Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Snapshot--Charlotte


Who's Charlotte?  

For those who don't know me in person, she's not my daughter, she's my sister.  Charlotte is 7 years younger than me in age.  She is a very special person.   The girls love hanging out with her in her room.  The boys love giving her some "sisterly" teasing (like surprising her with the gerbils!).

I guess I could fill you in on her.  Charlotte was born 3 months premature, fluid on the brain, etc.   Over time my parents found out that she has mild mental retardation, hydrocephalus (had--shunt removed the fluid and hasn't needed any repairs even though it's not even connected any more!), vision impairment, hearing impairment, and cerebral palsy.  But these things don't define who she is.   She goes to all sorts of Special Olympics events (softball throw and a 25 meter "run" are her events!).  She loves to listen to music, do word search puzzles and latch hook rugs.  She ADORES the kids and dotes on them when she comes over.

When mom and dad were alive, Charlotte lived at home and worked at their local ARC (Association for Retarded Citizens) and didn't really do anything else in life.  Dad died in 2003 and mom died in 2007. That left just the two of us.  After mom's death, she lived with us for a few months, but it wasn't working well for any of us.  We hired round the clock caretakers for her in the family home, but it was difficult getting her every weekend, logistically and just the constant readjustment for her.  In 2009, we sold the house and moved her into town!  What a big step for all of us.  She had a room mate for a while, but it wasn't a good fit.  We were blessed with an opening at a subsidized apartment complex which has been AWESOME!  She has NOW waiver that covers caretakers and our local ARC.  I had meetings this week to get her set up at a new Day Learning Center which sounds promising.  Right now she just counts out gumbo bowls, 10 at a time and packages them, day after day, 10, 10, 10, 10... But I KNOW she is more capable than that.  The new center will teach her health, money, current events (so they can converse with others), exercise, arts and crafts.

 (Special Olympics when she spied us in the stadium!)

 (Charlotte and 2 of her best friends)

She has quite a full social calendar these days.   She goes bowling every Monday.  She has set laundry days.  Then there's girls' night out every Friday--a group of her friends go out to eat every Friday!  Church and sometimes going visiting at the park on Sunday afternoon.  I'm so excited for her that she finally has a life of her own.  That was one reason it was hard for her to stay here, I basically had to treat her like my daughter and she tacked on to what we were doing.  I didn't want that for her.  She deserved more.  I think we've found it...

Sunday Snapshot


Kristi said...

popped over from SS -

what a wonderful post! Looks like Charlotte is quite the social butterfly and athlete!

Wolfe's Home said...

What a sweet sister! I am so happy that you are feeling good about where she is.