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Thirteen Years and Counting!

Jessica Bahny
Activities Assistant, NCC

Last week, I celebrated my thirteenth anniversary with Special Tree.  When people find out that I’ve been here that long, they inevitably ask “How old were you when you started?!” When I tell them that I was only sixteen years old when I began working here, their first reaction is shock.  Then they find out that this is the ONLY place I’ve ever worked.  The reaction to that is usually utter amazement.  What can I say?  I love my job!  Looking back, it is sometimes hard to believe that thirteen years have come and gone since my first day on the job.  I remember being so excited to have my first job.  I began my journey in the kitchen, working as a Dietary Aide.  I absolutely loved it.  I loved being here so much , that I didn’t even mind hanging around for a few hours waiting for my mom's shift to end.  I passed the time by hanging out with the clients.  Do you have any idea where this story is going?  I loved working in the kitchen, but when the Activities Assistant transferred to work on the floor, I jumped at the chance to interview for the position.  I was offered the job, and the rest, as they say, is history.  I wish that I had the space to tell all of my stories!  So much of my history is intertwined with Special Tree.  I’ve worked here literally half my life.  The time that I’ve spent here has proven to be invaluable.  I know that my job is important.  I also know how blessed I am to have a job that I truly enjoy.  I really don’t even see this as a job- it’s a vocation.  It’s a wonderful feeling to know that something you do makes an impact on someone else’s life.  The greatest thing is, that it’s not only me making an impact.  Our clients have a huge impact on my life every day.  Each one leaves their own imprint on my heart.  I hope that they can see in my demeanor how much I respect them, and how much I’ve learned from them.  Here at Special Tree, I’ve laughed more times than I can tell you.  I’ve shed tears, too.  I’ve grown older, and definitely wiser!  I’ve worked with some amazing colleagues who have taught me so much.  The most important lesson I have learned is this: “You can spend your life bitter and angry over something terrible that happened to you, or, you can choose to live every day exactly as you are- being grateful for each day you are given.  Even on the worst days, try to give to others.  When you give love, you will receive it more than you can imagine.”  I learned that from one of my clients.  He said this to me once during a visit, and I’ve never forgotten it.  In fact, I live by it every day.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank Special Tree for thirteen wonderful years.  Here’s to many more!