Friday, October 15, 2010

Jessica is 30 years old today...

Happy Birthday, Jess. It has been 30 years since I first gazed into your beautiful blue eyes and counted each finger and toe. There was no doubt of your beauty nor the joy that filled my being. And so began my journey of motherhood. Seems like just yesterday. Your smile is still infectious. You have yet to utter my name something that I have waited a lifetime for. That's okay, I can be patient. I am not giving up on you yet, stranger things have happened. You still struggle to move and I fear you may have arthritic issues as I have. Does your back ache? Does your vision falter? I wish we could find the way that would provide us with the simplest information in the simplest way. I tried to encourage you to want to communicate in some way but no method ever held your interest for long. Where was that motivation? Do you like having pierced ears? Your hair short? The color red? Activities in the past that occupied your time for hours have been neglected and tossed aside. I was so pleased when you gave us indications that you enjoyed snowshoeing. Snowshoeing! You are such a puzzle! You can barely stand up straight and keep your balance when you walk yet you love to snowshoe! Unbelievable. You still hate to feed yourself yet we haven't given up on that either. You sport a feeding tube. A reminder of when you went on a starvation kick protesting moving out of the family home. We felt it was good for you to be less under your parent's wings so that you could find your own. It was a time that was tough on all of us. Eventually you began to eat again. Medications were adjusted to assist with the anxiety attacks (adult tantrums) that you experienced. There was a time when you were put on phena barbitol. No one liked that and when we weaned you, you went through withdrawals. That was not a good time but you got through. You are much heavier now than you were at 20 (aren't we all). Some of this is due to the medications you are on. Watching your food intake keeps you on track and you have come down a bit from being on the heavy side. Recently you have started horse riding therapy. See, new things are still introduced to you in hopes that your motivation will improve to try more new things. I think you like the horse riding. Something Melissa said she might like to try. Sunday we are having a family get together in your honor! I hope you have a good time. There will be balloons, music, family and Christmas lights. All your favorite things. We may even all sing "This Old Man" to you. What will the next 10 years bring? I look forward to sharing more hugs, laughter and tears with you. I pray that you will some day be able to communicate to others what you communicate to me. You were and will always be a gift from above. You have taught all those who have met you many of life's lessons that have improved the quality of life for so many. I picture the ripple of your affect extending world wide. People may not know you like your friends and family do but I am sure the teenager who saw you in the grocery store or the elderly gentleman that you went up to today and grabbed his arm or the woman in the parking lot who watched as you struggled to independently get inside the car to take you home will be moved to form an opinion of how patience, acceptance, tolerance is so important in today's society. Thank you, Jess for teaching all of us to be better people. God bless all the Jessica's out there.

2 comments:

  1. Enjoy your get together tomorrow Kate! give jess a hug for me! xoxo
    Kim

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  2. I'm sure you'll all have a wonderful celebration tomorrow in honor of Jessica! I'll be singing "This Old Man" with you in spirit! :)

    xoxo
    Joanne (and Tommy too)

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