Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday Words of Advice & Warriors *Devon*

It's here! Today is the day of my launch of Willowjak's Wednesday Words of Advice OR Wednesday Warriors. It's your chance to choose one of these blog topics to write about, include the applicable button below in your post, then come back here to include your link in Mr. Linky so we can all click on over to check it out. Don't forget to take a moment to click on a couple other links to see some posts by other bloggers. Tomorrow night I'll be choosing my favourite post and stopping by your blog so that I can write a post profiling YOU! For a refresher on what to write about, see HERE.

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I'd like to tell you about my Wednesday Warrior. Meet Devon.

Devon is also known as D-D-D-D-Devonius, sung to the tune of Duran Duran's "Notorious".

Notorious - Duran Duran

Or otherwise known as the girl in the Wendy's Hamburgers ad:

Devon entered my family's life a year and a bit ago. We have a lot of people in our lives who have met us because of autism. For that, autism has truly been a blessing. Devon is one of the very few who came out of circumstance. We're not an easy family to love. And we're definitely not an easy household to adjust to. If you stop by, you are likely to hear Muppets singing at full volume from the computer, as the tv blares the Backyardigans, as a few behavioural aides/therapists chase a kid through the hallway, while the boiling pots overflow on the stove, while the dog barks at the squirrel in the backyard, while an eight-year old slams a door because he doesn't want to clean his room, while the mom mutters "X*@**" under her breath at the husband who just kicked the mess on the floor into the corner instead of picking it up, while the great grandmother or great grandmother snores from the chair in the middle of the living room and while one naked 6 year old streaks through the house yelling "I'm gonna keeill you boy" (some great line he picked up from a movie clip that we can't track down and is repeated in the most embarrassing and inconvenient of moments in front of the worst possible audiences).

So when Devon was introduced to us, having had no prior exposure to kids with autism or this crazy, chaotic type of family life, I thought any future visits would be limited to those out of necessity. But no. Somehow she fell in love with my boys and all their eccentricities. She immediately bonded with Jake, Owen and Will. When she walked through the door, they ran to her with huge grins and big hugs. She volunteered to watch all three, when only a handful of people would only do this and get paid for it. She took a class in ABA to get a better understanding of the twins' therapy. She took a job at Jake's school as a receptionist and became his #1 cheerleader, helping him through a difficult transition into a new school and becoming a true friend that he could trust. Devon started as being the girl I had to be nice to, to the girl I liked, to a true friend that I would be happy to call a sister. Devon became a book buddy, my go-to girl to vent to about family issues, my Ranchman's companion and my after-dinner Games Night partner.

You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone means more now to me than ever. I didn't realize how much of a hole she would leave until I started looking into the future and seeing how many things she would have been a part of, but won't be.

But let me tell you why she's a warrior.

Being a grown-up isn't always easy. It requires making grown-up decisions. When you don't have kids, it requires making decisions that keep you on track to moving forward in life, while maintaining your self-respect, your pride and not losing sight of your dreams. Many times, it means moving on and leaving people behind. It might mean letting go of the "easy and safe" to choose the more difficult path that leads to greater reward. Putting yourself first and remembering that you deserve the best, not the mediocre.

Devon is leaving us tonight. She is moving back to Ontario to regroup and embark on a new chapter in her life. One that will hopefully bring her much happiness and peace with her decision. As her friend, I am proud of her. As her "sister", I am heart-broken. But my family will never forget the role she played in our life and our door will always be open for her to come back and visit.

Until next time, De-vo. xo


Unknown Mami said...

That made me cry. What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful person! Did she read it?

Jenni Jiggety said...

Ohh...I am sorry your friend is moving. But what a gift you have had in her friendship!

Stacey said...

She read it, Mami! But I'm afraid it went to her head; she now thinks she's a blog-world superstar. :)

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