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Judie's Story - Page Three

Jackson's hearing has fully returned. Gradually, the baby they said would not live became a loving, good-natured little boy, with a cute sense of humour. He loves playing pirates, enjoys a tumble on the floor. Not everyone believes the enormous amount of time and effort put into communication, play and rehabilitation is worth the effort. For me, my focus and belief is: I see Jackson healed, complete, and lacking in nothing.

I don't know where I read this but it is a saying that gives me great strength:

'Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.'

And according to the great philosopher, Benedetto Croce:

'True happiness is to be won by learning to love with such elevation of spirit as to attain the power to stand up to grief...surpass the old love with an even greater new love.'

As we lead our life we all make our decisions of what we will do in our personal and professional worlds - we need to assume responsibility for the decisions we make. Blaming others for our misfortune is not the way. It is not really what happens to us in our life, it is how we handle it that makes the difference. Each day I awake and tell myself, 'If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you're right.'

Thank you Calvin Coolidge for this:

'Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.'

With this attitude under our belts we moved forward. Today, Jackson is almost five years old. He has understanding of conversation and is commencing to make his appropriate replies. He makes choices. He now walks in his specially designed walker. In fact, Jackson thinks he's superman! He laughs on train rides and curls up on plane rides, a very happy little chappy.

I have business associations with Lend Lease. We have spoken about balance within our Lend Lease philosophy. It is important that we balance family, spiritual, business, health and relaxation, and also take the time to contemplate who we are, where we have been and where we are going. It is great to plan and to have dreams but they are ahead of us. Where we are today is what really matters. We have the promise of this moment, the knowledge of the past and the great ability to change the future.

Perhaps in all our lives there is someone we may help, someone to whom we could reach out to and make a difference in their lives. Yes, carers do this every day and again I applaud all our carers in Australia.

The things that we have learned from our past experience enriches the fabric of our lives. When I look back at that 49-year-old woman, I see I wasn't free at all. Now with Jackson, I am immeasurably freer. I am fulfilled, comfortable and happy with me. I have a direction, choices, a heightened awareness and a heightened life. An attitude that won't quit! An attitude to life that makes every day a joy and every tiny achievement a milestone to cherish, and every hurdle just another challenge that I will overcome.

Jackson and his brothers, Matthew and David, love each other dearly. They holiday together and I encourage the three of them just to enjoy the pleasures of good times together as three little brothers, all with the opportunity of individually attaining their personal best.

Joan Hughes, the Executive Director of New South Wales Carers' Association, has met with me and offered much needed support and information. It is important that each of us have someone in our special circle of support that understands our chosen direction and challenges. Please embrace someone who can help you.

Let's make the impossible possible.
Let's have attitude to increase altitude.
Let's take the tough decisions and make them work.

Judie Stephens ~ 2001
Sydney, Australia.

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