Thursday, October 22, 2015


"Bravado" has been one of my favorite Rush songs for years.  It's been an anthem that aptly describes  our family's commitment to walking the path before us, living life according to "our calling", and withholding nothing in raising our boys.  I used to tell Amanda "Nathan will get the therapy/meds/etc. he needs if it bankrupts us." 

If we burn our wings
Flying to close to the sun
If the moment of glory
Is over before it's begun
If the dream is won
Though everything is lost
We will pay the price
But we will not count the cost

When Nay was first diagnosed, it was paralyzing for me.  It didn't change my behavior toward him nor my love for him, but hopes/dreams/expectations were obscured in a thick cloud of uncertainty and unanswered questions when we attempted to look forward.  With a little time and a lot therapy, the true strength of Nathan's intellect showed through.  It was all we needed to see.  I say we.  Amanda was probably there the whole time.  Our task was clear,   keep him on grade level academically and help him "catch up" socially and in his verbal learning and communication skills  as quickly as possible.  Our hope was to have him ready for college by the time he graduates high school.  It presented a lofty summit, a wide river to swim for us all.   Refusing the challenge was unconscionable. 

When the dust has cleared
And victory denied
A summit too lofty
River a little too wide
If we keep our pride
Though paradise is lost
We will pay the price
But we will not count the cost

The summit proved too lofty, the river too wide, at least for our abilities and resources.  I'm willing to concede that it may be too lofty/wide for anyone with any level of resources.  It's a small consolation, a thin blanket against cold reality.  

Still, we're proud, insanely proud.  Only those who have known Nathan since our "Texas life" can truly grasp how far he's come.  Those who saw him very early here have some idea.  The only real consolation is in looking back and seeing the tiny speck far below that was our starting point 16 years ago.   We may not have made the summit, but we've climbed far higher than I ever dreamed when we stood in that tiny spot.  

Again in life our path diverges from most of our peer group.  As they work on choosing universities, pursuing scholarships, completing military applications, etc., we are working on SSI, ARCO, and other disability services applications.  We may not have succeeded in what we'd hoped, but we will not stop climbing.  We will continue to swim with all our might.  

Unlike one phrase in "Bravado", we consider nothing in vain.  Love does remain. We will climb until our dying breath.  We will swim until the shore is reached, or until time pulls us under.  We will continue to pay the price.  Even at our final moment, we will not count the cost.

And if the music stops
There's only the sound of the rain
All the hope and glory
All the sacrifice in vain
And if love remains
Though everything is lost
We will pay the price
But we will not count the cost.  

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