It is never easy to raise a child with a disability.
My mom, dad and I certainly had many challenges over the years. Sometimes, things were extremely painful for us all. However, time and forgiveness softens our edges and opens our hearts so we can see things very clearly. I deeply honour and appreciate my parents now. It is like our rocky past relationship did not even happen.
When I was small, my mom took me to physiotherapy every day even if it meant pulling me through the snow on a sled and walking many blocks to get there. My dad used to carry me on his shoulders when I got tired and could not walk. He did this so much that he developed a pinched nerve in his neck. As a family, we did a lot of camping, went ice skating and enjoyed roller skating. I never sat on the side lines. They found a way to include me.
I had many orthopedic surgeries growing up. My mom used to get yelled at by the head nurse when she would bring me in home cooked food. (It was the only food I would eat). My dad used to draw cartoon characters on balloons and give them to me and the other children on the floor. They worried a lot. It broke their hearts when I cried (and sometimes screamed) to go home with them at the end of visiting hours.
As an adult, I look back on these experiences and many others, not from my perspective, but theirs. I can’t imagine how difficult it was for them to raise me. They were only 20-something when I was born! They were practically kids themselves. What did they know? They were learning as they went along!
And whoosh… my heart opens with the deepest love.
Mom and dad, I love and appreciate you more than words can say!