I’m really not all that surprised when out of the blue people share with me how much they love and miss you. At first I thought no one could miss you as much as I do and that it was strange that people would tell me how often they think of you, but I get it now. Since the day you were born I’ve always shared you.
It was the pride and joy I took in bringing you into this world. It was the relieving moment after you arrived that made me feel like everything was going to be alright. It was the confidence I had when I handed you to all our family and friends to be held and loved in those first couple of days at the hospital. It was knowing that you’d be loved and cared about because you were you.
I shared your love with everyone. Every time I posted a photo of you or took you to a disability community event you were known and loved. You were known so well that not even Nanny Megan could tell the difference between friends and strangers who came up to you at your first Disability Capitol Action Day requesting to hold you. Megan just assumed that if people knew your name they must have known our family well enough and therefore they could pick you up and hold you because they too loved you.
You met so many people in your four years and your mom is so grateful that she has so many pictures. I’ve got photos with you and Yoshiko, you and Judy Heumann, you and Catherine Kelly Baird, you and Richard, you and Kitty Cone and many other wonderful disability leaders. Livy, you hung out with many powerful disability rights activists. I’m not sure that many kids, let alone disabled kids, get the opportunity to do that. That was one of the perks in being born into a disabled and proud family.
Maybe we should organize a disability culture event for parents to bring their disabled kids to. That could be fun.
Anyhow, I just wanted you to know that there are many of us who miss and love you beyond words. There are countless people who are sincerely upset that your gone and for some of us (me) it’s torture, but as devistating as it has been, I do find comfort and meaning in knowing that you had such an impact on so many lives. You were a gift to all of us.