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In The News

Here is a scan from this weeks Grafton News. Hard to believe the twins are 16 years old. I think they were about 18 months old in this photo.

16 years and we are still wondering what their full potentials will be. I guess that is true for all parents, although the expectations and possibilities are quite different. That said, parents of children with special needs usually learn early on that as long as their children are healthy and happy, the rest is just icing on the birthday cake.

16 years ago the twins were born on July 28, 1993; three and a half months too soon. Their due date was October 31, so more of a trick than a treat for their parents. But still amazing how far they have come. Had they been born just 10 years earlier, they would have been a miscarriage, so I suppose whatever they accomplish in their lives is just more frosting. But for myself, I would have missed out on so many valuable lessons. My life would be very different now and quite dull, I’m sure.

We took the twins to Six Flags for their birthday. Cousin Nick came along too and we had a fun time. Happy Birthday Eric and Aaron!

Six Flags New England
Six Flags New England

Happy Birthday Anthony!

Today – May Day – is Anthony’s 16th Birthday and also his official adoption day. He was only 6 years old when we first found him in a foster home in NYC. He was heading to a residential placement and we were looking to adopt, so the timing was right for all concerned. Anthony fit into our family so well that it feels like he has always been with us.

Happy Birthday Son:-)


The BIG 50

The BIG 50, originally uploaded by BissellBlog2.0.

I’ve been blogging in one way or another for many years now, but typically I focus more on photo and video blogging along with an occasional religious or political rant. But how can I let the BIG 50 slip by without a comment or two. Turning 50 is a big deal to lots of folks. If you Google “turning 50”, you’ll find all sorts of books and blogs about this particular transition. I’ve also gotten more birthday cards this year than usual and even $50 from my dad, who must really be feeling old today. 50 sounds a lot older than 49; 49 is still young, 50 is – well – it’s half a century. It’s like you turn old overnight!

One thing is certain, I feel lucky to be alive at 50. So many people die too young. In fact, I could have easily been a SIDS baby myself, due to airway problems back in 1958, which eventually led to a tracheostomy. Just having a tracheostomy was risky back in the 1950s. Then came a complicated pregnancy in 1993 and an almost deadly accident in 2002. Yup, I feel lucky to be alive!

I’ve learned a lot in the past 50 years, mostly from the school of hard knocks. But know one has taught me more than my children, who are also lucky to be alive. Being born three and a half months too soon, they continue to struggle with the disabilities resulting from their premature birth. They have taught me patience and unconditional love. They have taught me not to sweat the small stuff, what is truly important in life and to appreciate each and every day.

So, what is important? I believe that helping others is the easiest way to live a life of fulfillment. Especially with the holidays just around the corner, it’s important to remember that it is indeed better to give than to receive. And when I say give, I don’t necessarily mean material things. In fact, materialism and consumerism are two of the biggest problems in the United States today. By giving, I mean giving time and support, advice and comfort to those in need and getting involved politically in order to push for needed changes in our society.

There are lots of ways to help depending on your passion. For me, it’s an easy call. Out of necessity, I have become an advocate for children with disabilities and/or special health care needs. I started out advocating for my own children, but it didn’t take long to discover that there is much work to be done both locally and globally. So, for my next 50 years, my goal will be to help build a better world for my children, a world in which people with disabilities are welcome members of society and given the supports they need to live a healthy and productive life. A country should be judged by how well it takes care of its poor, elderly and disabled. Buy helping those in need, we build a better world for all of us.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi