« Words from Renee Tepe | Main | Words From Jan Hogan »

Reflections from Trish Olson

I would like to share with you some of my thoughts after attending Wayne Caron’s visitation last night. Wayne was a colleague in the Family Social Science Department and we “shared a wall? – in other words I was aware of his comings and goings and when he turned his music on a bit louder, when he sneezed, and when he laughed – which was often. I will miss my work neighbor.
Many of you do not know him – but there were things shared last night in his honor that feels right to share with all, for they tell a story of how to be a friend, colleague and parent. It is in his honor I share these thoughts.

These are some things I heard last night that I want to share with you – they are a bit random in order – but very meaningful to me.

o He stayed connected with people from his youth and young adulthood. He took the time to stay in touch with friends from high school and other friends he had for 20 – 30 years. He took the time to meet weekly and stay in touch. These friends talked about how much they valued this time together. One colleague shared that it was great to finally meet Wayne’s son who he heard about often, but had never met.

o Which brings up another theme of last night – Wayne’s sharing of his pride in his son Chris. People from all walks of his life were happy to finally meet the young man they had heard about – some since shortly after inception! People who were a part of the Family Caregiving Center talked about Wayne sharing about his son in his work with patients and family member of Alzheimer’s. He didn’t compartmentalize his life. All who knew or worked with him knew he was a proud father.

o Wayne also said to many he “divorced well.? His ex-wife Pam facilitated the memory sharing last night and shared how after their divorce they were good friends and their most important goal was to raise Chris together. It made me think about the importance of our work in the Parent’s Forever program.

o Many commented on the fact that clothing was not a priority to Wayne. Many chuckled at his mis-buttoning his shirts and frayed collars and pant hems. But, the overriding message was he was so good at what he did in teaching and therapy – that his clothing was NOT important to them. We often worry about “setting the table- or looking good? – but people will see through to your true self – if you care for those you are with and have quality information to share – folks will overlook much when they feel valued.

o He was not feeling well the last few weeks – his ribs really hurt. A funny story shared was that he could not find ace bandages – but he did have many unused ties…. He had shared with his son and ex-wife that he had bound his rib cage with multiple ties to help ease the pain. We chuckled at both the use of the ties, the image it gave us and it certainly showed how he perceived a “better? use of the ties than wearing them. It also made me think…. We all need to get medical care and take care of ourselves. It we don’t think we are getting the answers we feel comfortable to get additional perspectives.

o Wayne had a great sense of humor – a teaching assistance shared that during an Intimate Relations class (large class) he asked his two TAs to role play as a couple arguing and he would play the role of the therapist. Later on, prior to the role play, he asked the female TA, to reveal – out of the blue during the role play – that she was pregnant with another man’s child. He felt this would be not only funny (especially on the male TA) – but also realistic for things come out during therapy that are not anticipated. Many chuckled. You know we could have tasks we have we repeat often and turn our self on “remote control.? Wayne took pride in his classes that he taught and taught often and tried to make them fresh to him, his TAs and the students in the class.

o Wayne also didn’t just focus on work. He loved popular books and movies and enjoyed enjoying them with friends. People shared, “If I read a new book I wanted to talk to Wayne about it – for I was sure he had already read it and we could discus it.? There is more to our world than work and work topics. Sometimes we are better at our work because of our interests outside of work.

o Wayne saw a need and met it. Helping people who struggled with Alzheimer’s both the patient and the family caregivers was a goal of the Family Caregiving Center. He quietly helped families in McNeal Hall every Saturday. He developed skills in graduate students, volunteers, and family members in understanding the disease and respecting and helping families as they are impacted (the entire family) with this disease – not only the patient.

o He continued to work on self-improvement. His high school friend shared that the Wayne many new didn’t just happen. He openly shared with his friend new techniques he was trying to make himself a better teacher, therapist, and friend. He then reported on how these self-improvement methods were going. How often do we hear – “well that is the way I am – take me as I am.? I sensed that as Wayne saw ways he could improve he consciously took at behaviors to try to change his behavior. He did not try this in his dress through….

Well – there were many other stories, tears, and laughter shared last night – but those I shared above tribute Wayne’s life on being a friend, colleague, and parent.

Best, Trish


Your web site is excellent. Give thanks you very much for delivering a good amount of interesting additional info. I'll bookmark your website and will be without doubt coming back. Once again, I recognize the value of your work additionally delivering much effective facts to the readers.