When I became a Case Manager at Chai Lifeline, I didn’t really know all that it would entail. My first time walking into a hospital room to meet a new family – I was scared, but I did bring toys with me. The child’s face brightened and she lifted up her hands to m and in that moment, all my inhibitions melted away. I sat down and drew up a plan with the family – what kind of support are you going to need to get through this hospitalization? And thus started my world of clichés – let’s go through your schedule one day at a time (cliché #1). I know that actions speak louder than words (cliché #2), that sometimes just showing up, doing what you said you would do, taking initiative and getting things done – is helpful even when you don’t know what to say. The families I meet (in their toughest hours) have become so important to me. The things they are going through are harder than they could have ever anticipated, BUT, we still laugh together; at the silly, the mundane, the ridiculous – because, after all, laughter is the best medicine (cliché #3).
My time is split between Case Management and Art Therapy where I am able to help our clients use the creative process to work through whatever is troubling them. Creativity takes courage (cliché #4 – ok you guys get the point) and I get to witness breakthroughs and growth on a daily basis!
I look forward to the days when I can visit my clients at their homes seeing their child play in the backyard with their siblings or friends in the sandbox or running around the living room like a tornado the way only children can. In the meantime, I know that Chai Lifeline, my fellow Case Managers, Volunteer coordinators, volunteers and the community can make their tribulations a little easier to bear. I have never experienced such hustle from a team such as the Chai Lifeline Canada team…whether it’s finding a volunteer for a respite shift or finding tickets to some random concert that a client mentioned in passing, I know they will come through. These guys can move mountains.
When I have a hard day, full of questions with no answers, I remind myself that this too shall pass (#5), and tomorrow brings more hope and more opportunity. And that I work with a group of people who give their souls to the cause, and that I’m so lucky because I love what I do and I do what I love (#6).