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The World Is a Better Place Now That You Are Here

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Three years ago I experienced a heartache so intense I thought it impossible to recover from. In some ways, I’m not completely recovered.

Just hearing the name of your diagnosis can spring instant tears to my eyes. Some days they are tears of sorrow, but many days they are tears of pride. You’ve shown me a strength I didn’t know I possess. Your strength is nothing short of heroic and beautiful. You’re resilient, courageous and you persevere, despite the obstacles that line your path. You often cannot express what’s on your mind, what you’re feeling, and you can’t always make sense of what’s going on around you. You cannot understand the world you inhabit, and yet you always smile.

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You shine. You beam from within. It illuminates my path when I stumble, when I’m fraught with indecision, mired in what-ifs, the constant worry about tomorrow and the ongoing challenges ahead. You carry me through the darker days and nights when your sister prays and asks Santa again to take away your disability.

I used to beg, bargain and plead for the same thing — until I realized then that you wouldn’t be you. You wouldn’t be the child whose silliness I adore, whose character and compassion I so admire. And your laugh, it’s my favorite song, the sweetest melody.

As a parent, a mother, it’s my role to help teach you, to guide you, but it turns out, the lessons come from you. You’re kind, gracious and so joyful. You love unconditionally. I look up to you. The world is a far better place now that you are here.

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Originally published: March 17, 2015
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