To Grace.

15 Apr


I’ve been thinking about you a lot today. Even though I won’t be able to spend time writing my book until this semester is over in 2 weeks, I’ve been thinking about all the things that I want to tell you…all the things I want you (and other kids with CP) to realize. But at 19, I don’t know what they all are. I’m still learning a good many of them myself.

The truth is, I’m scared. I’m scared of how my CP is going to affect me as I get older. It’s limiting now, but I’m afraid of how it’ll limit me further on down the road. At 19, my back pain is what bothers me the most. Sometimes I have to completely stop in my tracks when my back spasms. It’s different from the spasms that I had in my legs after all of my surgeries. It’s not as jerky as the spasms were in my legs, but it still hurts enough to cause to me stop, place my hand on my lower back, and try to breathe through the pain. I’m afraid this pain will only get worse, and that scares me. There is so much I want to do in my lifetime. I want to travel, be a counselor, write more books, have a family….all of it. Granted, most of that is a ways away, but at this point I can’t tell myself that it’s not a possibility. I just can’t.

Even though I know I will cross the hurdles when I come to them, it’s no less scary. I know that you know this. However, ever since I’ve known you, I’ve never seen fear in your eyes. I don’t know if, like me, you’ve placed that fear in a box in the back of your mind, but either way, I sit and wonder what you’re thinking, what you’re feeling. Even though you’re 11, I’ve wanted to sit with you and talk to you about how you feel about having CP. But honestly, I don’t know how I would phrase the question, and I don’t know if I could bear to hear the answer. I don’t even know if I’d be able to get the question out fully before I started crying. If you sat and told me that you’re scared and it hurts and you don’t understand why you’re different and how you wish you could be like everyone else, I’d cry. Not because I’d feel sorry for you, but because I’d be able to say that I know exactly how you feel. I still feel some of those emotions. Not always, but they creep up every now and then.

I don’t doubt that you’d say something about how you’ve stayed strong through your faith and through God. Though I am happy that you have your belief in God to turn to, I don’t have that. Not because I can’t have it, but because I don’t want it. It took me a long time to figure out why. I knew there was a reason that I didn’t believe in God, but I just couldn’t place my finger on it. After some insight from my best friend Skidmore, I realized that it’s because I don’t see how someone (God) could allow me to face so much emotional and physical pain at such a young age. I’ve been enduring struggles ever since I was born, and I can’t “praise” someone who is okay causing me so much physical and emotional pain. I went through phases where I went to church, but then I just realized that I wasn’t getting anything out of it. However, I know that you get so much out of your faith, and I’m glad. Hang on to that. I get that kind of strength through my own writing, and it’s a strength I have rediscovered over the past five months. And honestly, it has brought me so far. I have never been able to talk as openly about my CP as I have in the last five months.

Last month, during a discussion I had with my uncle and his girlfriend, I described myself as a firecracker. At the time, I didn’t really understand why I made the connection between myself and a firecracker, but now it makes perfect sense. When you light a firecracker, it has to build up lots of pressure before the beauty can be released. I feel like this describes our situation so well, Grace. We have to endure all these struggles (pressure) before we can reach the point of recognizing our inner strength and true passion in life. I want you to know that I love you, and I love the gorgeous smile that you give me whenever you see me. Even though my heart aches when I see you struggle or when I realize all the hardships that you have yet to face, I also know that it’s something you have to face on your own. However, I only hope that one day my words can help you as you have helped me.

I remember one day when I came over to watch you while your Mom took David to Columbia, and you wanted to go upstairs to play on the computer. While I had been there, I was silently hoping that you would want to stay downstairs, because I had no idea how I was going to help you if you wanted to go upstairs. Like me, you have trouble with stairs. However, I normally use my upper body strength as my main support, but since you don’t have that, you’ve got to use your legs as much as you can (which leads to needing help with balance). You told me that I needed to get behind you to make sure you didn’t fall, but as you said this, I laughed because I could picture me trying to keep you from falling and then hitting the ground myself. I knew I wouldn’t be able to fully support you because I needed one hand in order to get up the stairs myself. Eventually, due to you practically crawling up the steps, we both made it without falling. I was so relieved. I had been so worried about falling myself, and the thought of you falling with me was just too much to handle.

Through that experience though, you looked up to me. Since I was older, even though we both were limited, I had to be the one to help you. However, realizing that I couldn’t do much due to my own limitations hurt. I wanted to help you so much, but I just couldn’t. I think writing this book is my way of helping you in the only way that I know how. I’ve gained so much insight and strength since starting this book, and I want you to know one day that you have that same strength within you. We’ve both faced so much, Grace…way more than people our own age have faced yet. And even though that really sucks, it’s also kind of cool because it means that when people we know get to the point where they are scared or in pain, we can say that we understand. We can say that even though things hurt a lot now, in time they will be released, just like a firecracker on the Fourth of July.

Keep on smiling.



33 Responses to “To Grace.”

  1. Anita S April 15, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    Beautiful firecracker metaphor! As I’ve felt so often before when reading your posts, I can see that you are a gifted writer.

  2. Lisa W. Rosenberg April 15, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    Yes, you are gifted indeed. Grace is so lucky to have you, and this, in whatever form you choose to share with her. I assume it will be your book, and a great one at that. Keep writing, Firecracker–it is a gift to your readers.

    • ameliaclaire92 April 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

      Thanks for your support Lisa. It means a lot. πŸ™‚

  3. zen and the art of borderline maintenance April 15, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    This is just so poignant. β™₯ to you.

  4. Advice To My 20s Self April 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    Your talent shines through in all your unlimited strengths. What an inspiration. Love your blog!

  5. stephenedwards425 April 15, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    Thank you once again for baring your soul to us. We only hope it is an cathartic to you as it is for us.

    Be encouraged!

  6. witifulramblings April 15, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    Great post! You’re definitely a woman of courage…it shines through in your post.

  7. artizenimages April 15, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    Touching words. A lesson for all…in giving we often receive as much or more than we put forth.

  8. Planning 2 Learn April 15, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    You truly are a blessing…not just to Grace but to me and others as well. Your posts seem to come at the moment I need to hear them. You have courage and strength…thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  9. Anne Sikes April 15, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Award. Am blessed by your blog.

    • ameliaclaire92 April 15, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

      Thank you so much for the nomination.

      • Anne Sikes April 15, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

        You’re very welcome! I read what you said about your beliefs, and understand. Hope you don’t mind that you’ll be in my prayers anyway. And thanks again for your honest writings.

  10. celticsoulgirl April 15, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    You are a brave girl, a wonderful writer and an inspiration to all. I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Love and Light to you always.

  11. Tucky April 16, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    You amaze me. Miss you much.

  12. Peaceful Presence Living April 16, 2012 at 1:59 am #

    Thank you for your honesty. Whatever gives meaning and purpose to you and each of us is where the Light of the Divine reveals itself. The reveal is never for us alone. You say your writing is what fills you and gives you the edge to go on, it does for us all!!! Your words resonate deeply…. Keep going…

    Bless you for listening deep within and having the courage to bring it out into the world!!!!

  13. jilllurie April 16, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    My heart is with you. You are a beautiful soul. xx

  14. Mary Beth Myers April 17, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Thank you Amelia. It means so much to me that you were/are thinking about Grace. I think it is a great idea for the 2 of you to talk sometime. Please let me know when you are home again. We would love to see you!

  15. mrpaul April 18, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    i found Kevin’s CP transformation very interesting

  16. cherryberrybear April 28, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    very moving – i didn’t consider cp or autism when writing this but it amazes me how many people suffer not only pain and inconvenience but the difficulty of fitting into society. Your words are very positive and encouraging – very needed today as I am really down today, not in heart, but in health…..and noone really understands.

    • ameliaclaire92 April 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

      I’m glad that my words could help you. πŸ™‚


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