Showing posts from August, 2010

...We might as well dance....

I was looking on my "social networking" site today and found that a good friend had posted a letter about enjoying life as it occurs, rather than waiting for "someday" and "when the time comes." The last line was: "Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here, we might as well dance."

This reminds me of my father, who passed away 9 years ago. He was a larger than life kind of man, gruff on the outside, but tenderhearted and kind on the inside. He loved his family with all his heart. When I was a child, Dad always encouraged my siblings and I to live our lives with enthusiasm. His motto - not unique to him, but he made it his - was to run into life, arms wide open. "If you fail," he would say "fail with everything you've got!" As we would leave for the day, he would always say "Hit it with exuberance!". His prayer over us as we left on a trip, or went back to college was "Lord, gi…

Temple Grandin

This weekend, we watched the HBO movie Temple Grandin. Temple Grandin was in Northwest Arkansas this last month, although I did not get a chance to hear her speak.

I was so moved as I watched this film. The parallels to our life with Alan were astonishing. Although Alan does not possess the clarity of mind that Ms. Grandin enjoys, so much of the story resonated with me.

We pushed and pushed Alan, always stressing manners, forcing him to get out and be a part of the wider community. And, like Temple's mother, sometimes we have felt that our efforts were just not good enough. Alan has made progress, and is beginning to enjoy some of the independence we had hoped for him.

In looking back on my posts, I see a pendulum swing of emotions, and I think this is not unique to our family. Feelings of elation and defeat sometimes run through our hearts one one day. Feelings of success one day, a sense of hopelessness the next.

At the end of the film Temple explains that her mother's…