The “Thank You” We Forget
Hopefully the reflective moments of gratitude we find at Thanksgiving stick with us.
In “Thanks to the Pied Pipers” last week, we thanked people who provide extraordinary levels of support to people like my special needs son. Feel free to share that message with anyone whose efforts deserve recognition—professional, volunteer, family member or friend.
As the mom of an autistic son, over long years I have given out countless thank you hugs to every imaginable variety of teacher, therapist, and helper, not to mention friends and family members who reach out in kindness to our quirky family. 99% of those hugs involve held-back gratitude tears.
Things people say about my son as I thank them catch me by surprise.
“He has taught me more than I’ve taught him.”
“He brings joy to the people who work with him.”
“He’s braver than I’ll ever be, just managing a typical day.”
I, and maybe other family members of people with exceptional challenges, on whatever front—developmental issues, age related dementia or mobility issues, chronic or terminal illness, addiction, depression, PTSD—forget the level of challenge our family members face just to get through a day, or an hour, or a minute.
Navigating any given day for them can be physically and mentally draining.
And it may be exhausting again tomorrow. And the next day.
And yet they carry on.
Thanks to people facing exceptional challenges in our lives, for their indomitable spirit, and for allowing us to work together to move forward.
This week’s Hike Notes are about visiting Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, a postcard-perfect place we visited this fall on a trip to Big Sur. One night away from home is a huge challenge for my son, and two nights is doubly hard. But there we were, expanding our horizons together, hard as it was for him.
Please feel free to share. If you’re not able to take one of these Northern California hikes, hopefully you can enjoy the photos!
The list of hikes is getting long! Please check the Quick View Hike List or scroll down the main Hikes page to see the current list of hike notes.
New this week:
Hike Notes 38: Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes, Hike Search by Area) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.