Kathryn’s angel speaks – from another mother’s heart

Patricia and her extended family (whanau) have embraced her as their own.
She is blessed to have them.
They feel blessed to have her.

Written four years ago ..

“There are many special people who touch our lives in a certain kind
of way and have known them we will never be the same again
Having first met Kathryn in 1998 has truly been a blessing – I did not
know that at first but after almost ten years together I do know that
Kathryn has truly changed not only who I am but how I look at people
with any sort of disability, that change has been passed on to my two
sons and my extended family.

‘Kathryn has taught me to be grateful for who I am and this I have
passed on to my sons and nieces, she has taught me that all people
need love and nurture and a safe place to call home.

‘I have been told so many times that I must have so many patience to
look after someone like Kath but I think that’s one of the qualities that
Kath has taught me, she has taught me to be a much calmer person
I wasn’t so sure about taking the job to do Home Support for
Kathryn, after meeting her I thought I could not handle or even cope
caring for a person with a disability let alone a person with such
challenging destructive behaviors but a ‘little voice’ kept nagging me
to take up the challenge and I have never regreted taking up that
challenge.

‘I remember thinking there is this little girl who needs me and honestly
speaking I needed her – times were very difficult at the beginning
because I think Kathryn was testing her boundaries and were getting
to know each other, I also think most of the early behaviour was
issues around Kath’s own securities.

‘Although Kathryn has her disabilities we have found she is smarter
than we all think she is – first Kathryn came to realise I was there for
the long haul and knowing she was been given
stability, structure,attention,
security, trust and loads of love and attention she started to pay
attention to things and people around her.

‘At that time my two boys Nathan who is 23 now and Daniel who is 21
grew up with Kathryn, I remember Nathan having lots of time for Kath
but Daniel I think was a bit jealous of Kath and Kath knew that and
used to in her own way wind Daniel up,there were many times Kath
would go out of way to make lots of noise while Daniel was watching
TV or playing video games, she enjoyed annoying him.

‘We as a family would get so excited when Kathryn would show off
things we thought she was not capable of like the very first time she
did up her seat belt and, when she switched on the light or closed the
doors or took her plate to the sink after dinner one night or putting her
dirty clothes in her own washing basket and when she finally showed
us after months of teaching her how to sit properly on a chair and
how to sleep in bed these were all such big achievements for Kath and
caused a lot of excitement in our house.

‘There was this special moment once at school when Nathan and I
went to Kathryn’s school concert – this was almost 2 years after Kath
came to live with us – Kathryn was wondering around the school yard
picking up things as she does, somehow she noticed me or recognized
my voice and came straight towards me pushing herself on my lap to
sit and giving me a cuddle and kind of a kiss on my cheek, this lasted
maybe a minute but the memory and the feelings have lasted forever finally
Kath and I made a connection and it was real – I remember
telling every body who would listen and how good I was feeling.

‘Taking Kathryn to Fiji was a mission so we thought – she loved it and
behaved so well,even I was surprised at the way she interacted with
people around her and how she was so calm and settled.

‘Again at my dads funeral Kath showed us that she knew what was
going – she seem to put on her best behavior knowing what I was
going through at that time.

‘There are so many changes we have seen in Kathryn in the years
that I have cared for her – she has grown into a beautiful young women
but yet still in a mind of a child.

‘Kathryn is a lot of hard work and commitment but life without her – my
life would be empty, I love watching her smile and feeling happy and
all the energy she seem to have, I love her beautiful hair and wish I
could have her beautiful slim figure.

‘I love you Kathryn and may God Bless you and always keep you
smiling.”