I usually don’t like to mention a lot about my private life. As much as I love to reach out in my Daily Thought rarely do I go into intricate details about my own circumstances. Today I would like to make an exception. I have a son and I love him unconditionally. He has made me proud in so many ways and I have never in my life received a call from any policeman telling me that my son has been incarcerated for something he was not supposed to do. For a father that is an awesome feeling. My son also has a disability. At the age of 2 and a half he was diagnosed with a slight form of autism. Life has not been easy for him, and I have to admit there have been struggles. He can speak legibly. He can do all sorts of things on computer. He knows right from wrong and he is so innocent at times. When he was diagnosed with the autism I asked the doctor if this was something that he could fully recover from. The doctor didn’t answer the question directly, which actually gave me my answer. I never gave up on him, and I never treated him like he was anything other than normal. Every once in awhile he would realize that he was in an environment with other kids that didn’t seem normal to him and sometimes that bothered him. Though all the trials and tribulations that we all endured trying to raise him I am extremely “proud” to announce that yesterday my son “graduated” from college. It was a special course for people with disabilities and while I was in attendance for the ceremony yesterday I heard some really great testaments. One girl was so thankful for being able to graduate and overcome her disabilities that she cried and couldn’t finish her speech. While at times it was tough hearing some of the students give their speeches it was still heartwarming just to witness their accomplishments. I have always been proud of my son, but I was even more proud yesterday. I still have hurdles to overcome with him. I am not finished by any means, but yesterday was a great moment for a proud father. Some of you may not understand, but while life may not always provide us with equal opportunities of living you can “still” find special moments that help you realize the value of life. I never offer excuses for my boy. To do so would be to admit that he is something less than what he should be. To the contrary, the way he is makes him even more special. To me, yesterday was an awesome moment that all fathers need to be a part of when it comes to their children. I hope you don’t mind me sharing my experience with you today, and I hope that today you feel equally as blessed…. as I do…. Have a great one.
Kathy Sledge (lead singer for Sister Sledge) and Brett Jolly