I just did a post for 1-800 Flowers.com all about The Joy of Coloring. It made me think about how we all need outlets for our emotions. I am a creative person and love to share my passion for creating, with the people in my life, including my brother Kevin. Kevin lives in the IGHL Eastport II house. One of his favorite activities is painting. Many family members have been the recipient of a beautiful original Kevin McCann painting on special occasions!
It is very hard not being able to visit with Kevin, during the quarantine, or to bring him home for a few days. Kevin is lucky that he has a big family with two brothers and two sisters, in-laws, nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews and lots of friends that love him and love having him in their lives. It is very important that we all continue to be involved in the day to day as much as possible. And staying involved with a loved one who happens to live in a group home isn’t really any different than staying involved with anyone who you are not currently living with.
One of the first things that I did right after we all started to self-quarantine was to plan a social distance visit to Kevin and drop off a care package of art supplies - easels, canvases, paints, brushes, etc. for him and his housemates. Coincidentally, he surprised my husband and I with one of his latest works - a St. Patrick’s Day themed beauty that he had just finished!
The supplies I included were from Social Artworking. It’s a great site that makes it so easy to order all the supplies you’ll need including instructions and a traceable template. It’s particularly handy when planning a group activity. After choosing a design, enter the number of people who will be participating, and it calculates what you’ll need! I worked with them for a Smile Farms fundraising afternoon of painting and fun. Even though there is a template for those who choose to use it, and there are step by step instruction, you can just let your inner artist shine and express yourself any way you want!
And just like the rest of the world, the McCann Family Easter was via Zoom this year. And again, because the IGHL staff are so caring and dedicated, Kevin can be right there with us - right where he belongs. Now if we can just get him not to answer every single question that someone asks on Zoom - whether they were talking him or not!!
By Julie McCann