They shop, eat, have families and do everyday things like we all do. These people do not look any different from you or I but when you get to know them and find out what they do to earn a living, these people are remarkable.
A lot of these people do not get paid enough.
A lot of these people do not do their job for financial reward.
Nearly all of these people absolutely love their job.
I have wondered, in a different life, if I would have ever considered their job as a career. My honest answer is no. I guess that’s why I find these people fascinating on one hand and amazing on the other.
The mornings are cold, dark and wet. There’s a tap on my front door at 7.45 am, that tap can be timed to the minute.
I open to door to be greeted with a huge big smile and a quick weather report. He makes his way up the stairs and into my son’s room with me following closely behind.
I am there just to watch. I don’t have to do any of the lifting, any of the changing, or any of the dressing, but I enjoy his company and how my son reacts to him so I choose to stand and hold the wipes or pull ups.
He brings him down stairs where he feeds him his breakfast while having a chat to my son about my son’s upcoming school day.
My son is nonverbal but this man pays no heed to that and talks to him constantly, waiting for a response and when he gets one he explodes with laughter and more chat.
My other sons stroll downstairs and are greeted with a warm ‘Good Mornin’ to ye lads’.
I can have a hot coffee while listening to the radio.
There is no longer a rush in the mornings in my home; thanks to this very special man.
He leaves an hour later with the usual ‘have a great day everyone and I will see you all later’.
He returns at 3.30 every day. His voice is loud and upbeat as he enters the house, “I’m back!”. He plays, jokes and engages with my eldest son, for two whole hours he is the carer.
I get to spend those two hours with my other sons doing something sometimes as simple as watching a movie.
He’s a remarkable man. A reliable man. A kind man. He is becoming part of our family and we love that.
There are also a group of these people who take my son a few times a month for an overnight stay and these people become mammy and daddy to him for the time that he is there.
I know that when my son is with them, he is safe, happy and being loved on. He adores them, and they adore him.
Another one of these people calls by twice a week for my son.
His chosen career is to support our family through taking our son out and about for ten hours over the month.
He has been part of our family for almost eight years. He’s part of many families. He shows up with an empty cup and a warm hug for all the boys.
I fill his mug while he packs the car and then he’s gone with my son smiling out at me from the backseat.
Last week I met at least twenty of these people all under one roof. They were singing and laughing with not only my son but with other kiddies who also have life limiting conditions.
I wondered how they do it. How do they smile when they know each beautiful child that they care for will pass on?
How do any of these people choose these careers?
I don’t know. That’s the truth.
But without these people to help us, I am not sure how we would cope. I don’t think we would be living.
Each and every one of them have given us a piece of dry land to climb onto while the seas grow rougher and rougher around us.
They don’t do it for the praise, or for the pat on the back and certainly not for the money ...they do it because they want to help, care and are not afraid to sit and talk to us about our son and how his future is looking.
Sometimes they spend their time listening to us and assuring us that when the harder times come that they will be there with us and with all our boys.
So to these people that we are lucky to know and have in our lives and in Ethan's life; thank you all so much for all you do - we don’t say it enough but you guys are absolutely amazing and have the biggest hearts I have ever had the privilege of knowing.