Because sometimes a status update just isn't enough.

Because sometimes a status update just isn't enough.

09 December 2011

A Step Back

*Author's note:  There will be no funny today.  I feel like there is a lot happening in my life that I need to mull over and think about.  I found out yesterday from my mom that my dad probably has as little as three weeks left.  There is a chance he won't be here for Christmas, and along with that, my birthday.  I'm having a hard time accepting that, even though I've been aware of the inevitability of his death for about 6 months now.  

I spent yesterday dwelling on everything in my life that is going wrong, which basically feels like everything in my life.  I feel like if I stepped outside, an anvil would fall on my head, or I'd step down a manhole without a cover, or a random piece of space equipment would plummet down to earth and crush me.  

Sometimes, I forget to be thankful.  

Sometimes, life kicks me in the ass and all I can think about is the giant boot print in my backside and suddenly, before I know it, I can't think of anything positive.

Sometimes I need someone to find peace and gratitude in the little things to make me realize how selfish I'm being.

My friend, Wendy, has a way of humbling me without intending to.  

Her beautiful son, Kegan, is a smart, funny, silly, sneaky, amazing little boy, who also happens to have severe autism.  Wendy handles every day with a strength and dignity that I admire and could only hope to achieve one day in my own life.  

She recently wrote this open letter to educators who work with children with special needs.

A letter to educators,

This letter is meant to be a thank you to the teachers that teach our kids in a way that they learn compassion for everyone. 

Thank you to the teachers that remember their students 20 years later regardless if that child was a challenge or not.

Thank you for remembering the great things about my child and giggling with me about how much he has grown out of his challenging stage.

Thank you for never seeing my child’s disability as a problem for you and always figuring out a way to include them is your class.

Thank you for always keeping the kids as equals and never saying things like “if there are enough for my kids then how do you expect me to include your child?” instead you said “your child is one of my students and I think I learn as much from him as he learns from me.”

Thank you for never underestimating how the other kids in the class will accept my child into their group.

Thank you for remembering that it is not always about what my child learned from you, it is just as important what my child learns from the other kids in your class.

Thank you for remembering that in IEP meetings that we are talking about my child and it is not a business meeting to me.

Thank you for not sending my child home when he was having a rough day just because you didn’t want to deal with him.

Thank you because if I didn’t say thank you for all those reasons I would have been very worried to send my child into your class every day.

From A Mom

She also posted this amazing link on her wall... please take the time to watch and read the message.

To Wendy... thank you for trusting me with your beautiful child.

To Kegan... thank you for teaching me about you, autism, and for helping me become a better, more tolerant person.  You are forever in my heart.

Have an amazing weekend, everyone.  


  1. Beautiful post. I'm so sorry to hear about your father. Take care of yourself this holiday season.

  2. Sorry about your dad. Big HUGS for you. I know how hard it is. Stay strong.

    That was an amazing letter and it made me cry. Very touching and beautiful. Thank you for sharing that with us.

  3. Thank you for sharing. Sorry you are in a difficult spot right now. It is beautiful that you find comfort in a friend.

  4. May you continue to find beauty, strength, and courage in others, especially in your time of need. Those who help you through are the ones you've helped yourself. ~hugs~ So sorry to hear about your dad and thank you for sharing your friend and her son with us.

  5. Oh, honey, I'm so sorry that time is short for your dad. I'm glad, though, that you have the time to say the things that you need to say, and to recognize your feelings for him. That is a good thing.

    Although you have many challenges in front of you right now, you have the humor and the strength within to deal with it. You show grace constantly, and will receive grace in return, whether you are able to see it right away or not.

    Dani, I think you're awesome, and you will be in my thoughts and prayers during this holiday season and because of your personal trials. I'm sending you loads of virtual hugs, and you're welcome to e-mail me and vent if you ever need to.

    I hope it helps, even in a tiny way, to know that you have a fan out here.

  6. Oh Dani, I am so sorry to hear about your dad. And Wendy's letter is touching and beautiful.

    Like Jo, I too think you are awesome. Seriously. I can't tell you how many times I had a shitty day, read one of your posts, and laughed. That's a gift, and so is your ability to work so well with autistic children.

    I know times are tough, but soon your boys and daughter-in-law will be with you, your hubs loves you, and you have a small army of folks on the internet that think you rock.

  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad Babe, losing a parent flat out sucks no matter how long you've seen it coming and think you're prepared. I heart you, I'm keeping you in my thoughts...

  8. Im sorry about your father Dani. I hope he will rest in peace when the time is right.
    And..... THANK YOU WENDY!!!!! We love Kegan. He is my inspiration to this day.

  9. I'm so sorry to hear about your father. I hope you're doing alright.

  10. Thank you all so much for the lovin' and huggin' and wonderful words of comfort. It means so much to me. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know you're thinking of me and to offer so much support.

    ~~sending love through the blogosphere~~


  11. I'm a few days behind, but you know I always come and read.
    I'm thinking of you Dani, and I hope you find peace in your trying times. I'm sorry to hear about your dad and you having to be so far away.
    I'm sorry you can't hold your boys every time you want/need to.
    I hope you find the strength to know you ARE a beautiful & strong person, and you WILL get through this.
    I <3 you.



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