Saturday, April 30, 2011

New Orleans & NCEA convention

I was honored to co-present with Lonnell Battle at the National Catholic Education Association convention this past Tuesday. Lonnell and I shared how we collaborated to use "Last To Leave Home" in the English curriculum. Requiring it be read by incoming freshmen, the book offers an excellent way to update the summer reading list to incorporate nonfiction genre and to better respect and understand people with special needs (the school has a highly successful inclusion program).
We had an attentive audience and enjoyed co-presenting. Thanks, Lonnell! You have truly become a kindred spirit.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mary's Sister was "Her Rock"

I recently received a beautiful email from Mary Daley who has a sister with Down syndrome. Mary shared that it was her sister, Terese, who consoled the family during the recent deaths of her father in January and then her mother in March. Enjoy her words of wisdom:
"I will never forget her consoling me as I sat on her bed crying and she placed her tiny hands on my face and cupped it looking gently into my eyes....'we will all be ok because we are family'. Therese spent time with each of us. The angel of God was with her giving us comfort and strength. Through it all she has been a wonderful example of God's love.....I know some people think individuals that have Down syndrome are incapable of living a 'normal' life. That it may be better to abort than to take the chance of having a chld with Down syndrome. All I know is I am glad that my parents took the chance--with all the joys and sorrows of having a sibling with a disability the good has always outweighed the bad. My little sister (43 years old) was my rock in one of life's most difficult moments. My sister Terese is not just a person with a disability, she is a special woman who is a sister, daughter, aunt, niece, couson, friend and most important to me, a teacher. She has taught me so much about myself and life. She has touched the lives of all those with whom she has made contact and I believe a little piece of her has rubbed off on each. I could not imagine life without Terese being a part of it."
Thanks, Mary, for allowing me to share this with others.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pleasant Surprise Found in the Mail

Sometimes my mail can "pile up" until I find time to sort through the letters/mailings. Yesterday, I happened onto a wonderful review of my book! Many thanks to Ashley Coulter from Vanderbilt for writing a review of my book, and to Errol Elshtain from the TN Council on Developmental Disabilities for publishing the review in their special issue titled "Breaking Ground". Go to this link and scroll down to page 11: Ashley began with my husband's philosphy of life: "Live each day to the fullest. Get the most from each hour, each day, and each age of your life." Well written review, Ashley!