheese dip with hot sauce in it. He also stared at my black beans thinking they were raisins. We walked his dog, watched Three Stooges, and talked about his new life. When it was time for me to leave, he began to cry. That brought me to a few tears as well. I do get to hang out with him. I promised I'd take him places every so often and just have friend time. I probably won't see him for a couple of weeks just so he can get used to not having me around all the time.

Sometimes, I ask myself if I'm doing the right thing working two jobs. Outside of the financial gain, is it worth it? Well, after working with the Fella for as long as I have, I can say it is definitely worth it. His friendship has been invaluable. So, here's to you Fella. You've been great. You will succeed far better than your imagination. Just remember what you've learned about keeping your emotions in check and remembering that you don't hurt those you love. You're going to do great. Thank you for teaching me many life lessons.

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