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Why I'm Always Grateful

Why I’m Always Grateful

I get asked a lot why or how I can be so happy. The truth is that I’m not always happy and I definitely have my moments of bitterness at life. What you see is my being grateful for the life I have today. A life I never dreamed was possible as young poor kid growing up in New York. I didn’t grow up in what anybody would consider a good neighborhood. We were surrounded by gangs and drugs. We lived separately from my father while he was stationed elsewhere and spent summers together with a few short weeks with him during the school year. I’m grateful to see my children all day every day. My father is an alcoholic, my mother abused pain killers at the end of her life, and my twin was an addict who was killed from gang affiliated violence at 16. I’m grateful to never have taken drugs or felt the need to get drunk constantly to face life. I am grateful to have always had a dream to work towards since childhood and to have achieved it. That dream was taken from me with my accident, but I survived. I went from having my dream job and success to having every possible dream in my life come true despite my disabilities. Read more

All About Isabella

All About Isabella

Hi everyone it’s Isabella! Since I am writing blogs for you all I thought it would be fun to tell you a little bit about myself and my life so you can understand me a little more even though my dad and mom have already written about me. It makes me feel proud that my parents talk about my sisters and I so much. I love my parents a lot and they love us. I think my parents did a good job at raising me to know how to live a good life and will with my sisters too. My parents are very strict and my mom says it is because too many kids try to grow up too quickly. My friends say that my parents are very old fashioned because they have to meet my friends families before we can hang out and there has to be an adult there even though I am old enough to not need a babysitter. They say it is the world that needs babysitting Read more

My Definition of Love

My Definition of Love

What is love? If you ask my wife she will tell you that love is not a feeling or something tangible, but that love is a verb or an act. To me love means acceptance without conditions or judgment. Obviously there are various types of love, but they all boil down to that basic principle. There is no but when it comes to love. For instance friends we had who were as close as family, but then we sustained an injury or long term illness and into the wind they vanished. I believe that if you truly love someone then you will always wish the best for them even if situations change and you go your separate ways. Read more

The 5 F Words in My Life

The 5 F Words in My Life

Faith, Family, Friends, Forgiveness, and F it.

I am thankful to have the foundation of those 5 F words in my life as they are all based on one thing and that is love for yourself. My life, attitude, and perspective have completely changed in this last 8 years since meeting my wife. She taught me the foundation of love and the 5 F’s in life. I felt blessed to have her not only as a friend, because while she was young at 28, she had lived through several lifetimes of pain and was the most positive happy person I had ever met. Her struggle would continue over the next 8 years of our relationship. She fell to her knees many times from the pain and weight of her world. That brings us to faith, as my wife always says when life knocks you onto your knees the Lord is saying you are in the perfect position to pray for his guidance. Read more

When Hiring a PCA, Find One You Would Hang With

When Hiring a PCA, Find One You Would Hang With

When you’re taught how to manage your PCAs, one of the first things they always tell you in rehab is never make a PCA friend. You always wants to keep the relationship between you and your caregiver professional in case things get dicey. It makes sense; I get it. Read more

Why I’m Thankful This Year

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Great food, good times with family, and a reason to look back and think of all of the reasons I have in my life to be thankful. Once again my family was faced with huge changes this year. My wife battled lymphoma not once, but twice. It transformed into a much more aggressive cancer and we had to face the possibility of no longer having her with us once again, but she beat it after a long hard battle with chemo. I had a heart attack, a pacemaker put in me, and a spinal fusion. I have 3 beautiful healthy screaming daughters and our family is complete. My life is blessed. I am no longer wondering daily what the doctor will say tomorrow. We still face the check ups and getting to that 5 year remission mark, but I know if anyone can do it then it’s my wife. I’ve cut a lot of drama from my life this year by removing people who were not interested in me as a person, but only what I could do for them as a person. I am now home schooling my children full time and able to spend time helping them grow and to learn. Bella is now caught up academically to other children her age is now in the 10th grade. As terrifying as that thought is I could not be more proud of her. Tay has decided to become a “rabbit rancher” this year and has 2 giant Flemish rabbits of her own. She also moved out of her bedroom and into her playhouse in the playroom. I didn’t get the memo that 5 was the new 18. These kids grow up so quickly don’t they? My baby Olivia has taken her first steps and is well on her way from turning from my only baby and into a big little girl.I know that soon I won’t be able to catch up to her or escape her tiny terrorism, what is going on with baby teeth? All I can say is thank you Jesus for letting me survive this first year of parenting a baby. Teenagers and toddlers have nothing on an infant. They own you and they know it. I am so thankful to have been blessed to have been driven crazy by the sounds of those screams. Nothing could have prepared me for the changes that were brought into my life this past year. Some were wonderful, some were devastating, but I am thankful to be able to say that I have a true selfless love in my life that helped to guide me through them all. I don’t know where I would be in this world without my family, but I know that I would have a lot less to be thankful for in life.  Read more

Stepping Back and Going Forward

Stepping Back and Going Forward

This week, Jennifer’s husband Bryan shares his thoughts about the unique experiences he has as a father to a child with cerebral palsy.

As we pulled up to the birthday party, my head churned with anxiety and despair about how the next couple of hours were going to roll out. The birthday party was held at a park complete with the climbing towers, walkways, tunnels, and slides. Something that every kid loves to do, including Roa. Over 8 years, I have spent many hours climbing around these multicolored fun factories; helping him climb steps and ladders, pushing and pulling him through tunnels, sliding with him down the slides, and doing my best to get him participating with the other kids. But not this day; I couldn’t do it. I had to admit it to myself and, worse, to him. Roa is now 8 years old and 75 lbs. He is a big, strong boy. I am 43 years old with all of the aches and pains that go with it. Most days, I can help him keep up with the other kids for a while. But this day, I couldn’t do it. Lack of sleep, too many aches and pains, unwillingness to experience the next couple of days living in pain…all reasons that entered into the decision. Also, kids are a little weirded out by a grown man crawling around a play set with them. Totally understandable. Read more

Sports: The Great Equalizer

Sports: The Great Equalizer

Summer and fall are my two favorite times of the year for sports. I love baseball and football. What beats watching the game on tv with a bunch of friends and family over eating junk food? Seeing that game live in person. I don’t know what it is about sitting in a crowded stadium that gets me going. A hot dog made from who knows what, a cold beer, and peanuts. Life doesn’t get much better than those moments watching your favorite team put the smack down on someone and score. Read more

The Elephant in the Room

The Elephant in the Room

I spoke in my last article about exactly how I would like to be approached in regard to disability and accommodation and disability in regard to ableism and how it is you can discuss disability with your children-one of my fellow writers wrote more in depth in regard to children and teaching about acceptance and disability as well. I recommend you check it out. Read more