GOLDEN SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENT HONORED:
Each year, Nashua Center seeks to recognize one or two individuals involved in providing our services that clearly stand out and are above and beyond our expected quality of care. These may include, but are not be limited to, outstanding achievements, accomplishments, level of commitment and overall contributions to an individual(s) receiving Nashua Center’s services. With that criteria in mind, it is with tremendous pride and honor that I nominate Mary Pelletier for the 2016 Golden Service Award.
Mary’s journey with Nashua Center has surely been a unique one to say the least. On her way into our building her very first day Mary met Donald, who was outside selling flowers. Mary and Donald hit it off instantly as you could clearly see from the smile on Donald’s face every time he saw her at the Center. Within a few short months, the opportunity to live with Donald was presented to her and she didn’t hesitate a bit. They became “roommates”.
It was clear to all of us that this was a great match for both Mary and Donald. First and foremost, Mary never looked at this situation as just a job. Mary ensured that Donald continually enjoyed all the many things in life that so many of us take for granted; regular routines, various outings big and small, visiting with and maintaining long term friendships and enjoying countless hours of beloved TV shows, to mention a few. Mary and Donald enjoyed many adventures throughout their time together including but not limited to; visiting the Mystic Aquarium, going to Pennsylvania to tour and spend time in Amish country, taking a cruise aboard the Mount Washington on lake Winnipesauke, but most importantly was planning and executing a lavish 75th Birthday celebration for Donald in 2013.
One of Mary’s greatest qualities was the way she encouraged Donald’s growth in independence by continually encouraging and empowering him to make decisions for himself. Donald was what some would call a “people pleaser” and he often let whomever he was with decide what they should do together. Mary constantly encouraged Donald to make his own decisions big and small, from what TV show they should watch to where they should go on vacation. Mary tirelessly reiterated to Donald that they were “HIS CHOICES” to make, and over time Donald was making many choices on his own. This level of consistency and commitment toward Donald is part of what helped their relationship grow.
During their last 2 years together Donald experienced some significant health issues and several hospitalizations. During all of this Mary’s level of dedication never faulted and if anything it was during these times we saw it grow. Mary spent an immeasurable amount of time at his bedside comforting him through these times, advocating for, and encouraging Donald to advocate for himself. She always ensured that Donald had an active role in his healthcare needs and decisions. Mary also worked hard to educate various members of the medical staff about the importance of viewing people as people and not just by their disability or diagnosis. Mary exhibited a level of advocacy that clearly went above and beyond what one could hope for.
Despite Donald’s health status, Mary continually ensured that Donald enjoyed all the many things that life still had to offer. This was best seen during Donald’s last few days of his life. Mary knew how much Donald truly enjoyed Christmas and she made it a point to celebrate Christmas with Donald “in the moment” and surrounded by his friends and family.
While Mary and Donald where together for just four short years their relationship was true. They shared many laughs together, grew together, learned together, journeyed through life’s events together, had their occasional disagreements, but always forgave each other. The friendship they formed was by far the most important experience they shared together.
We are grateful for all that Mary has offered and will continue to offer as she has just recently opened her heart and home once again to a wonderful woman who has received our services for years but was in need of a new living arrangement. We all look forward to seeing their relationship grow and evolve on this next new journey together.