By Guest Blogger Jennifer Janes

What a ride we’ve been on together! It’s often a rocky one. Although I can honestly say, despite the struggles we’ve had and the challenges we face, that I’m thankful that you’re my child. I can’t imagine life without you.

There are a few things on my heart that I really want you to know:

I love you. Yes, there are times when I get upset and don’t handle stress or frustration well, but I LOVE YOU. Nothing can ever change that.

I’m proud of you. I have seen all the hard work you do. I see how you keep pushing through the therapy sessions. It is tough to imagine the pain and discomfort your body causes you. In addition there is the medication regimens, the frustration and disappointment, and the anxiety that threatens to undo you. I’m proud of your perseverance and endurance. Keep it up!

You are not a burden. Your needs come with a high price tag. However, the truth is that any one of us could experience a life-changing event. This could cause us to need expensive medications, therapy, etc. too. None of us are guaranteed an easy, inexpensive life. You are not a burden. We love you!

I see you. I see YOU, not a list of diagnoses, medications, and therapy sessions. I’m thankful that I get to share life with you. Similarly, those who don’t spend a lot of time with you are missing out. You are wonderful, gifted with talents and abilities that surprise and amaze me.

I hurt. I know it sometimes seems like I don’t understand or sympathize when you’re upset about something. However, the truth is I often put on a “front” when I’m helping you work through situations. I do this because it upsets you more to see me upset. But be assured, my heart aches when you’re hurting, and I cry tears you never see.

Fair isn’t equal. I know it’s hard to understand, but treating you “fairly” as compared to your sibling and other people we’re close to doesn’t mean that everything is the same. I often tell your sibling this too. You’re both individuals, and therefore you will be treated fairly. I know when that happens, it may not seem “equal” to you.

I’m here for you. And I pray I will continue to be here for you, for as long as you need me to be.

Love always,

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