The Buzz 2014
I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. But I am excited to start 2014, as the author of my new book, “A Unique Life Fully Lived”.
About 18 years ago I attended my first Abilities Expo with my daughter Lorrin. I was invited by Lorrins physical therapist and was told it was a “must” attend for families living a unique life experience. I went kicking and screaming as I did most things that involved my new life as a parent of a child with multiple disabilities. Unexpectedly, It opened my world in many ways. I found out that people living unique lives were fun, powerful and inspiring. Who knew? I returned year after year and befriended many vendors. When Lorrin was in her teens I worked at the Disabled Dealer booth sharing her accessible pinball machine. I had great fun and met all kinds of wonderful people.
In 2010 only months after Lorrin’s death, I remember leaving the Abilities Expo Los Angeles and walking through the parking structure feeling as though someone had finally cut my umbilical cord. I was sad, holding my stomach, barely able to walk. I was finally free of all things unique. Throughout that day I grieved Lorrin but felt a boost every time I was connecting with someone who was doing amazing things, even though they were differently abled. I kept thinking to myself, “It feels like Lorrin is near.” The more I thought about it the more that I realized I was a lifer in this community of awe-inspiring individuals.
As I complete my life’s work as Lorrin’s mother, many emotions come to the surface. What is the purpose of sharing our story? Each day I remind myself the reason I write. I remember being a parent before the Internet, feeling lost and scared. At times I was afraid of my daughter, but always afraid for her future. Connecting with people living unique lives gave me permission to get creative with how I was parenting Lorrin. The wonderful thing about parenting a unique child is that there are no rules, so I made up my own.
As a child I never wanted to be a writer. I started writing after Lorrin’s vaccine injury to save myself from the mad thoughts that filled my head. Being Lorrin’s parent changed my life and put me in a direction that I never imagined taking. In a dream one time, Lorrin laughingly said to me, “Mom, if nothing more, I have given you something to write about.” Lorrin always the calm one, also told me, “Life is but a coffee break!” One truth I learned from my daughter was that, if she was not worried, then why should I be?
A Unique Life Fully Lived is just that, a life lived with many experiences. It will make you cry. You can ask my husband the editor how many tissues he has gone through. At one point he said, “I have never cried so much in my life”. It will also make you laugh and hopefully fill your heart with hope and peace. I was not and am never going to be a sainted mother. I made many mistakes along the way and learned many life lessons from my daughter and random strangers who I met because of her.
It is my wish that my readers are inspired to try harder and to love themselves more. I also hope they become open to the wonderful and magical experience that unique children share.
I hope this book helps you to surrender your attachment to any expectation of what you thought your parenting experience was going to be and encourages you to surrender to what it is and ENJOY! There is enormous power behind just accepting your child just as they are. When you do this as a parent the entire dynamics change, and that is a promise!
I am excited about 2014, and am honored to be an Ambassador for the Abilities Expo for the second year. I can’t wait to be in Los Angeles and all the Expos. I long to reconnect with the amazing people from prior years and meet new families. I hope my book finds its way into the right hands and helps our unique and wonderful children by helping their parents.