Advocacy, Advocacy, Advocacy
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth” — William Faulkner
Over and over again since my son was hurt, I have to advocate, advocate and advocate. It can get really exhausting and stressful and overwhelming. I could keep adding on adjectives to describe it all, but I don’t really want to bore you too much. It seems like constant battles must be waged. Things that should be so simple are simply not. I have had to step out of my box in more ways than I care to. I have been on TV and radio shows, I have talked in front of groups of people, I have written countless letters and emails, I have traveled to foreign countries, I have visited my legislators in Jefferson City and now I have added talking to my local school board to the list. None of these things would make my bucket list, if I would ever sit down and make one. Except, of course, the travel part. The travel I did was for treatments for my son and not leisure, but we did throw in a little fun.
This June should be a month to enjoy with my children before the middle to end of summer brings many activities. I am becoming increasingly aware of the little time left with my teenage daughter. She is turning into a young women right before my eyes. It’s amazing how fast the time went. The other night we were out to eat and a young couple sat at the table next to us with a baby. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was a mom of young children. Now I am the mom of a teenager, a preteen and an 8 year old. Hard to wrap my brain around it sometimes. I guess you think that you are going to have all this time with your children, and then one day the end is looming close. I know it’s not really the end, but it’s the end of an era.
Anyway, my point in all this is that my plan was to enjoy my children this summer before it all gets too busy. But of course, a problem from the bureaucrats or officials had to be thrown in — people making decisions about policies for families who have no clue how it affects the child. This policy that was made greatly negatively affects the ability of my son to be able to have the best possible outcomes in the school setting. I am heartbroken and am going to do everything I can to change this. I won’t go into the details at this time, but I am hoping that simple advocacy and raising awareness will solve this problem. I hope these officials will be willing to open their hearts and see the children whose lives they are affecting. It is so frustrating when policymakers make decisions with little regard to how it actually affects the people. This situation is extremely distressing, and it is situations like this that eat at the precious time I have with my children. It takes my energy and time to fight for basic rights for my son — rights that should be a given.
There are some things that you have to be willing to comprise or let go, but others are just too crucial to roll over and play dead. I have learned, just like with my children, to pick my battles; to save the battle for the really important things. This current battle that I am in is one of the really important things. I believe, like William Faulkner said, and won’t be afraid to raise my voice against injustice.
So I will keep my chin up and keep advocating. I will probably cry behind closed doors, but I will dust myself off and keep on keeping on. I won’t let my summer be totally overtaken. I will enjoy my little clan.