there was a time during my staffship at DHF when i lost someone very dear to me. 30 minutes after hearing the news, i sent a text to manny. i asked for the following day off and briefly told him why. seconds later, he called me. he wanted to make sure i was okay and express his deep condolences. before his call, i’d been sitting alone in my room, only a door separating my sadness from the jubilant friends having a party in the living room. my throat was swollen and my heart was heavy. i can’t remember what he said, but what i do remember was his care. immediate, unwavering. manny has always been this way, but on this particular occasion, especially so.
there was a time during my staffship at DHF when corinna came to town. i got real with her about the place my mind was stuck, and she helped me to crawl out. she asked questions that brought me a level deeper than i’d gone on my own. intentions, reactions, possibilities. i’m not sure she knows that her words carried such a profound impact, but i will be forever grateful. she has become a great role model for me. she has literally SHONE me that standing up for yourself can be synonymous with standing up for many many others.
there was a time during my staffship at DHF where ketones found me. I pretty desperately text’d Melissa Lee, a DHF board member. She called me and I felt relief immediately. Remembering her caring support makes reflecting on the experience a positive one, despite the feeling that my blood was on fire. It was some kind of diabetes community magic. take a fully bad experience physically, throw in friends reaching up to take some weight off, and you get a lesson in healing rather than pain.
everyday during my staffship at DHF i came into the office looking forward to spending time with mike and emily. i’m convinced that there is no workplace like this one because of them. they are my friends and i truly love them both. i have so many vibrant memories with them, so many lessons learned, so much self growth and personal development. we tease and we laugh. we dance and we sing. we stand and we trot in place to get more fitbit steps. i don’t think it is common to meet people who offer space to grow in real time, but both mike and emily do. i’ve blossomed in many ways because they lend insight and experiences. missing them is going to be really challenging.
there was a time during my staffship at DHF when a new family member jumped aboard. desiree is so fun and talented and together, i can’t help but wish i would have been here to hang out longer. she brings so many wonderful gifts to DHF. she has been a pleasure to work along side.
all of these memories share a theme, a common thread, a backbone.
that backbone, thread, theme, is the mission of DHF working it’s magic. connecting. engaging. empowering.
beyond that, for me, what is really under all of it is… belonging.
there are so many warm warm welcoming individuals making up the DOC. i’ve never felt like i belong anywhere as much as i do here.
i knew what DHF did before i started working here. i had felt saved by PWDs before. but this family, up close and personal is something else. it is a home. it is a place to stand and a place to fall. it is a place to rest. it is a place to just be.
DHF and the DOC are whatever you need them to be even when you aren’t sure what it is you need.
there was a time when i felt lost and alone. thanks to DHF and all of you, that time is behind me. and should it ever find me again, i know exactly where to turn to find my way back home.
i’m filled with gratitude for the kindness DHF has shone me. on the eve of my last day of staffship, i can think of no better way of thanking them then to promise to pay it forward.
wherever i go,
whatever i will do,
i will bring your lessons and kindness and warmth with me.
i’ll show compassion and extend my arms to offer the warmth of a hug.
i’ll be open and honest
i’ll call to make sure someone is okay
i’ll dance and sing and tease and laugh
thank you for guiding me and helping me grow, DHF and DOC.
here are all the ways i’d like to say thank you:
Beautiful. true and from the heart – Just like you~
Ya know Heather, when I met you last summer in Chicago, you were just as warm, kind, supportive, and encouraging. You’re talking so much about how wonderful DHF is, and I just wanted to remind you that you’re part of the reason why. We’ll see you around. My dad lives in Phoenix, so when I get around to visiting him there, I’ll give ya a ring. 🙂
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So excited for the next leg of your journey.