Friday, February 26, 2010

Aspiring for More


One of my very best friends has a little boy with Autism. His name is DJ.

I met Michelle, DJ's mom, at the Ronald Mac Donald Resort and Spa when Makenzie and I were in AZ for HBOT. It took a few times passing each other in the kitchen before we said hello and man am I ever glad we did!

We were both exhausted, sad, and not really in the right emotional place to be making new friendships. For some reason however, we did. Michelle kept me sane. She took away the sting of loneliness and missing home. She was and is a true gift from God!

We have talked everyday since the day we met and have taught and learned so much from each other!

DJ walks, talks, eats, and is potty trained. He is very smart but yet very broken! Makenzie can not do any of the above but she does make eye contact and has very good receptive language. DJ does not.

These two children and our friendship have taught both of us that disabled is disabled no matter to what degree. Each child is so different but in the end the heartbreak and loss over lost dreams and the broken heart is the same! On the other side so is the joy for any bit of progress large or small.

Our children are polar opposite but yet we get each other. We can laugh and jump for joy over our children's successes and we can cry with each other when life is hard!

Michelle has fought so hard for DJ. I have known DJ for 3 years and he has come so far! It didn't come without a ton of hard work both on his part and his mommy's.

Michelle is also any amazing writer. You can find her blog here. Last night she wrote a wonderful post that made me cry! I asked her if I could re post it on Makenzie's blog and she graciously obliged. So here it is! Enjoy!!

Aspiring for More!

I must admit that I am an Olympics junkie. There is something astounding about these athletes that have trained and sacrificed so much for one goal.......to be the best! I can't even imagine giving up friends, school , and even family to train as an elite athlete. Then you have their families........what have they given up to fuel the dreams of their children? Some have done without for so long......while others have worked two and three jobs to finance their young hopefuls.........It really is almost overwhelming.

However, I got to thinking tonight that we parents of Special Needs children really aren't much different. I have traveled great distances, spent weeks away from home, quit my job, spent endless hours researching treatment, hours of therapy, hours giving therapy, and heartbreaking times fighting for my son. Why, because I believe in him.....I believe.

We parents will probably never be featured on national television, and our children won't be gracing the pages of Sports Illustrated. Still, we press on....some of us trying to teach our children to walk, talk, eat, or learn to be human. Daily.....all around us these struggles continue. Our medals are not Gold or Silver, they are smiles, tears, and triumphs for things most parents take for granted.

I never realized that I am an Olympian. Not a sports figure.....but in spirit because I believe that with tremendous hard work and effort AND faith.......my son will have a future! I carry my torch daily with so many of my special friends with special children.

If you know one of us......give us a congratulatory hug......our journey is long and for some of us it will never end....but we believe and we have faith! All we ask for is a little encouragement......our finish line is often far away and we need to hear the cowbells and cheers to push us along the way!

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