The students are taught that it is important to give to others, with no expectation of return. And they develop the knowledge that when others do for them, favors can not always be directly repaid. It is actually a good philosophy of life. Do for others for the sake of doing good. If everyone follows that, chances are when you need a helping hand, someone will be there to stretch it out for you.
So this morning we joined some of my colleagues from school at the “Autism Speaks” walk. We are facing a major hurricane tomorrow. Schools have already been closed. The MTA has shut down bus service, yet the turn out at the BEACH for this walk, was absolutely amazing. I was full of pride as I stood with my colleagues in support of one of our own. The proud Mom of a handsome autistic son, and an absolutely beautiful daughter, is a woman of true class. She is a teacher at my school who I am grateful to have as a friend.
Her team raised close to $2,000 in support of Autism research, and the love in the air this morning was overwhelming.
Everywhere I looked there were fighters. Young autistic children, and their support networks – strong and mighty. Prepared to do whatever they can for their children.
Even though our battle and journey differs from theirs, I felt I was among kindred spirits. Scores of families that keep fighting, keep battling, to ensure their loved one has whatever they need. In so many ways we wear the same…
We will fight, by whatever means necessary for our children. That makes us all the same where it matters. The battles are different – but the war is essentially the same. And we will not be stopped until it is won.
This is the same family, that created Meghan’s denim ribbon necklace. This is the same Mom, who – even though she has a million things on her mind each day, took my daughter’s need for an identity to heart. Wearing her own, beautiful diamond puzzle piece each day, she took Meghan’s concerns home to her husband the jeweler – and he made Meghan’s needs his priority.
And it wasn’t long before Meghan had this beautiful piece around her neck, representing rare genetic disorders, like our Cowden’s Syndrome. There was nothing of its kind in the world, but not to be deterred – this Dad, who also “gets it,” didn’t stop until it was made. My girl has her identity now.
Hopefully one day soon, The Global Genes Project will be able to sell these to anyone who wants them. I know talks are taking place right now, and it is so exciting.
So this morning, it was easy to make our way down to the beach, to support Autism Speaks, and a great family. It is easy to remember it is not all about us. That others suffer deeply, and daily.
We are home. Showered an in our PJs. We are prepared as we can be… waiting for the storm. But we will persevere. It will be OK. The greatest storms of life aren’t the ones that threaten our things, they are the ones that threaten those we love. Pay it forward. You will be awed by the return.