Mike & his friend Howard

Dear Friends,

mike-howardI have worked with Mike since 1996 when at 22 years of age he moved into a CSI supported home. Mike’s transition there was a little rough as he likes a routine and, initially, he lacked both a routine and a primary Counselor. I was hired by Kevin (House Manager) without prior experience in this field. Now I have worked almost exclusively at Mike’s home since. Initially, I helped Mike adjust to his new home.

Mike is very involved in his community. He is a member of the area YMCA, where he swims, one of his favorite sports. He also loves going there because EVERYONE addresses him by name! One of Mike’s pet peeves is when people do not address him personally. That is why he prefers a set schedule with consistent activities week to week, so he can build a relationship at all of the establishments he visits. Another favorite sport is horseback riding. He will attend HandiKids in Fall 08, but has previously ridden at Wellspring Farm where he has the nickname “Texas Mike.”

Mike has a long-lasting relationship with a young friend, Adam, who lives nearby. They enjoy lunch together weekly and do summer activities together, such as whale-watching and swimming at Myles Standish State Forest.

Mike dines out at least weekly. His favorite diner right now is Fat Mike’s where Heidi is his favorite waitress. Every Monday he bowls at Ryans. He is quite a good scorer. Afterwards, he always has a pizza and an O’Doul’s. His long-time physician permits Mike to have up to two per day; he is very happy when he has his beer. Mike purchases his own beverages with his State Liquor ID.

In addition to his weekly activities, Mike enjoys special activities. Recently, he attended a barbecue at a friend’s waterfront estate and tried kayaking for the first time. He also went to the Opening Day game of the world-champion Boston RedSox this year with my wife and me. Mike also enjoys boat trips, such as the ferry to Provincetown. And when there was a trip to Canobie Lake Park, Mike rode every rollercoaster.

Twice yearly Mike also likes to go on vacation. On his first night away Mike is restless in his new surroundings, but quickly adapts. He has visited Disney World (FL) twice and has visited Provincetown (MA), Lincoln and Gorham (NH), Brattleboro (VT), Newport (RI) and Boston. His prefers chosen hotels have a pool and hot tub, with an attached restaurant.

Mike loves his Mom, who visits often, and he also gets along great with his Dad, who visits once or twice a year. Mike also adores his grandmother. Mike also had a long and close relationship with my late first wife, Joan. They went on vacations together and shared many a meal. Mike invited Joan to volunteer in his home, an activity she was honored to accept. I am sure he misses her. He now has a friendship with Joan’s daughter, Deb, through her work with Mike at Wellspring Farm.

Mike has spent more than one Christmas with our family. He has a special bond with Missy, our family’s Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Missy is very protective of Mike and has accompanied him on numerous vacations.

Mike is a very happy man by nature and very loving, also. Everyone who meets or works with him becomes attached to him. He returns their affection many-fold (Mike takes a personal decision-making role when prospective staff to his home are interviewed; if he does not respond positively, persons do not work with him).

It has indeed been a privilege to have been Mike’s friend these last twelve years. He has enriched my life and my family’s as well. He is a picture of courage and someone I deeply respect. He is my friend.

Sincerely,

Howard