Goodbye-ee, goodbye-ee, wipe a tear baby dear from your eye-ee.
Though it’s hard to part I know…
Almost 6 years ago I started my job as one of the Dementia Support Workers with Hazel and her team in North Somerset.
As I reflect on the last few years, I realise its time to say a big thanks to you all. My role is to support you and pass on knowledge. But undoubtedly, it is I that has learnt the most. We have laughed loads, cried loads and lived to fight another day. Through your struggles to live with dementia or care for someone with dementia you have taught me the qualities of patience, understanding and empathy.
You have accepted my timekeeping, diary management and navigating disasters as I found my way to your homes. You have taught me to organise quizzes, tea parties and fundraising events. I have learnt how to make cards to raise funds. I think I even impressed you once with my baking and trifle making abilities!
Who would have known – when I was undertaking so much training to support you – that in the end it would be you who would teach me so many more important and valuable lessons?
It has been a privilege to get to know you, to work with you and to share your lives, the good times and the hard times. There is a time for everything, and my time to leave you has come. I have changed during the last six years. You have taught me so much and I have grown. I am a better person. It’s inadequate, but I just want to say thanks to each of you.
I wish you all the best as you continue with your struggles. And don’t forget, as we say in the singing group:
Take care of each other and don’t cry-ee, don’t sigh-ee, there’s a silver lining in the sky-ee. Bonsoir, old thing, cheer-i-o, chin, chin. Nah-poo, toodle-oo, Goodbye-ee.
For a reason I just can’t explain, this song, which is the sound track to the film Miss Potter and sung here by Katie Melua, makes me think about people with dementia, their carers and myself learning to live with what each passing day brings us.
I think life is a bit like a dance. The steps you learn are like lessons wound into the melody of the music. The music is the love that surrounds you. The beat is the passion that fills you and the lyrics are the notes that bring it all together. The end is the joy of having danced with you all.
Thank you for the beautiful flowers.
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