Mere words cannot express the deep and complex emotions that we who are afflicted hold for you who prop us up. The burden is immense, yet you carry it with such grace. Day by day, each and every minute, knowing that there may be no going back, knowing that, if anything, conditions may worsen, you continue on, seldom if ever complaining, to do that which you do so well.
When we suffer the frustration of wavering between the desire for independence and the fact of insufficiency, you let our pain wash over you and flow beyond, allowing it to leave no trace. It is difficult for you, we see, to watch us struggle to accomplish some small task, to forbear from saying, "Here, let me do that ..." because you understand that it is so very important to us to make the effort, even if we fail, for it is imperative that we discover our limitations. It is even more difficult for you, we know, to observe our failures and witness our outpourings of anger at the seeming futility of our attempts. You come to comprehend that it is not you, will never be you, at whom we are angry; we rage at the feelings of betrayal engendered by our weaknesses. Most difficult of all for you must be the moments when we dissolve in bitter tears, unable in any other way to express the anguish that we sometimes undergo. Even though you may experience your own pain and sorrow at watching our struggles, you steel yourself and make sure you are there to hold and comfort us, to help us to our feet when we stumble and fall.
But we also see the gladness and pride in your eyes when we succeed, when we attain a goal, and we delight when you rejoice with us, understanding that we have fought a battle and wrested a victory from the clutches of the bleak demons of despair. In this way we learn what we may do, where our strengths lie, how best we may compensate for the weaknesses that are, and your support helps us to accept, adjust and adapt, to develop an indomitable will to overcome, as much as possible, the boundaries of our new existence.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.