I’ve watched my niece, Kristen, climb what seems to be insurmountable mountains for twenty-three years as she and her husband advocate and care for their intellectually disabled son.

Jason brings joy and light to our family and we treasure his presence in our lives. His life also bears witness to the beauty of a loving family, supportive friends, and engaging therapists and community members.

A few years ago I shared a congratulatory video on social media of Jason eating a cut-up hot dog in feeding therapy. The announcement included the caption that this sight was long-awaited and such a blessing to behold. Several people made strange remarks thinking I was making a joke about my early-twenties’ nephew. I had to add a comment explaining that this was literally one of the first non-pureed foods he had ever chewed and swallowed. (He still had to be fed the hot dog, this was about the conquest of chewing and swallowing.)

That post made me realize just how much we don’t know about the special circumstances of others and I committed that day to incorporate more of his story in regular life so that others, who are busy in their “normal” functioning world, might get a glimpse of the unique situations in other families. I have several friends and family members with a variety of other-abled people in their lives and each one brings an amazing light and life to our reality.

I’m so glad Kristen agreed to join me in the upcoming episode of The Bearing LifeÔ Podcast. She shares her family’s story and gives beautiful examples of helpful ways people have come alongside to walk well with them on their journey.

Our conversation and ideas can be used in a multitude of different and challenging life situations.

I look forward to being with you on Wednesday!