Day 96 was adopted by Brigid Greaney and Kathy Liddell. They wanted to do something with some dudes and dudettes to honour LB and connect with one of his favourite places. Here’s why they got involved:
Like many others who have supported the #107days of action campaign we had never met LB or his family but were both following Sara’s blog, which quite frankly was often the highlight of certainly my day. So well written, funny, inspirational, I would devour it word for word and would frequently recite chunks of it to anyone who would listen regaling the antics of LB, even forwarding it on to my husband who became a convert himself. Then that fateful day. Will anyone ever forget that posting on July 4 2013? 18 words that turned the lives of a family upside down. We felt shock, rage, despair and we had never even met them… we couldn’t even begin to comprehend what they must be going through.
As mothers of young ‘dudettes’ with severe learning disabilities, one of who also suffers from epilepsy we are both well aware of what it is like to have to entrust our young adults to those who deem to know best. A fine balance between letting go so they can develop some independence but wanting to be involved so we can help smooth the path before them so that those inevitable challenges don’t seem quite so insurmountable. As parents we all want the best for our children so why wouldn’t we want to work with those also entrusted to support and care for our loved ones. 18 years of parenting doesn’t just stop overnight as I well know. I’m also a parent to a 21, 22 and 23 year old and am still very involved in helping them make decisions so why wouldn’t we still want to do so for our 18 year olds who need that extra support. Isn’t that what good parenting is all about? So to read that LB who so obviously adored his family, loved life to the full and enjoyed nothing more then making people laugh had died in the care of others was both frightening and heart wrenching!
Here’s what they decided to do:
Like many others we wished there was something we could do to help… but how do you make a difference to a family whose lives were torn apart by what we now know to be a preventable death in a supposedly caring and supportive environment? When the #107days of action was born we knew we had to support it somehow and wanted to do something that was meaningful to our young people, something that they could relate to and something that LB would have appreciated.
So yesterday we took a group of our young dudes and dudettes to visit one of LB’s favourite places, the Oxford Bus Museum in Long Hanborough. One of the things that came across in his Mum’s blog was LB’s passion for buses and all things transport and the enjoyment he got from visiting these places over and over again. Despite living nearby most of our young people have never been here before so we hope that by bringing them here, even though they will not have the pleasure or privilege of meeting LB they will be able to walk in his footsteps and see some of the things that were meaningful to him. And who knows… maybe just one of them will become as passionate about transport as LB and if that’s one of his legacies then his unnecessary death will not have been totally in vain and his family will have the pleasure of knowing that LB has left his mark in the best possible way.
Usually with these posts we don’t report on the success of an action because they’re taking place on the day (there may be more we can do re capturing them, more of that later on after #107days and we’ve had a wee break from blogging for summer). However, Kathy and Brigid’s trip happened yesterday which means we know how successful it was, we have the photos and they also sent this lovely covering email, the comment about the staff made my eyes leak a little:
Attached are a couple of photos from our trip to the bus museum today. It was a glorious time – the staff were fantastic and put on a bus ride for us which was a great success and more importantly the kids loved it – including my own daughter who had a fab time going in and out of all the buses. So it achieved in a small way what we wanted it to do and introduced our kids to a place much loved by LB. More importantly the staff there remember him obviously very fondly and were really chuffed today to find out that LB stood for Laughing Boy. Thank you for allowing us to be part of such a worth while campaign! Kathy and Brigid
As ever, the thanks are all ours.