Social Media has become a powerful tool. Particularly for parents of special needs children. There is a sense of community and connection that is unprecedented.
Throughout the past few years I have had the pleasure of meeting in person many of the families and activists fighting to change an inherently unjust system and save our children along the way.
These meetings have filled my heart and fueled me and served to strengthen at my core my resolve to be part of this change. I have sat, stood and lunched with greatness. I have shared both tears and laughter as we shared in our grief and our successes. Some of which would never be celebrated by someone who didn’t “get” it. Like the significance of your child allowing you to hold her hand. Or walk with only that assistance.
Some of these people have become the people I now count among my closest friends. They are my village. More importantly they are Haley’s village. We inspire one another to do better, to be better, to fight harder, to expose more of our journey and our pain.
Grateful doesn’t begin to account for how I feel for these people who were once strangers just traveling a parallel path. As one of them wisely told me “Fate is seldom wrong”. Fate has brought us all together and together we will do better than we could have without one another.
To my friends, to my village, to the ones I’ve been blessed to meet and the ones I haven’t yet, thank you. Thank you for being on this journey with us. With all of it’s ups and downs, hills and valleys (that often happen in a single day, sometimes a single hour). Thank you for not just bearing witness to our pain but sharing in it. Sharing yours when you think it’s needed. And celebrating the successes together.
Thank you for the poignant moments and the humorous ones. For supporting me when I couldn’t support myself. For caring so intensely about a little girl and her struggle to survive in a world that seems intent on making that more difficult.
Thank you to the families that have bared their journeys. That have shared their most vulnerable moments in an effort to show others they are not alone.
Thank you to the parents and friends of Haley’s who help her feel like just another kid by including her when it would be easier not to. For teaching your children that different isn’t scary. That compassion and empathy matter.
And thank you to the activists who work too hard for too little reward. But use an image of a little 7 year old girl advocating for herself as fuel to drive a little further today than we did yesterday.
One love to you all. Our village. Greatness lives in each and every one of you and I am humbled and honored that you share it with my family.