Wow; we’ve been together a long time now. I guess you could say we’re pretty tight…in more ways than one. It is easy for people to think that you make my life more complicated. In some ways, they’re right. You’ve taught me all about fighting for things, even little ones, like getting into a building. You’ve taught me that people are not always kind to those who are different. The deep scar that runs down my back would not be there if not for you. I’m sure at some point when I was new to the world; my mother cried for all the “expected” things that you took away. But in so many ways they’re wrong, and I am grateful for the ways that you make my life simpler. You teach me everyday how to love all kinds of people. You crack me up all the time, and without you, where would my jokes come from? You’ve made me an advocate, and showed me that for every unkind person, there are two with enormous hearts. You remind me not to take life for granted, to celebrate whenever I can, and to appreciate little joys like Velcro and tilting powerchairs. You’ve given me beautiful friends who challenge me to open my heart a little wider. The deep scar that runs down my back is part of our story… and I’m sure that at some point, my mother smiled for all the “unexpected” things that you brought with you. I know that I have. I more deeply understand what it means to accept and be accepted. I accept the universe as you gave it to me. What a gift.