Today I was at Hospice for my volunteer shift and I noticed one of the employees from the bereavement center seemed a bit over loaded so I asked how I could help. She gave me stuffed envelopes that needed to be sealed so they could be mailed out. Easy enough I thought, and I worked on them while I ran the front desk. When I finished I called her and asked if she would like me to walk them over to her when my shift was done so she wouldn’t have to walk back to our building to retrieve them, she accepted my offer gratefully.
At the end of my shift I walked across the parking lot and dropped off the box of sealed envelopes and said my good byes to the employees. As I exited I nearly ran into someone walking in. I heard, hey your the social worker right? I looked up to see the LMHC that works at the bereavement center. I corrected, Well not exactly, student. Social work student. She laughed as we shook hands and reintroduced ourselves to each other.
She and I have met on a few occasions now. The first was last year. My mentor and supervisor introduced me and we hit it off immediately. We spoke about social work and working with bereaved children. I gave her a snap shot of my volunteer resume in terms of work I have done with children and we agreed I would be a good fit for the bereavement center. I have not had the opportunity to work in bereavement yet because the IPU has been short staffed and I have not had enough time to volunteer and extra day allowing me to do both. I did make my supervisor aware of my interest and intentions and felt supported.
After a few minutes of catching up the LMHC asked me point blank, You’re not busy May 2nd are you? I paused. I did not have my big calendar with me that I keep every detail of my daily life on, it was hanging on the fridge at home. I tried to picture that day on the calendar, it was the day after one of my final exams and two days before another final exam. I don’t think I am actually, what do you have for me? Her face lit up, Camp Healing Hearts, you’d be perfect and I am desperate for volunteers. Without hesitation my answer was a very enthusiastic YES! I missed my chance to be involved with the camp last fall because it was the same day as the wedding, I was elated to get a second chance so soon.
It is an all day camp for grieving children and adolescence. There will be activities and games and plenty of opportunity for meaningful engagement.
My Mom’s mom died when I was 9. It was my first experience with death and it was difficult. I still remember the Hospice social worker that counseled me and played with me after her death. To possibly pay that back means so much to me. I am also excited because it has been a little over a year since I have done any work with children.
I had just started thinking recently about what this summer is going to look like for me and how I want to use my time. Last summer I got involved with a literacy day, planted trees, started with hospice and cooked a meal for the residents of the local Ronald McDonald house. The nice thing about the summer semester is that it is lighter allowing for more free time to get involved. This camp is going to be a nice way to kick off another summer of volunteering and the meeting with the LMHC was nothing if not serendipitous.
Something else I am looking forward to is a benefit put on by the Adult Literacy League. One my dearest friends is a writer who works downtown. I love her because she does not shy away from the deep stuff. Every time we are together I feel like we bare a little more of our souls. She is one of my favorite conversationalists. We talk about life and literature and projects and writing and anything outside of the superficial realm of everyday chatter. Last week she texted me and asked if I wanted her tickets to this benefit because she was going to be out of town. I immediately screamed YES into my phone, although I am not sure the emotion translated through text message. However my very next thought was, who will I take? She would have been my perfect date. Todd was obviously my answer and I am sure he will appreciate how wonderful and meaningful this benefit is, but probably not quite as much as her.
So with an incredibly grateful heart I accepted her offer and tomorrow evening Todd and I will enjoy an evening out at the Science Center at this benefit.
It comes at the perfect time because late this afternoon I finished my contribution to our community assessment project. I am worn out on many levels from the work put into that project and am ready to step back from it for a few days. This benefit will be a nice reprieve.
So tomorrow I meet the LMHC at Hospice to receive a quick training on what to expect on May 2nd at the camp then in the evening it will be super formal date night as we attend the benefit. It is a nice way to start the summer and begin to close out a very busy semester.