Every year around this time I start to catalog the year up until now, and to see its high and low points. I get mentally ready to tackle my resolution list, and to evaluate how I think I have done on all those goals and dreams I started with last December 31st. My wise brother said that this year he was going to focus more on his accomplishments. To look at what he really had “done” this year in his life. I fair better when I look at things this way.
But this morning I am thinking about a girl I grew up with who is now very successful both as a parent and in her professional life. I asked her about how her role as a parent of a child with a disability changed her, and she said it made her feel more empowered. More Empowered. I like to think this through from time to time and I have to say I whole heartily agree. Being the parent of a child with a physical disability has made me feel powerful. Not powerful in the way of “I can change her or fix her,” but powerful on a whole different level.
I feel strong. Inside I feel capable and strong and calm. I feel like I was given a mountain to climb and I accomplished it. I struggled a bit through certain stages, but I have made it to the top. I have come to a point of acceptance and of saying, “Wow, I am a damn lucky girl” to have this child and this life. It is full and challenging, and exciting, and perfect. I feel powerful on the outside too. Like the physical task of this life, with its wheelchairs and transfers and child lifting, have not taken me down. I wake up and I can do it most days. I can help her to the bathroom and out of bed, I can take her to get a Christmas manicure and to visit an aunt on her birthday, I can do it.
I feel empowered from the little things in life. Those things that you know are not really that important in the grand scheme of things. Even if they side line me for a minute, they do not totally take me down. I am strong. I have managed to get my daughter, and my other children, through this year. Through a terrible surgery and recovery that has lasted seven months. To school every day, and to games, and to play dates and parties, and to see them through homework and therapies and let downs and struggles of their own. I am strong, and I am powerful.
Granted I have not always felt this way on this journey of disability. But right now, today, I can say that I am empowered and I am strong.
Merry Christmas Eve!