The Power of Words

The Power of Words

This is a tough topic. Do you ever feel like you are a burden because of your disability? Like you don’t deserve to be happy? Do other people ever make you feel that way? It can be tough to tell those people to shove their opinions, and strangers certainly have no problems giving them out. Too bad people don’t hand out kindness and encouragement that way. The world would be a much better place. Read more

Personal and Family Goals

Personal and Family Goals

Personal and family goals are a part of daily life in our home, so much so that they are on display to remind us of what we strive to achieve daily. It’s harder to ignore something or put it out of your mind when you see them displayed around your house. Some of our family goals are that we will be kind and respect that everyone has their own opinion. We will use our inside voices, even when angry, because being louder does not make you important. We will strive to appreciate our differences and find ways to include everyone in every activity. Read more

Why My Dad is Special to Me

Why My Dad is Special to Me

This week we’re treated with another post by Jessie+Luke‘s oldest daughter Isabella.

Hi it’s Isabella! Somebody made me very mad and I would like to tell you about it. I posted a picture on my Instagram account of my dad, me and my boyfriend, and my mom. We were playing together and throwing horseshoes in our backyard with my boyfriend’s parents because it is a lot of fun. I even got one on the pole! My dad is really good at this game and he almost always wins every time. I also posted an old picture I found from when I first met my dad. We were playing miniature golf and I am terrible at that game. My dad really loves to play golf. My mom hates it, but we all like to miniature golf and even Tay can play! I wanted to share my picture and show my newer friends how little I was when I met my dad. I was 7 so he has been my dad for a very long time. Somebody commented on my pictures asking me how embarrassing is it to have a dad who is handicapped. I did not really know what that word means because we say a physical or intellectual disability. My mom said we don’t use that word because it is used as an adjective to describe a person like they are a disability instead of having one. I think that makes a lot of sense because nobody is their disability. I am not a disabled person but I do have a disability. I have autism and I am proud. Did you know that there are a lot of very famous celebrities who have disabilities too? There are and they are not ashamed of them. I think that it is really important for people to know that having a disability should not stop you from being anything you want when you are an adult. If you feel ashamed that means you did something bad or wrong. People did not do anything wrong or bad to be born special. 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

What My Accident Has Taken

What My Accident Has Taken

In the past few years I have learned the importance of a positive attitude in life. I always seek out the lessons to be learned from tragedy and my mistakes. But life isn’t all sugar and sweetness no matter how many times I want to see it that way. What has my accident taken away from me? A lot. Read more

A Child’s Perspective: Parents with Disabilities

A Child’s Perspective: Parents with Disabilities

This week, Jessie+Luke‘s oldest daughter Isabella has shared her thoughts on what it’s like to have parents with disabilities.

Hi everyone. It is Isabella again and this time I am going to tell you what it is like to live with parents who have disabilities. I want to write this for other kids who might have parents who get hurt or sick and are scared like I was too. I want to write that my dad is not different because he can not walk. I want to write about what it has been like to live with my mom fighting cancer for me and my sister. I really want other kids to know that it is ok to be mad sometimes even if it is at God. I love my mom and dad and want everyone to know how great they are too. I guess I will start with my mom. Read more

Accident Anniversaries

Accident Anniversaries

Today happens to be my anniversary. No, it’s not my wedding anniversary. Today is the day that my life forever changed. 10 years.. Seems like forever and some days it seems like it was only yesterday. “Yesterday”, I was like everyone else, running around in my carefree life taking so many simple pleasures for granted. Read more

10 Year Accident Anniversary

My 10 Year Accident Anniversary

I have several important anniversaries in my life both happy and sad. There is my wedding anniversary around corner that will make it 4 years since my family became official. It’s been 8 years since I’ve met my wife and oldest daughter. I can’t believe it’s been 2 years since Tay was adopted. This year year will mark 20 years since I lost my twin brother Mikey to drugs and violence. It’s been a year since my mother’s passing and days since my father-in-laws. It’s been a year since my baby was born and months since my niece lost her battle to NHL There are the numerous anniversaries of pregnancies and miscarriages. It’s been 2 years since I lost one of my best friends to suicide. It’s been 3 years since my wife began fighting for life against cancer and a little over 3 months since she was diagnosed as in remission. I’ll be turning 36 in a few months and I’ve noticed that I have way too many anniversaries for my age. As the first decade anniversary of my injury quickly approaches it’s once again that time for that personal reflection. Read more

The Role of Faith in My Life

The Role of Faith in My Life

The role of faith in your life can be an important one when it relates to your struggle with disabilities or hard times in general. There have been many times in my life where I have relied on my faith to help survive desperate situations. From sexual abuse, the death of loved ones, to being diagnosed with what was supposed to be a terminal cancer. I know my husband also relies on his faith when he is struggling to accept that his situation will not change. You can look at faith in two ways. Either you can say it gave you strength to persevere or you can say that it was a miracle. I believe my case to be a bit of both. Read more

A Perfect Dream... What Would it Be?

A Perfect Dream… What Would it Be?

You have one chance to have the perfect dream life. What comes to mind? Would you walk again? Would you wish for money? Would you wish for an invincible body? Would you end all the world’s suffering? Would you dip your toes in the ocean and savor the feeling of the warm sand between your toes? What defines perfect? Perfect happens to be very subjective. Perfect for some is to have complete financial stability and for others it is the dream that their disabilities are not a part of their lives. Perfect for me to have my family stay forever as it is in this moment and never change. I know life will change, but it couldn’t possibly get better than this day. Read more