Alex & Frederic Bilodeau win the gold of my heart
I was out to dinner with a friend when Alex Bilodeau won the gold for men’s moguls at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics a couple of nights ago. I couldn’t hear the story over the noise but I saw his exuberance, and I saw his brother Frederic, cheering him on just like he did two years ago in 2010.
The next morning after my four girls were carted off to their respective schools, I sat down with a cup of coffee, and searched for videos and the story of the night before.
I sobbed. Watch Video Here
Our two youngest daughters have special needs. Polly has Down syndrome and a stroke disorder. Evangeline has autism and Down syndrome. My husband and I do what we can to ensure that all our kids are loved, respected, challenged, and cared for. But I worry about our older girls and the concessions they make in life because of the presence of disability. There are plenty of times our family looks a little different from their peers. We can’t do some activities. Our life is packed with therapy and doctor appointments.
It is difficult to admit, but as much as we try, sometimes my older girls take a back seat to special needs maintenance.
But then I see something like this. Alex Bilodeau says his brother Frederic, born with cerebral palsy, is his biggest inspiration in chasing after his dreams. When you see them together, love exudes from their pores. Every word he speaks is true.
“I have a family, a great girlfriend, a team of trainers, but the person who motivates me to go through the highs and lows is my brother,” said Bilodeau. ”He will encourage me in anything I do. He’s the same with my sister. He won’t let up. That’s my brother — the happy camper who motivates us every day.”
My girls would agree
At thirteen and eleven, my daughters Elaina and Zoya are inspired over and over again by Polly and Evie. Their sisters teach them about what really matters in life: keep trying, love people, love life, be thankful. All four sisters love each other for who they are.
And that says a lot.
Last week, Elaina wrote a story for school about having siblings with special needs. Her words were a balm on my tired special needs mama heart:
When it comes down to it, Polly and Evie are simply my sisters. That’s it. I know Down syndrome is different, I get it. But God has a plan for my sisters just like he has one for me and everybody else. My sisters have changed my life. When you meet people with special needs take a minute to get to know them. It will change your perspective on life. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.
Thank you Alex and Frederic Bilodeau for your great example to us and to the world about what really matters in life.
You’ve won the gold of my heart.