Today I had a reminder of why I do what I do


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I have a very close friend, hell I could say he's one of my best friends. He has very low functioning autism and is non verbal. Before school I would spend 2 days a week with him every week before the summer started. I learned so much from him, and I still learn. In the beginning he was very lonely and I was asked by his worker if I would spend a day with him and I told her I'd like to spend 2 instead. I did so much for him and I learned his non verbals, I also learned how to calm him down. I would sit with him every morning and eat breakfast with him.

I haven't seen him in a while as I'm always at school and during the summer I was busy working 6 days a week. Today I was at my friends apartment and he lives next door. So I popped over to say hi. I didn't know how much I actually mean to him because when I went to see him, the first thing he did was point at me and smile excitedly at his worker. He then rushed over and hugged me for a long time. I then asked him how he has been doing and he did some non verbals and he said he was doing really good. He probably hugged me 6 times in 3 minutes. His workers told me if he hugs you that means he really cares about you and you are important to him.

I've been feeling so rotten lately that seeing him and understanding how much I mean to him reminded me this is why I do what I do. I know I can't change the world, but what I do know is I can change someone's life by treating them with the respect they deserve. All my friend wanted was a friend and I gave him that friendship and now I feel we are best friends.

Even yesterday a lady came to my class to do a presentation she was in her 80's and I told her about what I did as a volunteer and she thanked me so much for all I've done and she appreciated it so much when I didn't even help her. I just love the feeling of being that person someone can rely on and trust.