While Tammy Lynn Center is very unique in its array of services provided to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, it is so much more than a sheer “service provider.” At Tammy Lynn Center, we do life together. To us, that means we celebrate the ups, the downs, and all that’s in-between. We laugh, we cry, and we hold one another close. For some of us, we are all we have. We are a true family.
Last month, we unfortunately experienced one of those “downs,” as life inevitably calls for such moments. Our beloved resident, Nicole, passed away. Despite knowing these moments will occur from time-to-time, when someone we have fully known and fully loved passes away, we can never truly prepare ourselves. Our world shifts and our hearts become heavy. Being the family we are, our hearts are joined as one in solitude. Through trial and through triumph, we go about life as one.
As I drove to Nicole’s service, I was feeling the void of her loss. She was so very dear to us, and will be deeply missed by all who had the great opportunity of knowing and loving her. When I pulled into the parking lot of the funeral home, I saw two Tammy Lynn Center vans; my spirits lifted, I was so happy to see them. Exiting from the vans were several residents from the Tucker home who lived with Nicole, along with their support staff and nurses. Once everyone was out of the vans and wheelchairs and supplies were in place, they all made their way into the funeral home. Each individual was greeted with warm smiles from Nicole’s family, who expressed how grateful they were to see Nicole’s roommates and caregivers.
After I had my quiet time with Nicole, I sat a few pews back and watched as our staff assisted Nicole’s roommates. They were all gathered around her casket, our staff beside them. I watched as our staff consoled the residents and one another, gently rubbing backs while sharing stories of precious memories about all of the things that made Nicole so special. It was a moment in time that will forever be imbedded in my mind and in my heart. Tammy Lynn is truly a special place; we play together, celebrate together, share life together, and we mourn together. Some people go through this lifetime never experiencing what it feels like to love and be loved. At Tammy Lynn Center, this very special love is experienced each and every day.
President & CEO