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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pure coincidence or planting of the seed?

I often think of this, but especially was thinking about it today in the shower and it's been on my mind all day. I thought I would share it. It serves as a sort of foreshadow to future events, and I didn't even connect it, until much later. It may be sheer coincidence, or sheer fate. Whichever you believe in. For me, it was a way of myself preparing for some major events in my life, and maybe as a coping mechanism? I often wonder if life works this way all the time, but maybe we are too busy, too closed minded, or just closed off from your own feelings to connect it. Either way, it is pretty profound and I think it's pretty amazing how God and the universe do their wonders, and even better when you recognize it.

When I was pregnant with Gavin, I was pondering (with great intent) of pursuing training in ASL. I had thought about this degree when I was in junior college, prior to transferring to Cal Poly Pomona. I even requested a tour of Cal State Northridge and Fresno at the time because they offered such degrees in ASL. Life took a different turn of events, and I went into the computer industry. For me, in the arena I worked in, the highest paid jobs that are closest to me to commute are in LA or Irvine/Orange County area. I worked in both LA and Irvine, as well as around Orange County. At the time, working long hours and long freeway hours do not work well with having two small children (for me). Letting go of that career for the time being to be home with my kids was what I decided to do. I worked part time from home on different projects, basically doing freelance for short period of times. It worked at the time, but wasn't really for me.

Fast forward to the months of bed rest with Gavin, and having a whole lot of time to ponder life! I went over and over in my mind of having to put to rest my career drive. I loved my job! I loved the corporate world and working hard and being rewarded. The thoughts of wanting to connect to something more meaningful wouldn't leave me. I liked the thought of being a stay at home mom, but I go a little bonkers. I want my hands in... something. So, I thought, well... I can start taking some classes and start with possibly being certified in American Sign Language. I wanted to be able to provide a service to someone, and do it with conviction, and not just as a job. I so badly wanted to help someone, or just make their disability a little bit more connected to those that don't have it.

I remember in one of my college courses, we had an ASL interpreter for one of the students. She was SO incredibly disconnected. It's like she was literally going through the emotions, and the student was everyday hanging on by what seemed like a thread. There was no emotion, no life in her, no connection to her student. It really resignated with me. I just thought, what a different experience this young man would have in his classes if she were just present? (I don't know the issues here, if there were any, just stating what I observed over a semester period of time). The feeling of what I had in those days in class, came over me when I was pregnant with Gavin. Yes, my prior jobs were fulfilling, yes I felt challenged, but at the end of the day... it was a job. I wanted something with more substance. I wanted to be able to touch someone's life and make it better/easier/funner. How this came forth with my desire to get trained in American Sign Language, I have no idea.

I brought this up to my hubby. He rolled his eyes, and said "you're on this again?", mind you with much sarcasm. We laughed, I told him to shut it, and laughed again. He knew I wanted to do this years back, and we were both wondering why on bed rest, was I wanting to pursue something I had not a clue in? I would be starting from scratch. I began doing some research, and figuring out exactly what I need to do. Tried (in my mind) to time Gavin's age and when I can start, etc. I even had very vivid, lucid dreams of being an ASL interpreter for children and young adults in college and LOVING it. Oddly enough, I began to do my own training. From my laptop. While on bedrest. Because I had the time to do it.

We agreed, that this passion would be the new direction I would go, once Gavin was old enough for me to start back at school, classes, etc. I was so excited for the new direction I was planning on going in. It would be something I could do once the kids were both in school, and have some time for me to work, even just part time. I would be able to be the mom at home with the kids, as well as satisfy my urge to reach outside of the house and make a difference with someone. Someone who is deaf, and who would need me as a service to help them in their everday life, and I would be along with them in their ride as they challenge themselves and pursue school/college. I wanted to be the person to help make their day better/easier/funner.

Now, I want to know if you are beginning to sense the irony here? I went from working in the corporate world, to wanting to start all over and be an ASL interpreter. This decision was made and discussed with my husband as I was pregnant with Gavin. A tiny baby in my womb, who was blind (and we didn't know). Was there something out there shaping me before I knew what was going to happen in the coming months? Was I planting the seed with wanting to work with individuals who have a disability, and helping them to easily experience the communicative realm in which they are a part of? All the while, not knowing the child in me, had a different condition that would take all my energy and time to get him prepped for the world which is sighted?

None of this really hit me. Like hit me, until many months after Gavin was born. I mean, I knew it, and me and my husband talked about how "odd" it was. But now, having brought Gavin to the point of where he is today, and the dedication it takes, not just on my part, but all of my immediate family. It is the same dedication that I was ready to take on in prepping myself for taking those classes. It is the dedication that I was convicted in taking on, and starting something new, regardless of how difficult the road would be, starting on a road you have no clue in which it would take you. And most of all, it was the feeling I had inside me, one that I wanted to provide an amazing service to someone who faces daily challenges of communicating properly.

What?!?

I know, it's a little bit out there, it's a little bit far fetched to convey the feeling of the want I had in me to help others. But it makes sense now, it makes much sense now. It's as if those feelings I had inside of me, for many years, truly presented themselves months before Gavin presented his beautiful soul to the world. It was my prep work, in all it's greatness, to help get me ready to raise a visually impaired/blind child. No, it's a different realm, but along the same path, and poses a parallel situation.

Call it fate or coincidence, but it was a force beyond what I was capable of knowing at the time. The great thing is, it worked. I didn't fight it, I didn't think too much of it, I just went with it. I followed what my heart, or the universe, or what God was telling me. Mind you, getting the news of his condition was just as devastating as you can imagine, but I feel all that we have done with trying to raise awareness, comes from a place that I feel I was already beginning to be shaped in for that position. The floor plan was laid out. It was already taking shape. It was happening before I knew it, and the dialogue between my husband and I took place with this new direction, before Gavin was even born. And within one year, I went from wanting to be trained in ASL to help others, to now teaching myself braille, so I can help my son.

Whatever you want to call it, I am glad we didn't fight it. It has helped me, and continue to fuel the fire of this new mission we are on. If Gavin's story touches one person, and raises awareness in fighting blindness, braille awareness, or just compassion of those with disabilities, then I know we have done our job.

1 comment:

  1. I am with you. I do not think this was coincidental and I firmly believe in God working his magic. Absolutely right you are with respect to you allowing it to happen and going with what your heart told you to do! This is very inspiring, and I related to it on many different levels. Thank you for your candid approach.
    Always a fan
    ~Meghan

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