Happy Birthday

Today friends is a very special day. Today my daughter reached the age of sixteen and marks for me a time to reflect on the journey she, her mom, and I have been on for those 16 years.

My girls some serious disadvantages that many of us don’t have to deal with. She has Bi-polar disorder and it can make life tough for her mom and I and infinitely harder for her. See Bi-polar disorder is a sometime rapid back and forth in her emotions from rage to joyful mania to deep unrelenting sadness none of which she can control.

But despite that she is thoughtful and funny and I could not imagine my life with out her. We could not have gotten to where we are as a family though with out the unending belief and support of family, friends, and the many many people in the school and mental health system who have given us their guidance and help when the three of us have been at our lowest.

That’s what community really means though, People coming together to help one another so that someone who wouldn’t normally succeed have an opportunity to thrive.

Today I had the great privilege of being a part of a review of the social assistance programs in our province. The government had decided that they wanted to see if there were recommendations made by the citizens of Ontario that could improve this often bewildering and often difficult system. So today some 120 people came out in the snow to offer their input. Some of them were people who use these services and some had never before, until recently, even thought about it. But they came out as a community to do something about it.

Just like the community came out and rallied around my family and made tit possible for my daughter to have a chance to succeed.

So today it was a very happy birthday for my daughter because of the chance community gave her and maybe it’s a very happy birthday for the rest of my community as well because they showed up to improve what is infinitely hard for so many.

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