Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sometimes it only takes one person to start a journey...

Every journey has a beginning and usually an end.  It has ups, downs, and typically many plateaus in between.

Most of the time our lives our shaped by people, events, and decisions we make on a whim.  Sometimes we make decisions after agonizing about what might be the best thing to do and sometimes it doesn't matter how much we weigh our decisions because sooner or later fate does step in and make a decision for us.

We all question the choices we make as parents and as people living our lives doing what we think is right.

We do what we think is best, and sometimes we just make decisions because we are stuck, conflicted or pushed to a point of no return.

Sometimes we just go with whatever happens because we are just tired of all the worry. 

Today I got to celebrate the retirement of the best decision I ever made.  Today I got to join in a celebration honoring a person who changed my life.  I know she has changed many lives and I know she will probably never fully understand how her act of kindness changed me, made me better and pulled me from the deepest, darkest hole that I was stuck in.

 I was drowning.

I was stuck.  I was living in a pit of denial, self-pity, and desperation as a parent and as a person.

I was desperate. scared. worried.  hopeless.  I thought I could "fix" it by ignoring it.  I thought I knew everything.  I thought, I thought, I thought.

It's hard to think about and go to that place in my mind and I really don't like to think about it because I'm just so grateful I'm not there anymore.

It's been over six years since I was in that place.

There are days that it seems like a lifetime ago and there are days that it seems like only yesterday, but it was the beginning of a journey.  It was an awakening.  It was the beginning of my life as a parent of a child who thinks differently and the beginning of a journey that may end up to be the most important thing I do in my lifetime.  

It was the day I reached out to a woman named Barbara Brinkman and she changed my life.  She helped me simply by doing her job.

It would take too long to go into all the details and it would be difficult not to blame others along the way, myself included, if I shared the full story.  None of that really matters now anyway.  What matters is that today I was so happy to attend a retirement party for a woman who changed me, a woman who finally gave our family the answers nobody else was willing to give us.

We have a son who was amazing then and who is equally amazing now.  But Barbara Brinkman helped us start the journey that taught our son who had speech but didn't have an understanding of language become a boy who constantly tells us how he is feeling.

She started the journey that gave Rye a voice that was always there, but a voice that we didn't always understand.  We continue to work on helping Rye to communicate more and more; but in looking at where he was then and where he is now there is no real answer other than the kindness and support of many wonderful people like Barbara.  Our journey started with Barbara Brinkman and only Rye knows where the journey will end but the willingness and dedication of this amazing lady made it possible for the journey to begin.

Happy Retirement Barbara!  I hope you know how amazing you are and I hope you know how much you changed our lives.  You will forever be the person who extended a hand and pulled me from a pit of darkness and into a world full of hope, dreams and possibility.

Thank you.