The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 8, 2012

Letter: Heart aches with loss of the NORCE facility

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — My heart ached as I read the article about closing NORCE.

That facility is badly needed. The people who live there call it “home” and the dedicated caregivers are their “guardian angels.”

I speak from experience. Our son, Stephen, was profoundly retarded.

When he was seven years old, we placed him at NORCE — then called Enid State School.

That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but he was loved and cared for. He was taught to do the few things he was capable of.

When weather permitted, every other weekend, we would take Stevie riding and get him chocolate pudding — one of his favorites.

Every year at Christmas time, we brought him home for a week to spend the holidays with us.

He always was glad to go back to the school — that was his home.

Stevie lived to 30 years old. I don’t believe he could have lived this long in a group home.

Stevie was a blessing. He taught us a special kind of love many people never have the privilege to experience.

My prayers are with all who will be affected by this decision. God bless you.

Virginia “Babe” Seeley