why I do this…
Being awarded the COVT of the Year this year in Orlando was pretty amazing, and still, there are times looking back that I wonder if there was some mistake. After all, when you get right down to it, I mostly get paid to play with kids all day. The recognition was very much appreciated though, and the significance of adding my name to such a prestigious list of previous recipients certainly was not lost on this chair. It is rarefied air, and I was both honored and humbled to be included. The experience and award are both things for which I will be forever grateful.
As amazing as that experience was though, today may have topped it, thanks to one little girl and her huge heart. My friend Roma came into the office for her graduation from Vision Therapy today; the final day in what has been a long, long journey. Her life has changed thanks to Vision Therapy – reading, writing, math, spelling, memory – all of it was tough as she almost repeated a grade last year, and all of it is showing a great improvement as she has begun to excel above her current grade level.
My therapy room is usually filled with laughter thanks to some silly adolescent jokes (yes, they are my favorite to tell) and Roma has always been one to giggle and beg for more. We laugh together, are silly together, and even play jokes on each other, all while working hard on our given task. She is a tough cookie with an infectious laugh and shares my immense love of a little levity from time to time. Today had a quite different feel though. As Roma stood in the front of our VT room which was packed with spectators – she graduated during an hour filled with three patients and their parents – she shed a tear, and another, and then another. I motioned to her to come see me and she hurried over, met me with a hug, and began to cry. She didn’t want to say goodbye.
Having an impact on someone’s life is nothing short of incredible, whether in VT, or another arena. To watch a child go from struggles and failure to a position of success and confidence, knowing that you played some small part in their improvement, is such an amazing feeling. Roma may not be able to articulate it, but somewhere in her heart she knows I was on her side and ready to help, and that knowledge gave her the strength to make the changes and improvements she needed. Together we built trust and a bond of sorts; a bond that is tough to let go of when the time comes. For Roma, no words were necessary, the tears said it all. I will miss her too.
No matter what successes I may personally achieve, and with due respect to the recognition and acclamation, my life will always be an incredible place thanks to kids like Roma. She is a VT success story, and I am so incredibly proud of her, and grateful for the opportunity to have helped her. She is beginning to soar and her life now contains endless possibilities for success, and that my friends, is why I do this.