Body aches, queasy stomach. I hope it’s nerves. I think it’s nerves. Tomorrow is our 2nd Annual Jordan’s Walk & Roll and I am filled to over flowing with all kinds of emotions, thoughts, and feelings. Excited. Sad. Scared. Grateful. Selfish. Anxious. One right after the other and sometimes on top of each other!
Shortly after Jordan died, when I asked some friends and family if they would help me start a foundation in his memory, I had no idea the commitment I was asking of them. Absolutely no idea. It has turned out to be way more work than I envisioned and it is a lot different than I “dreamed” it would be. Those friends and family that I asked to tag along with me? They have sacrificed time and money to walk with me on this endeavor. I will never be able to thank them enough. That’s where the selfish comes in, that I asked them to start a foundation with me! What was I thinking?! And when co-workers walk up to me and tell me that they are going to try to make it to the Walk I just feel like saying, “NO! don’t give up your Saturday for me!” But then I remember that it’s not about me. It’s about all the young people with developmental disabilities that need more advocates. My friends and family and this community just have a lot more faith in what I am doing than I do.
I think back to when Jordan was young and things were far from perfect with the services he received. I was sooo tired. I was exhausted from the day to day care of a child with significant needs. Most days I was happy if I managed “damage control”. I have more time now. It is definitely not what I would have chosen. I miss Jordan every moment of every day and the grief is still very fresh at times. Like today. But as Sheryl Sandberg so eloquently stated in a very moving facebook post earlier this week, “option A is not available, so let’s just kick the s**t out of option B.”
So that’s what I’m going to do. I’ve always believed that the people who need our help the most are the ones who can’t advocate for themselves. Yes, a lot of adolescents and young adults with disabilities have loving parents and siblings (they don’t all though…), but they are busy, they are tired, they are living day to day and sometimes minute to minute. I want Living Loud to be the help they need to find employment, or leisure time activities, or anything that makes their lives more joyful and purposeful.
So even though I am sad and grieving today, and scared and nervous for the Walk & Roll tomorrow, and incredibly grateful for my family and friends who have stood by me in my craziness, I am going to go out there and “kick the s**t out of option B”!
With Jordan in my heart,