This was sent to me from a family at the nursing home where my daughter volunteers. It is so beautiful! I am posting it with their permission. We had to make the difficult decision for her to leave the nursing home this week because it had become too emotionally draining for her when a resident passes away. I loved the place because the staff and administrators were accepting, patient and compassionate with her, the residents looked forward to her visits, loved and spoiled her. Everyday she would come home with a pocketful of candy and gifts. Also, it was good for her because of her limited physical disabilities, it got her out the house and gave her something to do, made her feel valuable, and allowed her to use her social skills which are one of her most important strengths. We are working with a job coach to find her another job or volunteer assignment.
For years this beautiful young lady has taken the bus to the nursing home three days a week to spend time with residents. To talk and laugh and keep them company. She grew close with the families and staff. Before you knew it she became family to all of us.
The hardest part of her giving of herself was the loss of a resident. Each loss was emotionally difficult for her because she truly loved each and everyone of them. She would sit and comfort family members after their loss. All the while trying to cope with her own pain. When she went home her tears would fall uncontrollably and her heart would break as she grieved time and time again. I believe it takes a special and strong and compassionate individual to live up to the challenge with such grace and empathy as she has.
I know everyone was blessed because God saw fit to put her in the path of their lives at the precise moment they needed her. The toll it has taken upon her is understandably immense. Both emotionally and physically. Now it is time for her to start a new chapter. With a heavy heart she must bid farewell to the nursing home and pursue her passionate work as an Advocate for Cerebral Palsy Awareness. I hope everyone follows her. Dominique, you are an inspiration. You will always be a part of my family and most certainly many others. Your beautiful face, contagious smile and incredibly large heart will be missed in the halls of Jennings Center for Older Adults. One thing I know with all certainty is you will never be forgotten. You have impacted our lives like no other.
May God bless you in your future endeavors as you bring forth more light and love in the lives of others.
I love you my friend.