Last week, I had a wonderful day that started with a surprise presentation to my son’s special education teacher, Maggie Hammond. Maggie, a teacher at Hamilton Southeastern High School, is the winner of The Arc of Indiana’s 2010 Education Award, which will be presented at The Arc’s 2010 Conference and Appreciation Luncheon on November 9th. This award honors individuals who work to assure children with special needs receive a quality, inclusive education. Maggie, who has an enviable energy level and a contagious smile, is the guide who has helped my son navigate the difficult waters of high school.
Having a chance to thank Maggie in this way has led me to reflect on the importance of saying thank you to people in our lives. During these very difficult times of unemployment, decreasing services and tight budgets, it can be very easy to overlook the positive things that are happening in our lives and the lives of our loved ones who have disabilities. Raising a child who has a disability can be challenging, but I am certain that if you think about it, there may be several individuals who deserve a thank you for the supporting role they play. Perhaps it is your spouse, your child’s teacher, a wonderful caregiver or supportive grandparents — or maybe it is all of these individuals.
The best part of thanking Maggie has been the happiness I have felt. I am truly thrilled that she will get a little recognition for the work she takes in stride every day. And I am especially glad that I have finally put into writing the gratitude I have felt about the ways she helps Caleb.
Saying thank you to someone in your life doesn’t have to be an elaborate award. It can be as simple as a few kind words, a hug or a heartfelt note. My challenge to each of you today is to find someone in your life who makes everything just a little easier. Find a way to say thank you, and then sit back enjoy your own moment of happiness.
Manager of The Arc Network
The Arc of Indiana