I often talk about what my parents sacrificed when I was growing up to focus on my education and physical shape. I always mention my mom, who quit her job and stayed at home after I was born until I was in my mid teens and my brother was in college. But when the time came, she did another extraordinary thing. She rejoined the work force and became a great success. It wasn't as simple as going to work somebody has saved for her. She had to start over. She needed to gain new skills. The world changed dramatically during the period during which she was a stay home mom. While she was caring for her Cerebral Palsy child, technology has taken over, new laws and accounting practices were in place. I can't imagine how much courage it took to do it, to try and keep up, to put yourself out there and pursue a new dream. I don't think I tell her enough how much I've always admired that. Some of it was at team effort. We've shown my mom some basic computer skills. I don't think my brother ever had the patience or time for it, so most of the time it was me. Often you had to explain everything step by step, sometimes more than once and I remember how she would write everything I said - down. I would also help with her English, and we would listen to songs and write out lyrics together. Yes, it was harder at the beginning because a lot of it had to feel like an entirely new world. And some of it required a lot of patience. Initially she would get things as easily as I or my friends did, but I had to remind myself to slow down and do things over. I think this is what families do for each other. They help. They work towards a common goal. Sometimes you learn, other times you teach. For months to come I've seen her attend accounting courses, an update on her outdated college degree. She was determined to make it, to offset her age she needed to be better than anybody else. We live in a tough economy. I hear a lot of people of all ages, often as young as straight out of university complain that they have no jobs, no skills, no concept. What can I tell them? Life is hard. But whenever I hear them looking for excuse for not trying harder, I remind myself that my mom was in her mid 40's when she went back to work. She had all the odds stacked against her. Her competition was most likely half her age and technologically savvy. But she had determination, a drive to succeed. She didn't mind the hard work, because she knew she needed it to move forward. Part of it had to be new and exciting as she felt she was learning and growing. After her kids were grown she needed to find new goals and fullfillment outside of the house. She loved being a mother, no doubt, but she has always been so much more. She deserved to do something for herself, to reach out and make it, to reorientate her life and find new goas. So many parents caring for kids with disabilities don't know what to with themselves after they dedicated themselves and they not needed as much. Getting back to life, to reality if you will has to be challenging. To own it is an entirely different level. I like to think that I take that ambition after my mother. It tough me that if you want to accomplish anything you must not get discouraged. Fight and try. Dream big. The focus, the work ethic and the love for what you do. My mom really loves accounting- reading up on new laws, going through new rules was often her bed time reading. She finds joy in learning new things and making discoveries in the field she's passionate about. It left with a belief that true talent will eventually shine. But you need to take charge over your life. But you need to try and try again. That was the amazing thing- at the age that most people feel like they no longer can compete she got a brand new life- and new ways to feel fulfilled. And with every new job and promotion she was challenged and she challenged her. How can you not be proud? If you look for a story that inspires me-look no further than my mom. I don't tell her enough, quite frankly I'm not sure I ever did
Hi, my name is Karin - I was also born with CP. Reading your blog about your mom made me think about mine.ReplyDelete
She never let me get away with being disabled. I had to do things for myself. She would help only if I at least tried to do it myself. That gave me confidance and taught me to be independant. So I salute our moms. And to all moms with CP kids, enable your kids with tough love. We'll thank you for it later in life.
Wow, she's amazing.ReplyDelete