Photo: Cody Speaks

I think back to how we got here and how great Cody is doing and it’s hard to remember the really hard times. The passage of time lessens that pain and for that I am grateful. I do remember for so long I just got up day after day putting one foot in front of the other just doing but not really understanding where we were going or if it truly will get better. Just in survival mode really.

As I sit here thinking how far we’ve all come and how we’re all still together loving each other and still learning from one another I am grateful. I used to pray every night the same prayer to simply make everything better—to simply make my son better. I was bartering with God that I would give absolutely anything to help my son money, health, my life—anything! I would scream this over and over.

Instead, I was given insight, patience, wisdom and perception of better understanding. I now know that’s what I should have been praying for all along.

I am grateful for so many things.

I am grateful I haven’t lost my mind.

I am grateful I learned how to connect with my son.

I am grateful I now know this different life can be amazing and I’m in no way saying it’s easy but whose life is easy anyway?

I guarantee every single person has that “something”—their own struggle. I count my blessings every night when I’m struggling with anything whether it’s a thought or circumstance—still I count them. If I went back in time and could have looked into my future I don’t think I would have believed how far I would come or how far Cody would come. I was sure I wouldn’t make it but I have. We all have.

Our family has been through so much in this journey and if you’re living this you completely understand. Learning how to navigate the world when things are different and learning what to be grateful for. Cody is now able to tolerate shopping and even window shopping. I remember when he was little the screaming—the tantrums—the floppy drops—the running and just how exhausting it was and how every single time we went out it was the same as the time before, never seeming to get any better.

I’m telling you it can change and it has changed. But I am also telling you it has not been by accident this has happened or by some miracle. It has simply been for the sheer fact that we have worked so very hard to achieve these things. Think of it this way: If you were never taught how to act or practiced better behavior or given the tools when you needed them where would you be? We all need tools and coping strategies and to be taught how to navigate the world and simply to be great examples. Study and learn and be that great example and figure out how best to relate to others that perceive the world differently. Try to see from a different view and maybe just maybe you’ll have a better understanding. Most of all love all no matter what differences and be grateful we can learn from one another.


feature image via iStock