Happy Friday the 13th! On this allegedly unlucky day, I feel lucky to share a story that comes from someone many of you know and love: Sara M., a beloved music therapist. Sara recently suffered a painful loss, so I am especially grateful to her for mustering the strength to share this with me and, by extension, the entire Little Sprouts family. Here it is in Sara’s words:
“As you know, I visit many of the Little Sprouts schools and each one is special to me in a different way. I always feel loved and appreciated by staff and students alike but since I am only at the schools once a week I guess I never realized just how much I have become a part of each schools ‘family’ unit.
I always look forward to visiting North Andover. The teachers always participate in the music, encourage the kids and are so nurturing and helpful during my sessions. It is such a warm and wonderful group of people to be around. However, aside from being so amazing at doing their jobs, I found out just how caring and compassionate they truly are.
The Wednesday before Christmas my grandmother passed away. It was not unexpected but was absolutely devastating. Losing a family member is always hard but it seems especially difficult right before a time when family and being together is such a central focus for myself and many others. I needed to finish out my week so I would have enough time off to go home for the funeral and services. I had gone home a few weeks before to see her and say goodbye when she started to decline and had used up much of my time. When I showed up to North Andover that Thursday I was running late and called Anna to explain what was going on and that I would be there soon. I was greeted at the door with hugs and comfort and despite trying to be distracted by work and adorable children I was struggling to keep it together. During my first classroom, Anna came in with Ashley (from infants) to say that Ashley wanted to donate her some of her own vacation time to me so I could go home to grieve and plan my unexpected holiday travel to Ohio. Some of the other teachers also graciously contributed their (oh-so-precious) vacation time to me as well. After many more tears and hugs I left feeling relief and comforted by all the support they showed me. AND when I returned I was greeted with a stack of sympathy cards each with a warm and sometimes personal note inside.
I am so grateful for this gesture and want to make sure they know it. Thank you to all the staff at North Andover for your compassion and love during this difficult time!”
This is such a heartwarming demonstration of what it means to truly put Family First. I particularly love this story because it shows how broadly we can think about the definition of our Little Sprouts family. Even if we don’t see one another every day, we are all in this thing together!
Thank you, Team North Andover, for living our values!