Everybody Has a Purpose

A couple of weeks ago, I got to spend the week at the Pittsburgh AAC Language Seminar Series (PALSS).  We spent two and half days learning about Minspeak, working with Prentke Romich AAC devices, and meeting other professionals within the AAC world.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and highly recommend it to both professionals and parents.

As part of the seminar, we had the privilege of speaking with some adult AAC users.  I shared a documentary on my Facebook page last week called, "Only God Could Hear Me."  We were able to meet Jennifer, and we had a Skype call with Chris.

I really related to Chris because he and I are both religious people.  He spoke about being upset with God for many years and finally finding his purpose in life.

I had so many questions for him: What was it like to be nonverbal?  What was the most frustrating part for you?  What was it like once you finally got your device and had the ability to communicate?  What struggles do you still have today?

I ended up asking him, “When did you realize that it was okay to be different and your life has worth?"

Because to me, Colin is perfect.  He is different, but he is absolutely, 100% perfect.  I love him just as he is, and I want the rest of the world to see how amazing he is.  I want everyone to accept him and support him....but I also want him to love himself.  Being different isn't easy, especially for kids and teenagers.  I knew that Chris would have an insider's perspective on living in a world that just doesn't always understand you.

His response:

I was probably 22.  And I would try to point out to him, "Hey, everybody has a disability.  Most people can hide it, but everybody is different.  Everybody has their struggles, and everybody has a purpose too.  It’s a choice of what you do with your life."

Cue the tears.

Because everyone does have struggles.  No one has the perfect life.  We must live the life that we have been given.  We can choose to wallow.  We can choose to be complacent.  We can choose to give up. We can choose to just exist.

Or we can choose to really live the life we have.  We can choose to fight.  We can choose to persevere.  We can choose to be happy.  We can choose to use our lives to help others.  We can choose to really be who we are and know that it's who we're meant to be.

Thank you, Chris for your wisdom and for choosing to share your story with crazy, crying mamas like me.


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