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Here's to a Day

Here's to a Day

A Vision for the Future

By Guest Author Sue Swenson

Here's to a day when a loving mother has options other than 'a group home,' options that provide gentle teaching and positive support, and that those options strengthen her connection to her son even if he lives elsewhere, and they do not make her feel that she is abandoning her beloved son, or abdicating her responsibilities, but rather the options allow her to feel that she is deserving of having her own life even as he is deserving of having his. Here's to that day.

Here is also to that day when parents, who are desperately seeking solutions to how to get through the day and the night, find answers beyond what they learn in animal husbandry or corrections, and when our communities are rich enough for someone else to know and care what that family is up against, and that there are resources to help them escape the expectation that they 'take care of it' without help. Here is to manageable struggle, and ordinary people who come together to help when the struggle becomes unmanageable. Here's to a civilization that is actually civilized. Here's to that day.

Here's to the day when people who work in human services have the tools and resources they need to provide services that are humane and that support families without first needing to require the families to be sacrificed. Here's to the day when we recognize that human service workers are human, too, and are not built to stand by and watch disaster happen to others. May their empathy be supported. Here's to that day.

This article is included with permission from the author, Sue Swenson. Her late son Charlie had complex disabilities. Person-centered and community-based supports allowed Charlie to grow up with his brothers and have his own life and friends as an adult, for which the whole family is grateful.

Photo of road with images of people painted on it included under a Creative Commons license by Vincent van der Pas.

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