After spending nearly five months of meeting book release commitments that kept me on the road instead of on my tush at my computer, I'm back, at least for a little while, and ready to resume blogging on a more regular basis! Thanks to all of you who have continued to check my blog with determination and dedication, searching for brand new stuff (so sorry!). Here it is! 'Just in time for my back-to-school/education ramblings. You won't want to miss that. (next blog, I promise!).
The past four months have been a whirlwind of reviews, media interviews, book signings for Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations (JudyWinter.com). And I've been sending thanks and books to a lot of deserving people. Plus, I have worked hard to answer all those terrific emails from many appreciative readers. Thanks to each one of you for taking time to share your kudos, heartfelt stories and wonderful amazon reviews (which do help sell books...). I love reading your words; they help fuel my passion for my work, and for my life. They give me hope for the future of our kids, and I will be drawing from them as I write in the weeks ahead.
I must admit to also indulging in more than a few much-needed vacation days (I especially love Lake Michigan!), while also spending some cherished time reflecting on life with my son. Memories are everywhere, and they are there every single day...I cherish these reminders of life with my son, it is sacred time that I plan to protect a bit more ferverently now that the initial book release demands have eased a bit.
The human side of me needs time for tears and introspection, even more than the writer in me requires time for penning emotional words and ramblings. Grief doesn't end because you voice your loss to the world online or write about it in a book. A mother's grief is very powerful indeed...it isn't something you get over, ever. I will blog about the reality of facing and surviving the death of a child in greater detail in my emotional ramblings to come. Perhaps it will help another parent hold on...
So much has been happening in the world these past few months, not just concerning special needs, and I have opinions on almost all of it. But let's get back on track first with some of my professional highlights from the past few months. In short, here's some of what I've been doing instead of blogging!
-Seeing Breakthrough Parenting embraced by both families and the professional market has been incredible. I believe strongly that we must work together well if all children are to have better lives! The adversarial stuff (all the heightened drama we help create) needs to end. The energy can be better spent on great solutions that help kids succeed.
-Appearing on major television shows to talk about my book (great exposure for the cause), including the Hour of Power at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California- that place is a stunning piece of architecture with beautiful, healing gardens, and with some pretty terrific staff/volunteers on board. My appearance on CBN's Living the Life (Terry and Lousie you are terrific!) will air August 30th-check your local listings (the Family Channel).
-Being interviewed by a lot of fun, skilled broadcasters from a bunch of radio stations across the country, including Steve Cochran from WGN, the Voice of Chicago! Steve talked about his own lessons growing up as the sibling of a brother with learning disabilities, and he was not the only radio/tv host to admit to having personal experience with special needs issues. Thanks Steve for your honesty and the valuable air time! People like you help me take the shame out of talking about this subject publicly! On behalf of families everywhere-- thank you!!
-Being reviewed in Parenting magazine, the Chicago Tribune, and Health News Digest among mentions in many other press was/is terrific.
- Receiving a letter of support for Breakthrough Parenting from Maria Shriver, First Lady of Califonia!
-Meeting so many terrific families and lots of cute kids at my book signings.
-Finding my book on the shelves in the major bookstores in major cities across the country, including: LA, Washington D.C., Philly, Detroit, often in the general parenting section! Finding BP face out on the top shelf in the 5th Avenue Barnes and Noble in NYC was a writer's literary (and a proud mom's)dream come true..
-Receiving the Chief Everything Officer Award in Community Outreach from AOL/Dove at a luncheon at famed Gotham Hall in New York City!
-Receiving that award from Felicity Huffman, and meeting keynote speaker Marlee Matlin- one of my heroes. Both women were incredibly charming, spirited and friendly! Cute, too... I've got the photos to prove it-check my website.
-Private meeting with Tim Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics in July in Washington D.C. during the heat wave! What a gracious and inspiring champion of those with special needs!
-Being asked to speak at several professional conferences beginning this fall...
I repeat, we must bridge these challenged relationships and work together for the sake of kids-- it is my loud new mantra.
I am leaving out many other highlights, but you get the drift of what's been happening to me these past few months. Now it's your turn: write me firstname.lastname@example.org and update me on your lives. I will begin rambling again in earnest about tough special needs issues next entry (this week I promise).
Be sure to enjoy what is left of summer. Although I admit that I am ready for Fall and sweater weather. This hot, humid summer has turned me into a night creature.
Now, take a deep breath, because school will start again soon. I'm going to try to make this year a bit less stressful for you. If you haven't already done so, be sure to get a copy of my book. It includes lots of empowering tips/information on facing school issues, and the success stories of other families to show you what's possible.
But before school starts, there is still time to take your kids outside and gently catch lighting bugs tonight (the simplest pleasures are free)! It has been a bumper year for the enchanting little twinklers! Be sure to set them free when you are done so someone else can enjoy nature's magic...