As we walked across the church parking lot, my husband and I spied our friend, and former pastor, walking with his wife and granddaughter, whom I call ‘Cassie Lassie’. We eagerly introduced ourselves and passed hugs all around. While the young woman and I had never met in person, we’d been introduced online. Her family knew I was a writer and enlisted my assist to steer her from that career, onto a new quest.
The groups parted ways: they were walking out as we were walking in. Or perhaps it was vice versa – that’s an incidental detail.
Because my husband is very involved in our church, someone pulled him aside for a ‘meeting’. That often happens on the church patio and, being the butterfly I am, I find a new person to swaddle in conversation. Someone is always needy and/or convivial. People need people, and I have a gregarious, helping heart.
I’ll never know what compelled me to turn on my heel, circling back to the young woman to peel her away from close conversation with her grandpa and a congregation member who was a marriage-and-child therapist. I’d figure out later that Grandpa was steering the new career path.
While I am an ardent proselytizer for the field, in which there is a serious shortage of licensed worker bees, I’d never had someone synchronize with the notion so quickly. Cassie told me later that she went into her college counselor the next day to switch her major.
It was God’s perfect time, Grandpa, the ever-Pastor, and I agreed.
Cassie Lassie was on basketball scholarship at a university that had a Masters program in speech-language pathology only. No problem: with a basic textbook that I gave her and her own penchant for online research, she was more deeply convinced daily.
But I wanted more for her, as assurance of the career shift. How to gain real life experience, a therapy voyeurism/volunteerism experience so that she could experience the field in real time?
Again, in God’s perfect timing, Facebook provided a 1-minute year-in-review video clip and, in it I spied a reunion of therapists with whom I’d worked 25 years ago, a lunch fest when one of our cast returned to the area for a visit. With a few key clicks, I found the number of the facility, ICEC. The acronym of great toddler therapy still stood – and a woman with whom I’d worked was retiring. My husband and I joined the gala event, paid tribute and praise – and re-connected with the team to provide Cassie Lassie a robust observation experience among Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Music Therapists, Preschool Teachers, and a Social Worker. A team of heaven-sent people to brilliantly cast their fields and show their work in action.
The stars aligned and it was a great summer experience. Cassie and company thrived.
Cassie Lassie is going to be a great SLP – or OT or anything ‘helping person careerist’ she selects. I’ve seen her in action. She melds thriving heart with fervent determination.
There’s always an Up Side in her life, too.
PS Here’s a shout-out to the Facebook god who conceived the year-in-review video montage. I valued the re-connection afforded with friends. We’d grown away, but not forgotten. Therapy with people-in-dire-need does that to you. Thank heaven that crisis is a constant. We ‘therapy types’ long to help.
I treasure my lifelong friends: gone, never forgotten, and returned to the fold of my arms.
I treasure Cassie Lassie, too. We have a bond.