Sunday, April 3, 2011
I have the most amazing nephew. And today is his birthday. I'm sure everyone thinks their relatives are the most amazing people out there, but in this case I can say without a doubt that this guy is above and beyond the norm. Because he's been using crutches and wheelchairs since he was born over thirty years ago with a debilitating defect that cannot be corrected. Every day, everything he does, is a struggle. He has to struggle to get out of bed, to bathe, to dress, to prepare meals, to get into his car, to drive, to get from his parking space to his office, to teach, to navigate his work spaces, to do all the things that everyone else takes for granted every single day. He could live off the government if he wanted to but instead he has become well educated and contributes to the world to make it a better place. Of course, a good deal of credit goes to his parents because as everyone knows, no child grows into a responsible adult on his or her own. He was encouraged, pushed, supported, cajoled, disciplined, prodded and forced to be independent and tough. And he is. But he also has had to make choices that have made him who he is. And I admire him more than I can tell you. Today is my nephew's birthday. I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. I can tell you where I was and what happened throughout that day as we kept in touch with the hospital, trying to keep track of what was happening with this tiny baby who needed immediate and majoy surgeries and may not even live long enough for us to even get to know. I'm not sure if he has any idea how his life has impacted each of the others in our family. But I can tell you that he's made us all better people just by being here. I hope he has a wonderful birthday today. And I hope he has many, many more.