The breadth of words are not formulating yet. How to convey just how my mother’s love gave birth to my happiness and success?

To paraphrase my brother’s eulogy to our mom later today, there was no one more suited to be my mother than her.

Last week I watched my mother take her last breath.

Good bye, my buddy of half a century and the best advocate I could ever have.

By her simple, yet profound love, I learned from before I could even speak that what mattered in life was how I took hold of it and LIVED it. And oh yeah, the lack of balance, difficulties with coordination, drooling, and speech affect were just part of what made me me in Mom’s eyes.

She could have trained thousands of other parents of children with disabilities, but never wanted that attention. She just wanted to be Mom and see how my life unfolded.

If you’re a parent of a child with a disability, I hope you can find encouragement and inspiration in these words of gratitude I gave my mother a couple years ago.

May you always know the power of your love as a parent.

Right now these are the only words my heart can convey for the woman who taught me volumes about LIVING with a disability and accepting myself, muscle spasms, drool, and all.

Dear Mom,

Thanks for seeing me as I am.
Thanks for teaching me to view my disability as a natural part of who I am.
Thanks for standing up for me when the kids stared and the teachers would not accommodate me.
Thanks for listening to what I was saying with my behavior when I did not have language for what I wanted.
Thanks for smiling and holding your breath while you stood back so that I could find my strengths, sometimes through failure.
Thanks for honoring all my dreams and never using the dreaded “can’t” word.
Thanks for giving me what I always needed most, your love.
Being your daughter has meant the world to me.

Love you so much.