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Dear Ivy

Dear Ivy,

I am sorry we did not receive even just a moment to say goodbye
and thank you to each other
for all those school bus rides we took together,
you in your harness,
and me in my wonder
about what’s coming next
from your talking head
to mine.

It is time for me to move on
to another student,
but I am happy to leave you in Miss Josie’s care.

I know she will enjoy your time
invested in each other,

Listening and taking turns speaking kindly with each other,
Singing and maybe even a little dancing together,
reading and drawing as light and bumps allow.

Maybe you can teach each other
some new KnockKnock jokes.

KnockKnock.
Who’s there?
Sandi.
Sandy who?
Sandy sandwiches
are not good for you.

KnockKnock.
Who’s there?
Josie.
Josie who?
Jo see for yourself,
Open the door!

I am grateful to have so many silly and lovely memories
of you
to take with me.

And, the greatest farewell gift you could give me
is your reassurance
that these same warm and happy memories
of us
are what you will carry with you
throughout your great adventurous journey
into well-being.

Warmly yours,

Sandi

Sandi who?
Sandy snacks
are not so good for you.

Note:

My behaviorally disordered ADHD and fetal alcoholic daughter, with abandonment issues and deep-seeded food anxiety issues, suddenly lost her long-standing school bus aide, probably to compassion burn-out.  Ivy can be a profound motivator of impatience in those around her, even with deep and widely developed caregiving and receiving skills. This is the farewell that I think Ivy would have found more therapeutic than the isolating complexities of disappearance without explanation or expressed gratitude for what did co-relationally work for so long.

To be clear, not saying goodbye was an administrative decision from above; not what Ivy’s aide wanted for herself or for Ivy.

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