Below is the digital version of our April 2022 Newsletter. For easier viewing, click the download button & view as PDF. We have also included the articles in this blog for universal text access.
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Welcome to the exciting first newsletter of 2022 and Happy April to each of you.
Time does have a way of showing us what’s most important – what did you learn was most important over the course of the last 2 years? I am sure we all share some items on that list and we also have the unique things we cherish and believe in that make each of us different from the next. I would like to concentrate on the things we may have in common but also encourage you to also consider your personal discoveries made during this time. The featured quotes [below] symbolize to me the things we may have all learned during these difficult two years.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross says “Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has purpose.”
“Balance…never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart.” Unknown author
“Happiness comes when we stop complaining about the troubles we have and offer thanks for the troubles we don’t have.” Author unknown
“Smile, breathe, take your time and remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” from the Gypsy’s Soul.
“Remember that stress doesn’t come from what’s going on in your life. It comes from your thoughts about what’s going on in your lives.” Andrew J. Bernstein
“Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.” Unknown author.
Being silent and listening, seeking balance, knowing happiness, taking our time, handling stress and being strong, smart and brave are the things I have experienced in our small part of a much larger community. I have watched as the people we support have risen to the challenges of life during a pandemic which none of us had experienced nor been taught to react to. I have watched the people/support staff standing by people and walking with them every step of the way. Each of us here at this agency have our own families of birth and we also have our family of support and strength here at Harbor Supported Living Services. There were countless unique and unrepeatable moments of love and support throughout the entire pandemic that heartened all of us when things were so confusing and different from what our “normal” lives had been like. I have heard people say that things are returning to normal but I believe things are never “normal” they are extraordinary, they are changed forever, they are what we will make them be.
Harbor has experienced much joy and much sadness over the last years. We have celebrated everything we could find to smile about and we have cried through the loss of people we love. Life will never be the same without them but we will always keep a place for them in our hearts and in our memories. Our lives have been touched forever by the moments we shared with those souls who have moved on. We will never forget them.
As for the immediate future, we will continue to implement protections for all of us even in this time of less restrictions being expected. We move cautiously and will examine each change we make in protocol for its positive versus possible negative result. Every day is a new day with new wisdom to consider. Maya Angelou said “ This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” So true!!
We remain committed to and making efforts toward a better life for all of us and for all the people we love. With a wider lens, we must work toward better lives for all people on the planet. The events currently happening to our brothers and sisters in the Ukraine are unforgivable and catastrophic. We should always remember the words and advice of Elie Wiesel who once said “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” This sentiment currently applies to the Ukraine but we should remember that it also has referred to the treatment of people with disabilities at different times in our history. We can not turn our eyes and attention from the suffering of any group of people as all of it affects each one of us in a variety of ways. If it is happening on the other side of the world or in our own backyards we hopefully feel compelled to do whatever we can do to end injustice. What do you do in your everyday actions to end injustice? Who will do those things when the injustice is directed at you? Please take a few moments to consider those two questions.
In closing, I encourage each of us to commit to our very first thought in the morning being “thank you”. We can wake up, open our eyes and whisper “thank you” to the universe, the higher power, whatever the source is for you. Live in gratitude for what we have right now, right this moment and learn to recognize those things daily. We are blessed to have another day on the planet to live and love. Really isn’t that all that matters?
Since we've been gone...
In the months since the last newsletter, we decided to find new and safe ways to get together, and had to really think outside the box! From our spooktacular movie night hosted at the Harbor office, to spending Thanksgiving at Susie William’s and Alikan Abusaidi’s, (with the lovely Kathy Bell helping bring the holiday spirit), we really tried to make sure everyone was loved and cherished during each and every festive occasion. If you’ve been by the office, you’ve probably noticed a new face! Our beloved Tabatha has taken her leave and in her stead is Abbey always at the front desk to greet everyone! She’s excited and motivated, an always needed asset for Harbor, so we’re grateful to have her join our team.
Although our company always feels like it’s continuing to grow, we have also had to say some goodbyes and see-ya-laters. Albert Fernandez, Sarah Leone, and George Bowen have moved on to other support structures and although they no longer receive services from Harbor SLS they are our forever friends and family. We look forward to making more memories with them in this capacity as we hope they will continue to join us for Harbor events and stay in contact!
Our most difficult goodbye came suddenly and unexpectedly in the passing of our beloved Deb Paniagua. We have spent these months since her passing on September 15th 2021 trying to make sense of this world without her up-to-no-good smile and infectious laugh. She will forever live on in our hearts and we hope to honor her memory in many ways as we move forward. We know she will be watching over us always, making her jokes and calling out from her sacred space above.
In December we again missed the usual Holiday Gathering that we all have enjoyed in the past due to the COVID pandemic. But in keeping with our creativity and desire to celebrate, we opted to host a movie night and homemade soup buffet for all who wanted to attend. For the pleasure of everyone there, we played the movie “Elf,” decorated cookies, took pictures with “Santa,” and received gifts. A warm and wonderful time was had by all despite the rainy weather outside. We hope this December we will be able to host a safe and fun Holiday Gathering once again.
Many of you have seen our pictures shared in previous years from Achieve Tahoe, the adaptive sports program that gives the opportunity for people with disabilities to learn and become independent in doing winter and summer sports in Lake Tahoe. Over the years, the people we support have gotten to enjoy skiing, water tubing, jet skis, kayaking, canoeing and much more. Randy, Leroy, Chris K., Dylan, and Kathy all made their way to Tahoe in February 2022. The Volunteers at Achieve Tahoe are so generous and supportive to all the skiers and their help is greatly appreciated. Thanks to this program, the people we support have been able to enjoy the exhilarating experience of making their way down a ski slope with the wind on their face. We hope to be able to visit Achieve Tahoe again in the near future!
Through all these experiences, we have grown closer and continue to hold each other up and look to how we can better ourselves and our organization. We look forward to staying connected to our Harbor Family again through this newsletter and making many more memories as we continue our journey together.
4/3 - Wendy Baker
4/14 - Edward Henricksen
4/20 - Gilbert Madriz
4/21 - Daniel Machado
4/23 - Gene Pak
Join us to celebrate Earth Day with cornhole, craft activities, and a movie. Snacks & popcorn will be provided!
Location: Harbor SLS Office
Date: Friday, 4/29/2022
Time: 6:00PM games, Movie at Sunset
Bring: Warm Clothes / Blanket
FOLLOW OUR CALENDAR
We have a new calendar on our website with current event details and zoom links. Save it to your bookmarks & reference throughout the month!
SEND US YOUR PHOTOS!
We would love to feature your photos in our upcoming newsletters. Please send any photos via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org