The Peterborough Examiner covers Paul Tiller's 5th Employee Anniversary at the Holiday Inn
By Joelle Kovach
Paul Tiller, 28, was wearing his pink-striped dress shirt and a huge grin at a reception in his honour at his workplace - the Holiday Inn - on Thursday evening.
“He’s in his element,” said his mother, Lucinda Hage, as she beamed at her son. About 50 relatives and friends were at Bernie’s Tap and Grill at the hotel for a double celebration: Tiller was receiving an award of recognition for five years working at the Holiday Inn and Hage was launching a book. Tiller has an intellectual disability. Hage’s book is her account of his transition from a developmentally-delayed toddler who suffered from seizures to an adult with a job vacuuming the Holiday Inn and an apartment of his own.
Hage, 63, is a retired Fleming College counsellor. Her book is called ‘What Time is the 9:20 Bus? A Journey To A Meaningful Life, Disability and All’. It recounts how she was a happily married 20-something who wanted children but couldn’t conceive. By her mid-30s she and her husband adopt a baby boy. But their joy turns to concern when Paul is 10 months old and develops seizures. The boy is then diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, a serious genetic condition that causes developmental delay and seizures. When Hage’s marriage falls apart later, she is faced with the prospect of raising Paul as a single mom - and facing a lot of the medical appointments, worry and joy on her own.
The book is suffused with humour, but it’s also unflinching: Hage doesn’t gloss over the tough challenges of raising Paul. But she persists, and when her son goes to camp as a teen and then moves into his own apartment as a young adult he achieves a level of independence his teachers and doctors didn’t necessarily expect. All the way through, Hage remembers what her own mother told her: “Don’t forget to treat Paul as a whole child.”“Paul is more than his disability; that’s only a small part of who he is,” Hage says. “Tuberous Sclerosis is what he’s got; it’s not who he is."
Buy the Book
Where: Community Living Peterborough, 223 Aylmer St. N.
The Shish-Kabob Hut on King St.
Happenstance Books and Yarns in Lakefield
On the author’s website: www.inclusionforlife.com
Public Book Launch
Date: Thursday, March 6, 2014
Time: 5 to 7 p.m., reading at 5:30 p.m.
Place: McDonnell Street Activity Centre, 577 McDonnell St. (at the lawn bowling club)
Meet the Author
Date: Saturday, March 8, 2014
Place: Peterborough Farmers’ Market, Morrow Building