Monday, August 29, 2011

Ms. Ginger

There was a party for Ginger today.


Ginger is an elderly woman who has lived on our street for over fifty years. She is moving into a home for senior citizens. She rides a trike with two big orange flags up and down our street and all over town. She knows everyone. She is a former special ed teacher. She is always checking in on me, encouraging me to take good care of myself and get regular breaks. She's even more adamant about it now that we're homeschooling. She often stops by with a post-it note bearing the phone number of someone or other she thinks will be helpful to me. She's one of the folks who donated toward Riley's service dog.

She doesn't take autism lightly. Even the "high functioning" kind. She "gets" it. It makes sense that a lot of people who do understand are teachers. Those who have had opportunities to see our kids in situations which are prolonged and which challenge them. Not just little snippets of life where everything is going their way and they appear "fine."

People who "get it" have no idea how much they touch our hearts.

I'm so happy to have known Ms. Ginger, and I'm really going to miss having her on our street. Luckily she's already invited us for coffee at her new digs.


Michelle O'Neil is the Author of Daughter of the Drunk at the Bar. She blogs at


  1. I love. all the Gingers of the world.

  2. I am so glad you are making plans to keep up the relationship. When our elderly neighbor moved to a senior complex, it meant so much to her to have visitors. Dad and the kids even went over to Christmas-carol, just for her, and she cried. I think that with families spread out far and wide, sometimes a neighbor becomes more of a grandparent or great aunt than our blood relatives. Good for you and her!