LIFE WITH LIVY
| Episode 12: 7/22/2012 - From The Beginning
Just yesterday I said to Allison, “Did you think seven years ago, we would be where we are today?” Seven years ago, we weren’t thinking about much other than “How can our lives work like this? What happened? Who’s fault was it?” We felt helpless, alone and weak. We were dealing with the devastating fact that one of our twins was not going to have a normal life. We had only just begun to realize that a great journey loomed in front of us.
As we were preparing for the Tampa Bay Times article, I uncovered some old video we had not watched since it was filmed. It was filmed during a time that was fraught with mixed emotion and hopelessness and it resurrected deep rooted anguish. But as I viewed it, wiping the tears from my eyes and the tightness fading from my throat, I saw how far we have come and how much wiser we now are. I also see that our path in life was changed for a reason.
There is and forever will be a debate about destiny versus choice. I am no philosopher and don’t presume to be. But I think to some extent, we are challenged with both. I believe life puts certain obstacles in our paths, introduces us to various people and surrounds us with situations we are meant to react to (destiny). I also believe that we have it within our power to choose how we react and to shape what destiny has to offer (choice).
When Allison and I met, I believe it was destiny that brought us together. But I believe that we made individual choices that kept us together. When Olivia was born, life could have been much different. It is a fact that a high percentage of marriages end when a child with disabilities enters the relationship. But instead, we chose to support each other and work together. We are forever stronger because of it. We also could have faded into obscurity, hiding our life from society’s fear of “differently-abled” individuals. But we chose to expose ourselves in order to make a difference. Olivia is a gift and makes us all better people. We had to experience destiny before we could choose in which direction we wanted to proceed. Now I believe and accept that Livy is not going to have a normal life. She will have an exceptional one.
Here is a comment we received from Gary Parish of Winter Haven, FL after the Tampa Bay Times article ran:
Thank you Gary, for your incredible words of wisdom and compassion. We will continue to share our story and to bring hope and inspiration to the best of our ability. This video is from some time ago but conveys what it was like in the beginning. There was both extreme happiness and heart wrenching sadness all jumbled together, never knowing which we would face next. But I think it is important to note that we emerged different people in so many ways into a life that has opened our eyes to complete beauty.