As the day honoring the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. comes to a close, I want to share again my favorite quote. It is my favorite of all time, not just my favorite of Dr. King's.
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
I know men and women who have truly lived this quote. Who are they?
- They are moms and dads.
- Their children are no longer children.
- Their children were born at a time when medicine did not understand that nature and nurture should not be opposite of each other in a versus situation.
- Their children were diagnosed and written off as failures.
- They were told things that were impossible for any doctor to know:
- Your child will never walk.
- Your child will never talk.
- Your child will die before the age of 2, 5, 10.
- Put your child in an institution because you do not have the tools to care for him.
- They said "no, you will not take my child from me."
- They said "no, you do not know what he can accomplish."
- They took their child home, loved him, taught him, and if the worst happened and the child died young, they mourned and never forgot.
- They became advocates. They knew that a brighter future was possible.
- They paved the way for Trent, other children, other moms, and me.
How can I ever repay something like that? Will promising to carry the torch be enough? Because I do promise that.
Although this love letter goes out to all parents that have paved the way, I especially want to thank those moms in our local support group. While you are cooing over our small ones and remembering when your son or daughter was that small, I am standing in awe of what you have accomplished. I am measuring you by where you stood at your moments of controversy and challenge, and I am deciding that you are one of my heroes. Thank you.