Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Goodbye, friend.

We lost a good friend yesterday.

 Tracey Hawkins has been part of Blessing House since the beginning. Tracey was a Supervisor at Lorain County Children Services when we asked her to help us formulate our approach to plead our case in Columbus. Fortunately for us she was able to join us in Columbus and share from her expertise how Blessing House would complement the work of LCCS. For the past several years she has served as our social worker. She has worked with our families, trained our staff and joined us in many events. This past summer she rode on our float in the International Parade.

 Tracey was a very simple person. She was always helping someone somewhere with whatever was needed. Her heart for others was very large and her concern for children was immense. Her laughter and her quick wit made every encounter something to enjoy.

 As her health problems developed, she would give you a matter of fact update with no complaining. She endured being poked and prodded and never lost her ability to laugh. She was always ready for a visit or a chat and her advice was always welcome. She had a unique way of looking at circumstances that seemed to put everything into perspective.

 Over the past couple of years we had a lot of conversations about faith. We never spoke about religion but rather about God. Her trust in her God and her surrender to accepting whatever God had placed in her life was humbling. She truly knew that God was always caring for her no matter what happened.

 Yesterday Tracey entered into the fullness of God’s loving presence. I would guess she had watched her beloved Steelers win on Sunday and then eased back in her recliner for a quick nap. I imagine she was surprised to awaken on the other side of death with no more pain or discomfort.

 Tracey will truly be missed.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Games People Play

Where do they think of this stuff?
When our children are at the house, they don’t watch television and only watch movies at rest time.  The rest of the time they are using their imaginations and engaging in play with the other children and the staff.  They come up with some pretty creative ideas.

Last week, Miss Pat picked the one watermelon that grew in our garden.  They had been watching it grow for some time and were excited that it was finally big enough to pick.  So they pulled it from the vine and brought it into the house.

One of the boys, R. was amazed at how big it had grown.  He decided it was even as big as the grownups’ heads.  So he decided to have a contest.  He asked Miss R. to get a tape measure and they would measure everybody’s heads and the one closest to the watermelon would win. 

Everyone got measured  then Sr. Mary arrived at the house.  As she walked through the playroom, she was cornered and told it was her turn.  She wasn’t sure what turn she was supposed to be taking and got a little nervous when T. walked toward her with a tape measure.  She wondered, “Hmmm, what was this child going to do?”

T. then asked Sr. Mary to sit down.  Now she was really getting nervous.

T. wrapped the tape measure around her forehead then reported the reading to Miss R. The children seemed to find great joy then in announcing to Sr. Mary that she lost.

Not sure what she was even competing for, she asked one of the boys, “OK, I lost, but what did I lose at?”

P. told her, “We’re trying to see whose head is the closest size to our watermelon?  And Miss J.’s is closer than yours.’

Sr. Mary just looked at Miss R. with that look that said, “Where did you come up with this one?”  Miss R. just shrugged her shoulders and smiled. 

Sr. Mary poured her cup of coffee and went back to her office, listening to the children’s excitement as they announced to Miss J. that she was the winner.  Miss J. replied, “Wow!  Thanks!”  Then she looked at Sr. Mary and said, “I think?”

The watermelon would taste especially sweet that night with dinner.  The children knew it had come from their own garden and a few of them had been there long enough to really watch it grow.

Sr. Mary’s thought as she sat in her office . . . . Too bad it was a seedless watermelon, otherwise she was sure the day would have ended with a seed spitting contest.  She remembered having a few of those with her brothers when she was their age.  But not to worry.  She knew when she came back the next day there would be another story to tell and another competition to enter.

She heard one of the boys say as she got up from her desk,  “Let’s see who can guess how many tomatoes Moses will eat?”

Yep, time to leave and go home.
Game over.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Mulligan for Kids

Join us for the First Irish Open that benefits children at risk across Northeast Ohio. Blessing House is one of two Crisis Care Centers in Ohio that provides temporary residential care for children when families are facing a crisis. Blessing House has taken in children more than 2,000 times to help prevent abuse and neglect.
The First Irish Open is a four person scramble scheduled for Wednesday, September 21st at Pleasant Hill Golf Course (13461 Aquilla Road, Chardon). Shotgun start at noon, $50 per person/$200 for a 4 person team, lunch provided,  Prizes and Raffle. Wear your GREEN!
For more information see: www.blessinghouse.org or call Sr. Mary Berigan SND at 440-240-1851.