So Long, Farewell… It’s Time To Say Good Bye


For those who are avid followers, you may know that I’ve had an intern college student for the summer. You came to know him as Ian. I’ve kept a secret from you all because there’s more to Ian than meets the eye.

Ian has Cerebral Palsy and is probably the brightest young man I know. He came recommended to me by a friend and though I am open minded on many aspects, sometimes I catch myself making assumptions when it comes to disabilities. Should I admit that out loud? Maybe not but this blog is about keeping it real. I will honestly say though, if I would have just based my decision on assumptions without talking to him first, I would have missed out this summer. He’s done some pretty amazing things during his time with us.

My loudest wake up call for egg on my face was during his interview. His condition affects his gait in the way he walks and medium to severe body discomfort 100% of the time. Where he lacks in some areas, he’s put his mind to good use to build skills that are marketable and really keen for knowledge.

Ian didn’t require any training to any real degree which made the transition really quick and simple. He put his personal time into helping some of our community members and within our company to ensure we were going through our growing process as smoothly as possible.

To officially answer the 100’s of emails that came in. No, Ian doesn’t crochet because his hands don’t allow for the fine movements required to crochet. This was a non-issue for me because we needed his help in more technical aspects. He can type 80 words per minute, probably a lot more accurately than I can, he’s no stranger to a computer.

He has empathy and passion for the work he performs. When he fails, he’s a lot like me where he feels the burden of a bad decision but then learns from it. We are more similar than you may realize.

Within a few short weeks of working with him, I overlooked his disability by the accomplishments of what he’s been able to achieve. For me, I don’t take notice of it unless something is obviously noticeable. He may stumble as his knees and muscles in his legs don’t move like they should. His disability isn’t defining him because he’s worked toward other avenues where it has no bearing on his productivity.

This summer, I grew from his ideas. For me, I work alone and in my office for up to 14 hours each day. For a ‘real person’ to talk to me during the day is something I never considered before hiring him. Everything I do is quiet, listening to dance music on the iTunes radio but truly never hearing the sound of someone’s real voice. Daniel leaves me alone during my working hours so I can try to maintain the community we have built. I never realized how much I concentrate to continue to create the content that is seen by the audience. At times, was very distracting and this is a personal lesson I need to work on for the future. There are times where I am writing an article and Ian is striking up a conversation, I would be like “Unless you are dying in that chair, I need to concentrate and don’t talk to me until I am done my article.”  I know what you are thinking, Mikey that’s a bitchy thing to say… trust me I feel like some days that too! This was probably thee biggest lesson of my summer.

With The Crochet Crowd, it’s about learning and growing. It goes beyond stitches and free patterns. Our lives are entangled with each other’s personal stories. There’s definitely more to The Crochet Crowd than crochet.

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About Mikey, The Crochet Crowd

I am Mikey, owner of The Crochet Crowd Blog. I'm a 'hooker' at heart with the passion to crochet. I am from Ontario Canada and teach how to crochet online through YouTube Video Tutorials. From a simple idea and being at the right place and time in my life back in 2008, the concept of The Crochet Crowd was developed. I'm here to hook and share. Come follow my crochet journey and share yours with comments here and you are most welcome to share your creativity within our Facebook page.
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50 Responses to So Long, Farewell… It’s Time To Say Good Bye

  1. sian says:

    well done ian by the way i have cp as well. its scary but i fly a mean computer desk too. stay in touch.

    you dont have to crochet or craft to enjoy the crochet crowed !

  2. Mary Posey says:

    Bravo, Ian! I don’t think you are disabled. I think you have challenges most of us don’t have to deal with. Keep on reaching for your stars. You’ll get them. Thank you for all the work you’ve done this summer, and good luck in school. We will miss you. Thank you, Mikey, for having him to help you this summer.

    • Lara says:

      Well said Mary! Ian is indeed a very smart young man and I am going to miss his help and more importantly, his presence. xo Ian

  3. Mikey, You and Ian have touched each others lives in a way that has helped both of you grow. Thank you for the inspiration to look beyond a persons “dis”ability and look at their “ABILITY”!!!!

  4. Donanne says:

    This was a wonderful testimony to learning…folks with disabilities are gems…having worked with several of these super people I know how wonderful they are!! They add a breath of fresh air to our worlds..we have to remember we are all “disabled” some degree..giving everyone a chance is a win win situation!! Best of luck Ian…sounds like you are an amazing young man!!!

  5. How honest and refreshing this blog was to read! I have a few friends with CP and am always blown away by how hard they work to accomplish their goals! I know they gave me a vastly different perspective on living with disabilities! Thank goodness for it too, because in the past couple of years, I have developed sight issues and mobility issues! Remembering their courage keeps me going sometimes! Thanks Ian for all you did! You are gonna be missed!

  6. Alma MacLean says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us Mikey. I live with a mentally challenged son and must always remember that he doesn’t do things as quickly or as well as an average individual. I’ll be watching for in-put from Ian in the future. Good for you Mikey for giving Ian the chance to show you what he is capable of doing.

  7. Lawana says:

    Thank you, Mikey. Ian good luck to you. Come back to visit when you can.

  8. yayamama56 says:

    Mikey, I am guardian of 3 of my grandchildren….one of them “disabled”…we treat him just like the others & don’t even think about the disability anymore. But its a cruel world…just an fyi–he’s 9 & has been bullied a couple of times…I’ve even heard off-color remarks made by adults. But we’ve treated it all as one big educational opportunity. My point being, it sounds like some learning went on there for you this summer too 🙂 Love this group & just trying to “keep it real”; thanks for sharing Mikey!

  9. Lu Ann says:

    And look at how much you’ve learned from Ian – business-wise, person-wise, life-wise, by allowing him to be your intern! If EVERYONE would keep an open mind we could all learn a lot!

  10. Tammy says:

    Mikey I’m proud of u too sometimes it can be very hard to work with people with the disable because they can require lots of patience. because one is at a different level of learning. i drive a bus for a school district with 600+ people with all kinds of disabilities I can’t call them kids because the ages are from 3 years old to 21 years old and most of them just want to be like everyone else. I have also found out in the last 23years of driving them they can be really smart where most people are not they have helped me to look at things at a different view point. that helped me to have more patience not with just them but all those pet peeves. and to Ian Thanx for all yr hard work u did a great job.

  11. Mary Torpy says:

    I’ve worked as a Special Olympics coach for 30 years. Your not telling me anything new about how surprising,handicapped people are. They have abilities and talents that so often go untapped due to prejudices whether on purpose or by accident it’s very unfair. Ian is very blessed to be your intern I know he doesn’t mean to be distracting.

  12. Audrey Cook says:

    Ian is an amazing young man.

  13. Sharon says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Mikey. Good luck to Ian in his future endeavors. Love you guys and The Crowd!

  14. Kay Smith says:

    Ian, you are truly an inspiration. Thank you for all you did for for us here at the Crowd. I wish you love and peace in your endeavors. And Mikey…thank you for all you do for us, You are amazing!!

  15. Alicia says:

    Mikey, you have grown once again, not ever do we realize how close minded one can be, I’m glad you have learned something and will keep a hold of it….I am new to this so didn’t know about much of this, and so far I have no complaints! Keep up the good work and continue to grow, be open minded, and free of hate! Ian you rock, keep it up!

  16. Rebecca Luttrell says:

    I have a niece with CP. she has 7 children and work full time.
    So god bless you Ian. Good luck with schooling.
    But in life we all have some form of disability.
    Even me I am part deaf, never heard a bird singing.

  17. Robin says:

    I didn’t realize Ian had CP, not that it would have mattered to me. Well maybe it would have a little. See, I have a sister with CP and know of her struggles: being made fun of as a young child and seeing what that does to one’s self-esteem, the physical struggles in a world that is not very accommodating with those with physical limitations to name just a few. Because of my sister and watching her struggles I learned at a young age, “there, but for the grace of God, go I”. Thanks Ian for all you have done for all of us. And for opening up some minds. God bless you. And it’s not “goodbye”. Let’s say “happy trails to you until we meet again”.

  18. Gail Carroll says:

    The lessons we learn when we allow ourselves to be open. Ian’s presence was definitely apparent this summer, not only in the computer work he did but in the relaxed persona you had, Mikey. Ian will be missed in a whole lot of ways. Oh yeah, the disability thing, learn a fiber craft Ian. 🙂 Good luck with your schooling.

  19. Elaine Ohgi says:

    What a lovely tribute to Ian. Thank you!

  20. Sandy says:

    It was such a pleasure to meet Ian at the tent sale with his big smile and friendly welcome … I wish I would have talked to him for a bit and got a hug in but I was selfishly excited to get in the tent … If you are interested in adding a friend Ian i would gladly accept … my email is schapman2002@gmail.com and on fb i am Sandy Chapman and my profile picture is of a cartoon ladybug 🙂

  21. Nancy Best says:

    Mikey, what a wonderful, caring person you are. Even if we don’t always agree with another person, it’s not a bad thing to disagree in moderation. I have tears in my eyes just thinking of what you did for Ian, much less all of the Crochet Crowd. You have a heart of gold with a few yarn fuzzies on it. I love you and appreciate all you have done for everyone of us. God bless all of us.

  22. Karolin says:

    What an awesome revelation for you!! Ian’s done wonderful things!! More than I’m sure we even realize!! I’m sure you’ll keep him on speed dial!! Your story isn’t over yet!!

  23. LaNell Dobyns says:

    Thanks for being here for us and giving Ian a chance. More people should do that for people with “disabilities”. They just might be surprised if they do.

  24. Sue moss says:

    I have a disabled friend, who says just pick me up when I fall down, he looks after an elderly friend and would do anything for anyone. Good luck to Ian and hope he achieves everything he strives for.

  25. shelley says:

    Thank you, Mikey

  26. rcomfort says:

    What an awesome blessing Ian has been to you and the whole of the Crochet Crowd. We have all been truly blessed by his association with you, and us. Best wishes Ian, as you move into a new challenge. As my Navy and Coast Guard friends say, Fair Winds and Following Seas.

  27. callunaj says:

    The Crochet Crowd: The chain which links us all together, no matter what our differences are.

  28. Sharon says:

    I agree with Beckie 🙂 Hire him he is an asset to the Crochet Crowd Team!! Don’t let him go….

  29. Inez Muilenburg says:

    The best lessons in humility come from working with a person that has a disability! It will change you as a person, it will change the way you perceive the world to be. I know a young man that profoundly dislikes the word disability. When asked what he thought would be a better term, he used the word “diffability”. He said all humans have different abilities, most are just not aware them and most a readily accepted. I commend you, Ian, for using your talents for the benefit of making a great site even better. Thank you, Mikey, for not letting Ian’s disability define him. Good luck, Ian, in all your future endeavors!

  30. Mancy Pants says:

    Mikey, I cannot tell you how good reading this makes me feels, after that horrible story earlier this week, with the autistic child , who was sent that horrible hate letter by the neighbour it broke my heart as a mother of a daughter who’s is autistic daughter who’s as been picked on too no end, I thought all hope was lost. After reading your words and how honest you are, it gives me faith. that just maybe society can look past someone’s ability , ( I dislike the word disability) and see beyond at what the person can teach us. Bravo too you Mikey ;_) and your right the crochet crowd goes way beyond yarn and stitches !! Ian I wish all you all the best, and thank you for all your hard work please come back to the crochet crowd anytime!!

  31. Tami says:

    Mikey though I appreciate your honesty I have had friends with disabilities and I have found my time with them to be all to short because I have lost them to death.

    My best advice for you is to treat them as normal as you would anyone else but keeping in mind that you treat them the way bin which you would want to be treated if the roles were reversed. If you offend them they will let you know just as any other person even one with CP.

    I can’t help but wonder though if this is why he left?

  32. cjkeller says:

    I’m going to miss Ian, even though I never met him personally (I loved seeing his picture!). He brought another exciting element to the Crochet Crowd! I hope you come to visit us every now and then, Ian!

  33. Mikey, Such wonderful words!!!! Ian was a blessing for you and Daniel this summer and for us too. We grew to love him as well. Sad to see him go, but he is on to do great things. You have taught him and learned well from him some important lessons of life. there are reasons why people come into our lives. So glad he was a apart of your life, and our lives for awhile. Thank you and Good Luck Ian!!!!

  34. I too only crochet or knit whilst alone, I go into my little studio in the garden, peaceful for me.

    How good are you to give Ian the strength to grow, both of you will have gained a lot in the time you worked together. I truly hope Ian stays around, he has made things happen for you and for all of us.

  35. Patricia Ramirez says:

    Thanks for giving him a chance, Mikey! He has been a tremendous asset to the Crowd this summer and I hope he remains a part of it 🙂 His hard work and dedication are quite obvious!

    Best of luck to you Ian!

  36. Michelle Thomas says:

    Thank you Ian for all your hard work and dedication to the Crowd. Thank you Mikey for sharing your thoughts. We should all learn a valuable lesson from you & Ian. We should never judge somebody by they’re physical disabilities or limitations. Good Luck in all you do Ian I look forward to seeing you in our forums 🙂

  37. Frankie Zacharias says:

    It would be great if Ian could pop in once in awhile, he is truly going to be missed. Isn’t just amazing the way the human body makes one part stronger to make up for another part being weaker (hope that makes sense, lol). Ian you are a true inspiration to all of us, keep up the fantastic work. 🙂

  38. Lara says:

    I am going to miss Ian very much. He’s a sweetheart and I wish I could have been there working along with him with a little bit of computer skillz that I have. Please be sure to let him know we don’t want to see him disappear. Come back and say hello Ian!! ❤

  39. Melaine says:

    Disabilities don’t limit people … it helps strengthen other areas where they truly shine. Good luck to Ian in all of his future endeavors.

  40. Beckie says:

    I would like to see Ian be a more frequent part of the Crochet Crowd Team!

  41. Sandi Blakney says:

    I am so sorry to see Ian go! He is one of the best techies I’ve ever worked with. Good luck in your continued studies, Ian.

  42. Pamela Horsman says:

    I hear you Mikey and the part of life you came to realize is that we are all human and that there is always room for personal growth. A job well done by Ian and you Mikey. I love the community and Ian will be truly missed not only by you but by the community that is building daily. Your blog has taught us that we all need to be better people to others. Thank you for sharing!

  43. livingxdeadxgrrl says:

    I wish Ian good luck in his continued studies. His hard work this summer certainly shows with all of the changes with the main site and blog. It would be great if you could get more hardworking interns to help with the crowd.

  44. mooseflute says:

    Mikey, as the parent of an adult child with a disability, I was very moved by your story of Ian. Thank you for seeing beyond what your eyes told you and learning so much about Ian. I am a newcomer to the Crochet Crowd blogs and newsletters but the one thing that struck me was how Ian just jumped in and became part of the crochet community. We need more people like you. Thank you again.

  45. Janis Mercer Stasiak says:

    I am so very proud of you!!! Life is about change and choices and I am glad you took both of these on with Ian!!!! Was a win – win, if you ask me!!

  46. Melissa Beynon says:

    Mikey, you work like I do…I need silent concentration, broken only by the sound of my own voice chattering away to myself. The only way I’ve come to work peacefully, without biting the heads off of those around me, is to let everyone around me know that I need some space, and to break up my work into segments – they can talk to me then!

    Have a great year Ian…hope to see you back next summer!

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