So Becca turns 44 this month. Was there ever a time when I wasn’t a caregiver? I remember there were times after she was born that my mind would wander to the future, trying to picture what this new life would be like. Will it be consumed with doctor appointments, tests, and treatments? Will she be with us forever? Will she ever be independent? And above all, am I up to the task? I was only 21 and I felt so overwhelmed by the future. I quickly trained my mind not to dwell on those thoughts. I shut them out completely.
“Today. I can do this today,” I would repeat to myself.
There have been times of brokenness, times of being afraid, and times when I have been so angry with how people treated her that I just had to walk away mid-conversation.
But there have also been times of great pride in this sweet child and now adult watching her change peoples’ moods and stereotypes. There has been joy in watching her accomplish a new skill, laughter at some of the precious things she says (our whole family has a vocabulary of Becca words that we use regularly), and grateful for the strength of character and humility she has taught me.
The future is here and it is good.
Dutton Farm is a non-profit organization in Oakland County that serves individuals with mental, physical, and emotional impairments. Staff are friends (no really) and work is meaningful. Our purpose is to positively impact the lives of our participants through partnership, dignity, and contentment. We provide an array of activities that foster self-belief and satisfaction. Our Community Integration Program and our Dutton Farm Market offer employment opportunities to people of all abilities. Here on the farm, we believe in the endless potential and worth of every human being and their ability to lead productive and fulfilling lives.