In less than two weeks, I will be one of the speakers at an annual dinner for my youngest son’s high school. The same high school that saw beyond Bailey’s disability and hired him to work in their cafeteria. I was asked to share my story – the story of two individuals who traveled different paths to get to the same place.
I am a writer not a public speaker. My story of this journey is deeply personal, but yet needs to be told. Hiding beyond the page is the most comfortable place to reside. It shelters me – protects me – most of all, the pages don’t judge. There is a lot of vulnerability in sharing in front of a large group of people. It stirs me emotionally, especially when I share what this institution, that is more than a building of bricks, means to me.
This is the third time I have been asked to share my journey with Bailey, but this is the first time I have revealed the component that Bryce adds to the story. My hope is that I don’t start bawling. You know that really messy, snotty kind of crying where you can’t compose yourself? I do that.
I took the liberty of writing my speech while I have been recuperating. My process is simple. I write it. I read it. I change it multiple times until it fits and feels natural. I change it until it grabs me, pulls me in, and it settles like a comfortable pair of shoes. I will probably change it a few more times until the actual day of deliverance. That is what I do. Sometimes it never seems good enough.
Part of my process is remembering that it is God’s talk. Once I invite him to go along for the ride, he will guide me and support me. I never have to do anything alone. I am humbled, grateful, and extremely blessed that this amazing haven has been the destination for my boys. Different paths can lead to the same place. It is just a testament of how God’s plan is a whole lot better than mine.