What Once Was Will Be Again
By: Melinda Olivas
Another blog about COVID-19 and its effects, you ask? Well, it does play a significant role in the lives of people around the world. Here we go; I’m going to take you back to the time of Tobosa’s final gatherings before the quarantine, and social restrictions were put into place.
Let’s start in February, the month of love. Our CEO, Rosy, had recently watched the film “The Peanut Butter Falcon.”
Without giving too much away, the movie is a modern Mark Twain adventure, where a young man, Zak, with Down syndrome runs away from an assisted living facility. He meets a wayward fisherman (also on the run), and the two share a memorable journey to achieve Zak’s dream of becoming a professional wrestler. If you haven’t watched it, I recommend you add it to your list! This movie will have you laughing while pulling at your heartstrings.
Inspired by the storyline and how it went hand-in-hand with our mission, Rosy wanted to invigorate the workforce of our organization; we decided to have a movie screening! We set up our Training Center as a theater, and people brought snacks to munch on, it was a success even with the few stragglers that came in after the show started (haha). The screening took place on the morning of Valentine’s Day; of course, we couldn’t let the day end without a party. That’s not how we roll! Everyone was to meet at the Roswell Adult Center for a Valentine Celebration with food and dancing. It had been a minute since we got our boogie on, but all who attended had a blast! People were socializing, filling their bellies, taking photos, and grooving to the beats by DJ GC (aka Andrew Garza). Thinking about it now gives me chills, who knew those moments would be some of the last that our Tobosa family would be able to get together.
Rounding out the month of February, we had two more events; I’ll begin with our 3rd Leap Year Time Capsule. It all started (hold on, let me do some mental calculation) oh yeah, eight years ago with Tobosa’s first burial of a leap year time capsule in 2012. We asked the employees and individuals of Tobosa to bring in items that were personal, sentimental, or just something they thought might be obsolete in the next four years. We’ve been digging up memories and burying the soon-to-be past every leap year that followed. This year’s dig up, however, was quite an experience.
First of all, for some reason, we had a hard time figuring out if we had even buried one during the last leap year. We would go back and forth amongst each other, saying, “yes, I think we did” or “no, no, I’m sure we didn’t.” Once it was determined we did bury one, we had to remember exactly where we hid the little sucker. Luckily we came across some photos (those factored in the conclusion we had buried one) that showed us where we hid the capsule. Finding the hidden treasure was an adventure because our “X” did not mark the spot; after four years, it had disappeared (go figure).
On the day of the unveiling, a few of us went out early to see if we could find the exact place. I don’t want to toot our own horn, but I will, with some Tobosa ingenuity, we found it on our first try. No surprise, we’re awesome like that! We covered it back up enough so no one would notice, but not too much so that it wouldn’t cause another struggle. It’s always amazing to see what comes out of that capsule, but this time there were notable items from some outstanding people we had lost over the past four years. There were tears of joy remembering those sweet souls.
Now we wait, 2024 we’ll see you soon!
During a month, people rejoice love and kindness; there is no better time to host our 2nd Annual Providers Appreciation Luncheon.
Some might be thrown off by the word “providers,” this event is to honor and thank people and businesses in our community who have shown their support to our organization. The event was held again at The Fraternal Order of Eagles, and with more time to plan, the decorations were superb thanks to Veronica! Portofino catered a delectable lunch, and the speakers did an excellent job expressing their appreciation to our guests.
Whether it’s Tobosa’s adult services or our children’s services through Little Steps Learning Center & Los Pasitos Early Intervention, people show up and step up! As a non-profit organization, we don’t always have the leisure to thank our supporters year-round; nonetheless, we will continually make an effort to show our gratitude whenever possible. Overall, it was a lovely event, and we look forward to thanking, entertaining, and recognizing more of our supporters in the future.
Zoo Day was the last event put on by Los Pasitos and Little Steps in March. Now, this happened to fall on Friday the 13th; I’ll let you decide if the superstition that this day is unlucky holds any truth. An invitation was open to families, children, and adults who are supported and receive services throughout Tobosa. Plans were set, and everyone was to enjoy personal tours, animal presentations, and pizza! Nobody was sure how many people would be in attendance because this was the Friday before Spring Break and the outset of COVID-19 in our state. There was still a lot of confusion about the virus, and we were in the early stage where people were advised about social distancing.
Not to mention, the few days prior, the weather had been in the upper 70s, but this day we woke up to 60 something degrees, clouds, wind, and rain. This was not the business for an outside event, but we all know how unpredictable NM weather can be.
We stayed optimistic and did not cancel, and as you may have guessed, the turnout was not what we had hoped. Unbeknownst to all the end had come, that would be our final gathering.
Here we are, three months later. We’ve had to cancel our annual events like the EI Easter party, Adopt-A-Highway clean-up, Stepping Out for Children, Summer Bash, and possibly our Tobosa Classic golf tournament. Sure, we were able to Zoom our Overall Staff Meeting and the Friendship Visit with Journey of Hope (The Ability Experience), but it’s not the same. You can see, but you can’t feel the joy and excitement of others that are sharing that specific moment with you. You can’t capture the memories with photos with the people who mean the most to you. Yes, one day, all the orders will be lifted entirely, and people will be allowed to congregate again, but will it be like old times? Will people be hesitant to slap you a congratulatory high-five for air mailing all four bags in a cornhole game? (By the way that is some of the entertainment we have at our Summer Bash) Only time will tell, but I do hope we can all return to normal, whatever that normal was to you pre COVID-19. I know I’m counting down the days not only to get back to the office but also to be able to catch up on some quality time with my Tobosa family & friends!
Until then, be safe, be healthy, be kind!
Enjoyed reading your blog Mel. Uplifting, encouraging with some humor. Good reminder that we need to be positive.
Thank you, Joan!