Two Milestone Moments

Two Milestone Moments

The first few months of 2022 held two milestone moments for me.

The first: my sweet Madison turned 30!

My sweet Madison turned 30!

What a journey it’s been. Since her autism diagnosis at age two, she’s taught me so much about meeting challenges head-on, persistence, and the need for continual learning and adaptation.

More than once, life with autism has been hard.

Yet, her needs have fueled my growth as a parent and a person.

Despite early interventions and multiple therapies, Madison is still greatly impacted by autism. She cannot read, write, or ever be left alone. Yet, Madison is also greatly impacted by the good care she receives. Despite her limitations, she is thriving. For that, I am grateful!

Despite her limitations, she is thriving

This year also included another milestone moment for me – twenty-five years of paralysis. On February 12, 1997, I woke up with strange shooting sensations in my legs that signaled the onset of transverse myelitis, a rare inflammation of the spinal cord that affects one in one million.

Again, more than once, life with paralysis has been hard.

Yet again, my needs have fueled unparalleled growth. At the time, I was thirty-eight. I’d been divorced for only nine days. My kids were young – three, four, six and nine years old. Learning how to manage my newly-configured body as well as how to parent from the wheelchair launched me into a straight-up learning curve.

My needs have fueled unparalleled growth.

These two life-defining moments have intersected many times. The first occurred weeks after coming home from the hospital. A scrunched-up yellow flyer in Madison’s school backpack changed my life once more. It was an invitation from Mason, a fellow classmate, to come learn about a therapy that was helping him learn to talk. I’ll always be grateful to Mason’s mom, Polly Surhoff, for sharing that therapy, one that helped Madison learn to speak.

Polly’s generosity not only touched my life, but became the genesis of Pathfinders for Autism that provides resources, trainings, and family activities free of charge for over 20,000 individuals annually.

Despite our limitations, Madison and I have flourished—but only because of the faithful support and generosity of family, friends, caregivers, and professionals who’ve helped guide us on our paths of adversity and discovery.

We are loved, and we know it! Thanks to all who have journeyed alongside us and encouraged us.

We are loved, and we know it!

Milestones mark a place for reflection and assessment. Life is good, I must conclude. Not the best, of course, but pretty darn good, all things considered. In fact, I’ve discovered:

Milestones are often a combination of survival and accomplishment.

Milestones are often a combination of survival and accomplishment.

More milestone moments await us. With each step, we will assess our limitations and then choose what to accept and what to challenge. Either way, I’m determined that we’ll live as fully as possible in the process.

How about you? Have you reached a milestone recently? Stop and think for a moment – what sort of value does it offer?

My best – usually,

Becky  (Nana B)

P.S. We celebrated Madison and Mason’s thirtieth birthdays with Pathfinders for Autism and created a special fundraiser to honor our storied history. Join us HERE if you’d like to learn more or contribute.

celebrated Madison and Mason’s thirtieth birthdays.

P.P.S. Two more milestones to mention. My precious puggle Tripp turned 15! He’s aging with grace—and a lot of naps. And my sweet sissy turns 60 today! Welcome to the club, Sissy—Tripp isn’t the only one enjoying more naps!

My precious puggle Tripp turned 15!

Happy 15th, Tripp!

My sweet sissy turns 60 today!

Happy 60th, Sissy!









P.P.P.S. Book progress! “Staying on the Upside” update: I have 210 of my 365 daily inspirations drafted! My wrist is much better, but still using the splint 50% of my day. I’ll know more by June 2. Thanks for the encouraging words and prayers for healing.

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