Monthly Archives: October 2009

Thank You, Evan’s Elves

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If you donated to Walk Now for Autism Philadelphia, particularly under the name of our team (Evan’s Elves), thank you.
If you cheered us on, wished us luck, or thought of us quietly, thank you.
If you changed your plans, woke up early, and drove in to the city to walk beside us, THANK YOU.
If you invite us to your home, knowing that anything could happen, and welcome our whole family with open arms, thank you.
If you travel with us, vacation with us, dine with us, and gracefully, subtly, bend your schedule around our often outrageous requests, thank you.
If you come in to our home, stepping over broken toys, pretending not to notice the spills and stains and shrieks and smells and all of the other signs of chaos, thank you.
If you care for our children, play with them, listen to us, or laugh with us, thank you.
If you invite us out for a night with grownups, for coffee or for drinks, and give us a moment or an evening to forget and escape, thank you.
You have been a friend to all of us.
Because for all of the things that autism has taken from us, it has given us so much more.  So few people are given constant reminders of the miracles in their lives; the miracles of friendship and kindness and laughter and love.  We witness those miracles daily.
When Evan was first diagnosed, we read and viewed interviews with parents of autistic children who were complaining that autism was their whole world; that they felt they no longer had social lives, friends, or even worlds outside of their own living rooms.  We were terrified that our world, too, would become smaller; that our kids would have no ‘normal kid’ experiences, that our dreams for our family had suddenly become unattainable.
Fortunately, with your help, that never happened.
Beach vacations, plane rides, football games, baseball games, rock concerts, wineries, parties, apple picking, restaurants, hayrides, pool parties, weekend getaways, family dinners, tee ball, soccer, swimming lessons, holidays, museums, boating, fishing…the list goes on and on.
Our world and our lives are far different than they were a few years ago.  The day to day hurdles can be painful and heartbreaking.  But the opportunities for gratitude and joy are without number.  Our lives are richer, fuller, and more colorful than we ever dreamed they could be.
We walked under Evan’s name.  But we walked for the other kids, the other parents, and the other siblings.  Those who, by fault of opportunity or simply geography, don’t have what we have.  Who can’t go on vacation because they have to pay out of pocket for their child’s therapies.  Who can’t go out to dinner because nobody is available to help watch their child.  Who can’t find anyone in their city, county, or state who is able to help them toilet train their son or teach their daughter to swim.  We walk for the families who aren’t experiencing the gratitude or the joy.
We walk for those who don’t have people like you.
Thank you.