Monday, March 28, 2011
It was within the same year that I turned thirty-six, the night my parents confessed to me that I had been a twin, that I turned “speechless” into therapeutic writing from just one sentence. My parents had literally called to see if I was home and driven an hour to break the news that they had harbored for so many years that I wasn’t the youngest of three girls; I was a big sister to a twin brother who was stillborn. Why now, why tonight was my initial thought. How would I deal with this information? How do you deal with this information? Writing would eventually change my life, my lifestyle, my complete being, who I was, who I would be and the result that I wanted to see in others. I have always taken what life has thrown at me and made the most of it, and I wouldn’t stop now, yet I was wondering how or if I could take my mental exhaustion from the evening events and put my thoughts onto paper. I knew I had been given this information, at this very time in my life, for a purpose but would I be strong enough to deal with it and take on the challenge that I had been given? I crawled in bed, tablet in hand and gave it my best attempt, knowing I had NOTHING to lose and EVERYTHING to gain. The feelings that were within me rushed out with such fury they quickly filled an ordinary sheet of paper in one setting. I felt so weightless, as if on top of the world after freeing all those thoughts. Although they had been inside me for such a small amount of time, they had already made such a huge impact. I have always been a free-spirit, “out of the box” thinker, and I knew that night writing would be how I would express myself. Writing would be my voice! I began sleeping with a spiral next to my bed and would wake in the night long enough to write the thought that stirred me from my sleep. I never thought I’d have the courage or strength to write my daughter’s story. I could write my feelings, and had done so for quite a while now, but could I write someone else’s, someonethat I was responsible for, someone that close to me? Would I do her justice or would it be a complete failure for both of us. I have always taken on challenges, and pushed myself to the limit, yet would this be a risk I was willing to take? In her few years alive she had already experienced more failures than I could ever imagine and I had always been her support, her rock. My daughter is Dyslexic and early on in her diagnosis it was obvious that she wanted to take on the world as she was truly compassionate for those with Dyslexia like her and that struggled reading. She battled daily will school and tasks that came so easily for most kids her age, yet a quitter she was not. I knew she had a story to tell, just as I had, she just wasn’t capable of getting her thoughts and words on paper. Could I? Could I do this for her? Was this really for her or had it become about me or both? I think the answer still proves to be both as she and I are conquering the world for Dyslexia. I spent seven years vigorously researching and writing, following my daughter around with a spiral and sticky notes, truly living my life for Dyslexia. Through her shoes, I saw what she saw, felt what she felt. I was deeply saddened or completely overjoyed living and breathing her life. It was ironic to think I had given her life at birth and now she was what was sustaining me. We would be the voice of those who could not speak for themselves. My life had meaning, God had given me the ability to write and I was paying it forward. I began by telling her story through my eyes, as her mother, and quickly knew that the story had to be told through her eyes to come across to the reader as I had intended. Years went by and finally the last word was written, the ink was set, the tears of accomplishment were dried and the book was published! I had what I believed to be an amazing idea. She and I purchased a globe and began putting tacks into it wherever we sold a book. We sent books to Switzerland, Egypt, Australia, Canada and numerous US States to name a few. This was teaching my daughter that there were children just like her all over the world, special children, unique children with unique brains. We were receiving emails from people across the world that we felt like we had known forever. These people had experienced the same things as my daughter and could totally relate to both her struggles and her victories. Parents were reading her story and feeling as if it was written about their own child. The courage that I used to tell her story became her strength in her daily life at home and at school. She has been an inspiration to a countless number of people, Dyslexic and not. I never thought I’d learn more from my daughter than what I could ever teach her. How often have we heard, “one step at a time?” Yet do we really mean it? The size of the step isn’t as important as the courage we receive in the swing between the steps; which enables us to take the next, and so on. What gives us that strength? Draw from that. Pretty soon we are walking or in my case, writing. If I were to string all my words up as if they were steps I wonder how far they would reach. We’ve reached across the world. She’s reached right into my heart and that’s allowed me to reach so many others. I am forever grateful.