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State Council for Persons with Disabilities

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On September 13, 1973 I was probably not sleeping like right now and that would lead to my waking up late. I missed my friends walking to school that morning and I went alone. Mom, who didn't drive, was yelling as I ran down the street to get to school, "Don't take the shortcut!" Me yelling back, "I won't!" Knowing I was lying to her. On that fateful day I was beaten beyond recognition by an 18-year-old as I attempted to take the last shortcut life would ever afford me and my family. I remember a lot of what happened that morning, running late to one day in my first week of 4th grade I was excited, I loved school but hated waking up ( a common theme in my life) and there are many pieces of me that got lost on that well beaten path. Parts of myself and relationships with friends and family that were altered forever because of one act of violence so monstrous that people still say to me today, "I'll never forget what I was doing or where I was when I heard you were hurt." I don't look back feeling pity, I never wanted pity, recognition, or praise for fighting to get "me" back. It took a village, the Town of Lewes, a safe harbor of citizens who cared about each other, a family, and a little girl to get me to where I am today. I was impacted by the greatness and beauty of love, laughter, and giving.

I am the lucky one; I lived in a time of people rising to a challenge of overcoming fear for hope, hate for love, and tears for joy. From neighbors helping neighbors and coming together for a common cause, a child and a family. My life has been filled with struggle that built a great resilience, something that I am grateful for. Challenge has been something to overcome, not a roadblock and I am happy that my life has been one of Purpose, Understanding, and Empathy.

I think things happen for a reason and I believe I am fulfilling the purpose of the reason that I have had to live with a traumatic brain injury and seizures. I don't know who I would have become without them anymore. To be honest I don't know what I'd be if I didn't have to take pills to stop seizures all my life. I just know who I am now and I'm okay with me. So here's to 46 years of overcoming great odds, living, learning, loving, dreaming, and succeeding, against all the odds. Here's to Life!

Have an Amazing Day and remember to go out there today September 13th and be good to as many people as you can. Go help someone who may need it or visit someone who could be lonely or donate to a cause you love. It takes all of us to be at our best when there is someone who needs us.