The Long Way Home
As Bob Seger penned, the Long Way Home “is the way of dreamers.” By choosing the career of a DSP you have chosen to create “Better Lives” for people with ID/DD, seniors, and families. You have chosen to take the Long Way Home. As a parent, family member or friend who loves and supports a person with disabilities, you have chosen the Long Way Home. If you have selected a career that provides infrastructure to support others who directly support people with disabilities, you have chosen the Long Way Home. In choosing this “way of dreamers,” you know it isn’t the easiest path to travel.
I began taking the Long Way Home almost 30 years ago. Thankfully, I am still traveling its paths. Back in the 1990’s taking The Long Way Home allowed me to help a person get a real job so he could buy “Michael Jordan stuff.” He wanted to be like every other American male his age. The Long Way Home led me to help people develop real lives in their own homes and communities when they moved from institutions. The Long Way Home inspired me to listen to a person I served who wanted to help flood victims in Iowa. We gathered up bottled water and drove 400 miles to deliver it. My Long Way Home found me in beautiful southern Oklahoma camping in donated National Guard tents with 100 other people who had chosen the same way. Together we celebrated a new experience with people who had never been camping.
Stops Along the Way
My Long Way Home meant I got to see a store owner gladly repair a Lazy Boy recliner for the 3rd or 4th time (lifetime warranty). His exuberant customer bought the chair with his own money. For the first time in his life, he did not have to share it with 25 other residents!
My Long Way Home allowed me to share my friend’s enthusiasm when she realized her dream of visiting the Bonnie Bell manufacturing site in Ohio. My Long Way Home allows me to regularly celebrate the success of Bios employees who constantly strive to Empower People to Reach Their Dreams.
In taking the Long Way Home, I have seen the goodness and errors of my ways. The Long Way Home isn’t perfect. I have learned to appreciate and embrace its many turns and twists. I try to avoid the temptation of the proverbial straight line … the shortest distance is not always the most rewarding route.
A Joyous Detour
Yesterday, good fortune once again smiled upon me. On my Way I was invited to take an unexpected detour. It was a birthday party. Not just any birthday party, but the perfect birthday party for my friend, Joey. How was this party perfect? Terrie and Krystal gave him a homemade birthday cake that looked like a cheeseburger (Joey’s favorite food). Herman, Franklin, Kat, and Terry gave him wonderful birthday presents. The presents were carefully selected to bring Joey joy, which is exactly what they did! And we all got to help Joey celebrate the pleasure of reaching middle age, something it was never expected he would achieve.
Had I not realized and embraced taking the Long Way Home, I might have overlooked this wonderful birthday celebration detour. It’s always easy to say, “I have too much work to do and not enough time.” Interestingly enough, when I choose the Long Way Home, the stars seem to align and everything seems to fall into place. Somehow, there’s always enough time when I make the time for these joyous detours.
So always remember to have a full tank of whatever energizes you, you never know when The Long Way Home will invite you on a wonderful detour.