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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Salter Goodwin

Happy Anniversary, Lisa!

Lisa celebrated an anniversary this week. It came and went so quietly that we almost missed it. It represents such determination and fortitude that I don’t want it to go unnoticed. So today I ask you to celebrate with me that Lisa has been able to live in supported independence in an apartment for the last . . .

. . . fourteen years.

I don’t remember when Lisa first voiced her dream. I do remember wondering if it would be possible. If she couldn’t go to elementary and high school without extra help, how could manage living on her own?

When Lisa survived life-threatening heart surgery in 2000, we thought the dream had died. Though surgery saved her life, she never recovered her skip, her heavy-footed run, or her full energy.

Even living with more limitations, she still she wanted a a home of her own, a place to do her own thing, a chance to prove herself.

No one thought she could do it. Some thought we were parents who couldn’t face reality. We believed Lisa deserved a chance to try. So we did all the paper work, set a date, enjoyed the apartment shower that work associates gave her, moved the few pieces of furniture and home supplies she had collected, and prayed for the best.

I will never forget that Easter afternoon in 2001.

“Mom, do you think this is going to work?” Lisa’s lower lip trembled with thought of failure.

“I don’t know; but there’s no reason we can’t try!” I think I was trying to convince myself as much as her.

We prayed together. Hugged each other. Rehearsed what to do if . . . And I took one of the longest walks to the car I ever took. Cried all the way home. Didn’t sleep much that night, fully expecting a call in the middle of the night.

But Lisa didn't call until tthe next morning with an excitement in her voice I hadn’t heard for more than a year.

Lisa's first apartment in Centralia, Washington

That’s why today I celebrate an important anniversary.

I celebrate Lisa’s desire for independence with firework explosions in my heart.

I celebrate her passion to fashion her own world her own way.

I celebrate her courage to continue this life through threat of vision loss.

I celebrate her indomitable spirit that continues to find a way to surface when physical obstacles

threatened to steal her dream.

I celebrate the joy Lisa takes in waking up in her own place and the gratitude to God she records\

her journal.

Lisa, you are not just a dream-chaser; you are a dream-catcher.

Happy 14 year anniversary!

Home Sweet Home now in Beaverton, Oregon

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