Do you have everything?
I think so. - Marcus
Yeah. I bet you do. Frank cooks and cleans for you so you’re free to do whatever you want. - Kim from My Apocalyptic Thanksgiving. (It's a movie about special needs and a personal reflection of why I, Richard Soriano, wrote and produced the movie.)
That’s me. That WAS me. The bitter George Bailey. When I first started working again in the family board n cares and laundromat, I was completely overwhelmed. I was doing Kim’s job and Frank’s job at the same time. 24/7/365. I was angry all the time.
One time I made a monumental effort to make a doctor’s appointment, transport a nonambulatory client to the doctor’s office. It was physically challenging and a pain to schedule the appointment. At the last second in the doctor’s office, the client refused to cooperate. Then the client laughed at me. The doctor couldn’t treat him. All of my hard work was useless .The special needs adult laughed at me from his wheelchair. It felt like the moment where Mr Potter mocks George Bailey as he was begging for a helping hand.
Now I can relate to hardworking parents who hustle for their kid only to be denied by a child who doesn’t show any gratitude. This is great training for when I become a father. I swallowed my pain,rescheduled and was able to take care of the client.
I don’t always feel like going to the doctor’s office, brushing my teeth or going to work. The clients also have rights and we must respect them.
When a special needs adult soils himself at their day program, I have to drop everything and pick them up and clean them. I restore their dignity. They are individuals. They may not appreciate it at the time, but that is what love is - doing something without expecting anything in return. When the clients are given things for free, they soon expect it and even demand it. When they earn their rewards, it brings them happiness and joy. It brings me meaning in my life.
That is what I provide for them -dignity, happiness. It brings meaning to my life.
In the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, George Bailey catches the pharmacist’s mistake. The pharmacist strikes him. George persists until the pharmacist realizes his mistake. George self-sacrifices himself out of love. He just didn’t know the tremendous impact he made on the community until the end. That’s when all his selfless love is returned to him 10 fold.