What Makes a Life Wonderful?

Life is made up of so many different parts, people and things, so what makes it wonderful?

Talking to Daniel has a calming and peaceful effect on a person. The Comox Valley resident, who regularly attends L’Arche Comox Valley day programs, has such a kind and gentle demeanor that he automatically sets one at ease. For this reason, Daniel seems like a great place to start asking the question, “What makes a wonderful life?”

Now in his 60s, Daniel has lived in Comox with Kathy, his Home Share provider and Caregiver (see “What’s Home Share?” below) for more than 13 years. He lives a simple life where he spends time with friends and others that he cares for and who care about him. He and Kathy enjoy watching the news and Netflix, baking together, shopping and going out for drives. But something Daniel really enjoys? Going through the automatic car wash (who doesn’t?).

Growing Up All Over BC

Daniel was born in Vancouver and grew up in a family that moved around a bit – Richmond to Agassiz to Port Coquitlam. Daniel recalls his school days. “My grade one teacher wanted to ‘smarten me up’,” he says. “When I was in grade three, I started to go to a special school.” Daniel says one of his favourite childhood memories is all of the kids at school. “I was happy to be with them,” and decades later, he still enjoys being around people.

When Daniel was 48 years old, he moved with his mother to Comox Valley where his older sister already lived. “I visit with my sister Marianne on the farm,” he says. “They have dairy and beef cattle. They make milk and cheese there.”

Home is More Than a Home

Part of a wonderful life for so many of us is home. But home is more than a place, it’s also our community – the spots that we visit regularly and the people with whom we spend time. And another person Daniel spends time with is Deirdre, his Support Worker.

“Daniel’s very kind and super easy to be with,” says Deirdre. “We like to do Aquasize and play ping-pong at the Comox Recreation Centre. We also walk in the community and on local trails, and visit L’Arche’s I Belong Centre every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Daniel adds, “I like the people at L’Arche. I like making candles with L’ArcheWorx, chair yoga, reading, doing art and seeing my friends.”

But a wonderful life doesn’t mean a perfect life. Daniel has his challenges and when asked about areas for improvement or things he doesn’t like, he says, “I can’t do promises too well.” Also, noise and commotion agitate him.

Daniel demonstrates that a wonderful life is one where we find peace and joy. It’s a life where we can share with others and where our gifts are recognized. And the cherry on top? A ride through the automatic car wash once in a while.

 
 

What is Home Share?

Community Living BC supports people who are 19 years or older who have a developmental disability, and people who have Autism or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and need support with daily tasks.

Home Sharing involves residents who welcome individuals supported by Community Living BC into their home to live with them. Home Share providers are expected to offer a safe and welcoming home that is inclusive and engaging.

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