Courage and Legacy

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Typically I would put this link (below) under the page on this blog “SCI Of Interest.” However, as I look forward to the arrival of our first grandchild, a little girl, I am thinking back on the hopes and dreams I had of being your grandma extraordinaire. A grandma who made her a quilt, traveled to her new home to help her Mommy and Daddy around the house so they could bond with you, and a grandma who would pick you up, cuddle you, and read you book after book after book so I could help you become literate and a book lover just like your parents, uncles and aunts, and grandparents. There is so much of that I will not be able to do such as sew you a quilt on which I can hand quilt the special touches which are always my favorite part of a quilt – keeping the legacy alive from my great-grandma and my grandma who sewed quilts for me that I still treasure. To sew with the two machines I have; one fairly “new” and one the antique, treddle Singer that Great-Grandma used, had converted to electric power, and on which I learned to sew in 4-H as a ten-year-old; require foot-power which I cannot provide. Yes, I could move the power foot to the table-top and use my right hand but to sew neatly enough for small quilt pieces one needs two hands to align the fabric. I cannot fly out for an extended time to help your mommy and daddy because I cannot climb the steps or provide the help around the house they would need. Fortunately, your other grandma is able to do an extraordinary job at that. I cannot pick you up out of your crib because I need one arm to keep myself upright. I would never risk dropping you. I cannot be there in person regularly to sing you lullabies or read those hundreds of nursery rhymes and stories to you. But, I can, as your daddy reminded me, do other things.

Once again, creative problem solving is essential. I have found options beyond traditional quilting. I can hold you, once you’re placed on my lap, and lovingly rub your back, talk with you, and play silly facial games. I can send you short audio tapes of me reading books so you learn my voice and are enriched by the benefits I, as a former reading specialist, understand. We can FaceTime you so you know my voice and enjoy the stories I select to share especially with you. Now, today on TV, Christopher & Dana Reeves’ son read his words to his younger self of what he learned from his parents. This reminds me that I can be there for you in very special ways – even if not it the dreamed-of, more traditional ones. You will learn about love, learning, family, responsibility, character, giving, faith, self-worth, and so much more from us, your parents, and other family members. You are loved even though you are not yet born.

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A Challenge & Van Gogh: First Anniversary

Yesterday marked the first year anniversary of our amazing Van Gogh. Because of the gifts of NMEDA and the adaptation of BraunAbility and Clock Mobility to our Toyota Sienna, we have been blessed with a year of closer-to-normal abilities to get in the VAN and GOgh.

In the second half of that year, I have written the manuscript of an information text (children’s book) which is written from the voice of a child in the preschool years though HS graduation facing mobility challenges. The various, growing children (male/female; many physical causes; all races) are tackling and accomplishing many day-to-day as well as atypical tasks with the attitude of Sure, I Can. My challenge for this summer has been to find a publisher who will take a look at this manuscript and, hopefully, decide that it is worthy of publication. I know this is a concern of families of children who are impacted and holds a powerful message for all educators and all people who come into contact with persons with mobility challenges. (Read: everyone!!) I need an illustrator and a publisher. I know they are out there. We just need to get connected.

Just this week I learned about a young grandchild of precious friends who has one of the diseases addressed in Sure, I Can and will be facing mobility challenges. This is a message his parents, siblings, and those who love him need to read.