December 14, 2011

no happy camper, Elvis and hugs

A Joyous Merry Christmas to all of you from Erik and me.

I was in the middle of baking today and suddenly felt like talking to Erik.  Called up the group home and Shirley, one of his supervisors, answered.   I asked how Erik was. She said he's been ok -- up until last night.  For some reason something bothered him in the night and he got upset and it disturbed his sleep. Made me sad. She said he sometimes has these angry episodes at work.  Shirley's his work supervisor and she said you always know when he's upset.  He'll throw things on the ground, clearly not a happy camper.  It doesn't take a long time to talk Erik back to his old self but it's frustrating because no-one really knows what set him off.   I thanked her for helping Erik so well when he's agitated.  Then Shirley told me that she had a special spot in her heart for Erik.   Lord, thank you for sweet Shirley.   

She said sometimes when they're working (assembling plumbing parts) the music will be on and Erik will sing along. But, one time Elvis' Teddy Bear song came on, and.... Oh, she said, he belted it out - singing and twisting his hips.  I wish I could have seen that. Erik has always loved Elvis. Right about then, Erik appeared in her office.  His ears had perked up as he heard her talking to me about him from the next room. so funny.  So I got to visit with him.  He's happy about Christmas coming.

I've learned from Erik's past few visits that being away from the group home is harder and harder for him.  I think many of the residents who live there are the same, they're eager to get back.  When Erik was here over Thanksgiving he appeared very sad. I asked him if he missed Aldersgate and he nodded.  I told him he was going back real soon which made him visibly happier.  

 Returning Erik after his break, my hubby and I unpacked his case in his room, spoke to the weekend houseparent on duty.  We stepped outdoors to go see what was happening at the other house.   Outside in the other yard we saw Penny and Roxanne (2 residents) walking the dog.  Well, Erik started RUNNING over to Penny with his arms outstretched wide, and Penny smiled real big and RAN over to Erik with a huge was like watching a scene from a movie!  (note: Erik never runs anywhere; his normal speed is slo-o-o-w)  Penny hugged us real hard and told me, "I watch out for him, I always make sure he's ok".  Oh Lord, thank you also for Penny, the "Little Mama" of the group home.  Delight to our hearts.

Erik and Penny, taken in '08.