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Disability Journey: through Mom’s eyes

While I was working on my autobiography about my life (still a work in progress), Mom contributed the following chapter for it; Enjoy. 
” South Louisiana knows how to eat, drink & party.  Life was pretty easy for me growing up. I did my share of partying in my teen years.  Life should be a party, but we’re not always the guest of honor. Sometimes we must take our places in the back of the room. Jamie taught me that life is not fair and we are not perfect. I felt guilty and still do sometimes that my daughter has to suffer so much, to teach me and others about important things in life. 

During Jamie’s 1st year of life, words were spoken to me by a doctor that have haunted me to this day. He told me that he could just look at her and see that she wasn’t normal. I am thankful for these words, though, because they opened my eyes. We have all been created to be different, but we are normal. What we are is what God intended us to be, therefore, it’s our normal.

Jamie has such a strong personality with the ability to win hearts, but unfortunately, trying to fit in has made her heart somewhat hard. I always wanted her to be tough. As a female, I knew she would have to be strong; being female with a disability, she needed to be extremely tough. I never wanted her dependent on anyone. She learned well, she hates to ask for help. She hasn’t learned to balance her strong personality and independence with her ability to teach people as well as she has taught me.

A lady that had a hurt back shared with me what Jamie did for her life. During the time Jamie was in swim therapy, this lady was also receiving therapy, but she was having a tough time adjusting to her injury. She was angry, in pain, and feeling sorry for herself. Then comes Jamie, this little ray of sunshine with a smile that would light up a room. It was because of Jamie’s disability she found the courage to not give up. As the saying goes, “She put on her big girl panties and told herself, if this little girl can have such strength to deal with her pain, shame on me for the self-pity.”

She had such an outgoing personality when she was young. Ronald & I brought Jamie to a wedding for a pool playing friend of his. Ronald knew the bride, groom and a few of other people. I knew the bride & groom. Jamie didn’t know anyone. She worked the room like a politician running for office, going from table to table at the reception. By the time we left, almost everyone in the room knew her name. How does society take you from the point of being a social butterfly to the state of almost wrapping yourself in a cocoon? I hope one day, I can see the self-confidence she once possessed shine through again.

Jamie started preschool at 3 years old. She still often tells her preschool teacher, she would like to go back to that time in her life. She was so happy; rarely did she complain about pain. She was in preschool for 2 years. The coordinator wanted her to stay for another year. Ronald and I decided she needed to be pushed through to kindergarten.

She adjusted well with a fantastic teacher. At the end of the school year, her teacher shared with me, how she was apprehensive to have Jamie in her class. Unsure how Jamie would handle the class setting. With tears in her eyes on that last day, she said, “It had been a tough year, the class had challenged her, but because of Jamie’s smile, she had the ability to not give up. Jamie’s disability helped carry her through the year.”

When Jamie was about 5 years old, we took a trip with my niece and her children to Texas to visit my sister. We stopped for fuel. Jamie was told to stay in the car with the others while I went inside to pay. My niece needed the restroom so she came in and Jamie followed her. Jamie asked for a snack cake, but our plan was to eat when we arrived at my sister’s house. I told her, no, but a little lady looked at me & said, “Let that child have a snack” and she bought it for her. I realized at that time, the world was going to spoil my child.

On separate occasions, years after Jamie went to Jr. High, I met up with former principles of the elementary school. Both shared with me, Jamie would give them a hug, every afternoon before leaving school. Sometimes they may have had an extremely hard day, and her hug would lift their spirit.

In Jr. High, the assistant principal would give her such a hard time. He gave Jamie the name “Jasmine” and that is what he called her every day. She would stomp her feet, saying, “My name is Jamie, not Jasmine.” He would laugh. Getting Jamie frustrated seems to be what most of her friends and family like to do.

Most people go through their entire life not knowing their purpose. Jamie’s smile so often would lift a person’s bad day when she was a child. Being an adult, she finds it a little more difficult to be happy and carefree as she was in childhood. Her pain has gotten worse, therefore, it is more difficult to smile. Sometimes she needs someone to give her that smile and hug her that she so easily gave as a child. The great job we did making her independent also makes it more difficult to ask for help from anyone; even when she needs it!

  Why do we try so hard to fit in? We are all created equal. We have different hopes, dreams, and talents. It is when we try to fit in, we are put into a box. Thinking outside of the box is what makes us truly become what we are meant to be.  Ourselves.

People often tell me what a wonderful job Ronald & I have done raising Jamie. I feel we have been blessed to have shared in her great little life. Her life hasn’t been easy, no life is. Dealing with a disability for a child is more challenging, but the rewards I’ve received, far more outweigh the challenges. Sometimes, I still feel guilty, because the struggles with her disabilities have taught me so much about life. Although I do realize, we didn’t raise her alone.”

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Happy Birthday, Mom-May 2019

Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you! Thanks for giving me 28 years of amazing memories.

Mother(another old poem i wrote)

Mothers,

wise women beyond their years

sweet and loving,

hold them dear.

help you through times,

good or bad,

if you turn away,

they become sad.

         my mom is special to me

heart of gold

soul of passion to match

“I love you, ” i am told

               only because she loves me

does she want what is best

for her daughter,

angel, apple-joy of her life, to be happy

                   you cant beat the best

you cant beat the love of my mother

love so pure an great

you cant compare her to the rest 🙂 LOVE YOU MOM! ❤

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Two youtube videos dedicated to Mom on Mother’s Day-May 2019

Love you Mom, happy Mothers Day!

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Ode to Mom on Mother’s Day- May 2019

Ode to Mom.
There are many ways to describe my Mom; the best way is through several songs lyrics.The first song, Mom by Meghan Trainer. 
“Ain’t nobody got a mom like mine. Her love to the end, she my best friend.” My mom is and always has been one of my most loyal best friends. She is there when I have “girl drama,” when I am “hating on myself,” because of my disabilities and pain, and sometimes she is just there to make me laugh or get me out to go have fun.“All the times that I cried, she made me feel better,” it’s true, whether it be spiritual guidance with my questioning God’s motives for my disabilities, girl drama, relationship drama, etc.“She taught me how to love myself,” she always told me, “Normal is overrated,” “This is your normal,” “God didn’t make a specific mold for people, that is society trying to fit everyone in a mold,” and the most important, “love yourself  first, then friends will come, and after that, eventually relationships. You should always come first.”The second song, “Mother like mine,” by The Band Perry; “There’s no safer place I’ve found
than the shoulder of her white night gown,” when I was a little child and scared, she was always there to dry my tears or rock me/cuddle with me. I always felt safe with her. Safe to be my true self without judgment- I could be silly, dance, sing, whatever, and knew she wouldn’t clown me like my peers, cousins, brother, and even dad, might have done.“So the wars would all be over
‘Cause she’d raise us all as friends,” rings true because she always taught me “treat others as you’d like to be treated,” and didn’t spout off any type of negativity towards certain religions/races/ethnicities/ other differences like some families shove down their offspring’s throats.“Don’t go away, don’t go away from me,” definitely rings true because from a very early age, I was always scared of Mom dying and leaving me all alone (even though I had other family-dad, my brother, etc.) I love my other family, but nothing beats the love and support of my mother.The Third song, “Because you love me,” by Celine Dion. “For all those times you stood by me,” she has always been there to encourage and support me whether it be through my medical tribulations, my dreams, struggles in school, or whatever. She has always supported me unconditionally.“You’re the one who held me up, never let me fall,” when I was a weak tiny baby and didn’t meet my walking milestone on time, she wouldn’t give up; she would get on the floor and massage my legs, hold my hands and help me. When I was tired to walk and until my legs almost dragged the ground, she’d carry me. When I would “dump on myself,” she was the one who would “hold me up,” and bring me back out of “depression” because she suffered from depression and didn’t want me ending up there.“You’re the one who saw me through through it all,” no matter whether it be something related to my disabilities, challenges, illness/sicknesses, fights with friends, etc., she always saw me through it all.“You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ’cause you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me” – When I wanted to give up and throw in the towel, whether it be schooling, friendships, or other obstacles, she was my strength. When I was too scared to defend myself, she was my voice. When I don’t see things, but she does- she is there to give me advice and help me see things, but also she leaves the ultimate decision up to me. She always sees the best of what I could be.When I couldn’t reach, she would pick me up at times (when I was little, now she really can’t because we are about the same height LOL!) She gave me faith because she has an unwavering faith and belief, where as I tended to struggle. She is the reason why I am who I am.“You gave me wings and made me fly”- whatever my dreams, she supported them and would do whatever she could to help execute my dreams and hopes and wants.“I lost my faith, you gave it back to me”- when I struggled with my faith and questioning God about my disabilities or my purpose in life, she was there to help me.“You said no star was out of reach”- she always told me I could do anything that I put my mind to. 

“I’m grateful for each day you gave me”- I am grateful because some people would have aborted me, she didn’t. 

“I was blessed because I was loved by you,” and she taught me how to love.The last song doesn’t really describe our relationship, but I have to include it because of the memory attached to it and that song is “Brown Eyed Girl.” It is mom and I’s favorite song because when I was really young (I think 3 years old or so,) when I’d get home from preschool or days I didn’t have preschool, Mom would put on the song and we’d dance together in the living room and even today I tell her, “I will always be your brown eyed baby girl.” 

As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize that not everyone is lucky to have wonderful mothers, in fact, some peoples families are so dysfunctional that by adulthood, they’ve pretty much cut off their families completely; Even now, my mind is completely blown away by this and can’t comprehend it but it is because I was always surrounded by love in my family.
I love you Mom, you taught me so much, gave me such a wonderful and enriching and somewhat “normal,” childhood and I hope I can be at least half as great a mom as you were to me, when/if I ever become a mom. ❤ ❤ Happy Mother’s Day!!!

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Update- March 2019

I legit have the best mom, hands down. She gave up some of the time she could be doing stuff for Heather’s baby shower to calm my anxieties and took me to wound care. Good news, it’s not an infection, it’s just a little red and that is “common when healing,” and I just need to “try to keep it covered as much as possible to keep infections out.”
She then asked if I had anything to eat at my apartment, which I did, but I told her “yes, but I am so tired of leftovers.”

Her: “Well, what are you hungry for? Sonic? Burger King? McDonald’s? Taco Bell?”
Me: “Taco Bell”
Her (continues listing, which was a mistake): Chick Fil A
Me: Oh my goodness, yes! My weakness! Chick Fil A!
Her: oh my! What about your stomach?
me: I am hurting in my back which means I don’t give a flying flip about my stomach’s issues. when I hurt, I eat junk. its my comfort.

her: Okay.
(so yes, she got me Chick Fil A nugget meal).

Then we went to Target, she needed some things for Heather’s baby shower, but didn’t find anything of what she wanted.
Her: Need anything before we leave?

Me: Well, I’d like some snacks so I am not stuck eating creamy peanut butter out of the jar till my food stamps come in.

Her: Like what?
Me: Just some popcorn, a thing of chips, some real coke cola and not the no-name brand cheapo one me and David been getting at Fred’s, some fruit roll ups, and some type of cookies.

Her: okay. I’ll get that for you.

So I legit have the best Mom in the world! and a great Dad who works hard to pay for it 😛 ❤ #Blessed

anyway, I am home now, and going try to rest despite my back aching.