What would Emily do? or how your mentor doesnโ€™t have to be your boss

This week I’m reminded once again that mentors come in various forms.

Personally, when I face a new challenge or if I start doubting in my abilities to complete a task, I ask myself, ” What would Emily do?”

Just this thought is normally enough to help me recenter myself and allow me to continue and be successful.

My dear Emily…

In October 1999, we were told that you would never walk, talk, recognize us, understand us or show emotions. We were told that you would require to be tube fed.

I remember saying that you knew us and recognized our voices.

The answer from the genetic counselor was harsh. You want to believe she is recognizing you but in reality she isn’t… your daughter can’t do that.

It wasn’t my imagination!

In our home we say “can’t do that yet!”

That way, we know that there is always a possibility…

Last week, Emily and I received our certificates for completing our Level 2 courses in American Sign Language.

This officially gives Emily and I a 3rd language.

English, French and ASL

How about that for never talking and understanding us?

Tenacity and determination

My daughter has been teaching me amazing lessons over the last 21 years.

She is my life coach, my mentor.

Emily has overcome so much in her life and being with her on her journey has changed me.

Emily has taught me, through example, that if I want something bad enough I should keep trying!

She has taught me that complaining and quitting would never get me anywhere but that pulling myself back-up and trying again would.

When nearing my break point, I remind myself how badly Emily wanted to walk and how over 13 months, she tried every single day.

On average a couple of times per hour for 10 to 12 hours a day.

Let’s do the math, shall we?

A very small 3 year old girl, fell over 8,000 times but pulled herself back-up and tried again!


What about you?

How quickly do you abandon what you are trying to learn or achieve?

How many times would you pull yourself back-up?

๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

This is only a fragment of Emilyโ€™s story and Iโ€™m so glad to be able to share it with you all.

Find more about about Cri du Chat syndrome at 5p- Society

Emily has a her own page in the family stories , you can find it here: Emily

If you want short updates and timely pictures of the little things that are happening in our life, please like and follow Lessons from my daughterโ€˜s page on Facebook.

You can also find me on Twitter at @plebrass

If you havenโ€™t had a chance yet to see some of Emilyโ€™s artwork, please go see her Facebook page, if you like it, please hit that like button and share it with your contacts, friends and family.

Emilyโ€™s Hopes and Dreams

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Thereโ€™s always time for hugging

As soon as Emily was born, I wanted to hold her and cuddle her.

I loved her so much.

Even when she was crying and vomiting 24/7 with 30 minutes of sleep here and there, I wanted to hold her and cuddle her. I wanted her to feel safe and loved.

When she was being looked at by various specialists to determine what was “wrong”, that feeling of wanting to protect her from everything grew even stronger.

I adore my girl!

I grew up with a mom who loved us fiercely while at the same time teaching us to fly on her own. Teaching us manners and responsibilities while hugging us and saying “je t’aime” at least twice a day.

My mom taught me how to be a mom ๐Ÿ’œ

I talked to Emily constantly about everything and told her how much I loved her as often as I could.

After we were told that she would never talked, I started having conversations with her about everything I was doing and about what I did at work. I talked to her, held her in my arms, cuddled with her and said “I love you” many many times per day.

For conversation, I would give her choices for answers and would look for reactions to help guide our chit chat.

As Emily got older and started interacting more but still with limited words, I continued these conversations with her. Always using the real words to describe things or events. Never using baby talk.

I remember coming home one day when she was 5 or 6, I was trying to hide how sad I was as I had learn that day that a young man I worked with had died in a tragic accident. I sat on the couch, Emily next to me, she looked at me and started to pet my heads. Looking at me with empathy in her eyes, hugging me.

Empathy, was one of those complicated feelings my daughter wasn’t supposed to ever show…

Over the years, Emily has developed quite a vocabulary in English and a fair amount in French.

While in tutoring, she was known for her extensive vocabulary. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Last month, on the eve of her 20th Birthday, Emily sat on the couch next to me and looked at me with tears in her eyes…

That night, she said, “mom, you are my favorite person in the world” โค๏ธ

So I asked her why…

“For believing in me… You know, when the doctors said I would do nothing, you never gave up on me”

She sat there, crying gently while I tried to figure out what to say, I was lost for words… I told her that she was worth it and that I love her so much that there is no way I will ever give up on her.

She slept cuddled in my arms that night and I loved it even though she’s 20.

I still tell her how much I love her daily, I hug her as much as she wants and cuddle with her as often as she needs it.

When she needs a hug or a cuddle, I stop whatever I am doing and hug her.

I never let go first, I hug her until she’s ready to let go.

Yesterday, as I walked out of the bathroom, Emily was standing there waiting for me.

She looked at me and said: “do you need a hug mom?”

I needed a hug… for a handful of reasons, I needed a hug badly.

She hugged me and didn’t let go until I was ok.

When I asked her how she knew, her answer was simple.

“My heart”

This is only a fragment of Emilyโ€™s story and Iโ€™m so glad to be a part of it!

Find more about about Cri du Chat syndrome at 5p- Society

Emily has a her own page in the family stories , you can find it here: Emily

If you want short updates and timely pictures of the little things that are happening in our life, please like and follow Lessons from my daughterโ€˜s page on Facebook.

You can also find me on Twitter at @plebrass

If you havenโ€™t had a chance yet to see some of Emily’s artwork, please go see her Facebook page, if you like it, please hit that like button and share it with your contacts, friends and family.

Emilyโ€™s Hopes and Dreams