Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Walking the walk

One step, two steps, three steps, four. That's how we do a walk in our family. We take a deep breath, throw in a little hope, put one foot in front of the other and just walk.

On our first try, we didn’t get very far – maybe only 100 yards. But we didn’t give up. It was a start. We knew we could do better. The following year we doubled it. A year later we almost made the distance. Ok, it was a toss up whether we’d finish from the back of a garbage truck or a police car (we chose the police cruiser), but hey, we finished and we cheered our Sam because we could see in his eyes he'd done his very best. 

We didn’t give up. We were intent on making the distance. We had friends and family rooting for us and we were determined to make them proud.

Finally, finally, in our 4th try, with determination in his eyes, Sam finished for the very first time. You can’t imagine the elation. It was like winning a gold metal after years of trying. Part of us couldn’t believe we actually did it and the other half wanted to shout how very proud we were of what Sam had finally accomplished.

This is important stuff, you see. It is the Walk for Autism Speaks and it is Sam’s charity. I am not sure why Sam chose it. Maybe it was the blue puzzle piece. Or the way Suzanne Wright looked deeply into his eyes and held his hands on the day of that very first walk. 

Old pros now, on Saturday we did our sixth walk. We entered the familiar tent waiting for the shout of “go.” And did we go! With a smile ear to ear, Sam walked the familiar course like a pro with me struggling to keep up. We passed people on the right and people on the left, finishing in record speed.

With the help of a lot of friends and Sam’s personal efforts selling his cards and drawings, Sam’s team finished 4th for fund raising and Sam finished 4th for individual donations. Wow! I asked Sam write about his experience and for anyone who missed his facebook post, here’s what Sam had to say:

Autism speaks walk. Is good. I walked the beach. Long walk. Lot of people.  
They sing autism speaks. I feel good. Hi everybody thank you.

As just one family of the collective whole of touched by autism, we thank everybody indeed. Today the world looks just a little bit brighter because of the many kind and generous people we are lucky enough to know.  As Sam would say, “Is good.” 

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