The Impossible

Jodi Shenal's avatar

by Jodi Shenal

“We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty.” 

My daughter’s wonderful Special Education teacher shared this powerful quote with me recently, and it has remained close to my heart. 

She had printed these beautiful words for me along with a priceless photo of my daughter, Ryleigh, and her classmate. 

They were holding hands and STANDING at a table together. 

It was such a mighty photo of two mighty little girls. 

Standing is indeed a big deal, and was once thought to be an impossible feat for Ryleigh.

In her seven years, my daughter has achieved the impossible, again and again. 

She has accomplished impossible victories. 

From her very first breath, she conquered “impossible.” 

Having been told that breathing on her own and surviving outside of the womb were unlikely, we recognized a mighty fighter before us, on the day she was born.

As a baby, we wondered if crawling was a goal far out of reach for her. 

We watched her struggle to pull herself up onto all fours time and again. 

At two years old, after a year of physical therapy sessions and diligent work on her part, it happened! 

Out of nowhere, she took off across the floor in a mighty determined crawl!

When she wasn’t chewing or tolerating textures at three years old, we worried that we had missed the vital window of time to master that skill. 

Feeding therapy, a brushing program, facial massage…you name it, we tried it; to no avail. 

At six years old, we watched in sheer amazement as she ate birthday cake, green beans and many other non-pureed foods, for the first time.

At age four, we were told that statistics were not on our side.

Statistically, if a child of four years hasn’t learned to walk, the chances of success are highly unlikely. 

At seven years old, we witnessed her take independent steps for the very first time, holding onto a gait trainer. 

Shortly after that, she walked the hallway at school, holding onto only her teacher’s hands. 

We watched statistics crumble before our tear-filled eyes, and we saw an astonishing sense of independence blossom!

There’s a song lyric that speaks volumes to me about achieving the impossible.

“I’ll climb the hill in my own way…just wait a while for the right day.”

Our girl has a fierce spirit and a courageous heart. 

We know now that she’ll do things in her own way; in her own time. 

Watching her reach milestones that we once ached for, fearing them to be impossible, has been a breathtakingly beautiful experience. 

As she continues to attain the impossible, she proves more every day that she is MIGHTY.


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