God blessed me with the tremendous gift of growing up in a close-knit, loving family. I am so grateful to have been given such wonderful parents. As we spend this week honoring the mothers in our lives, I am thrilled to share with you about my own mom – someone incredibly special!
For my mom, raising a daughter with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) must have been incredibly challenging. It was certainly not the life she had expected before she found out I was born with SMA, a progressive neuromuscular disorder. As an infant, my mom had to watch me go through grueling tests, until, at the age of 18 months, I was diagnosed with SMA. By the time I was in kindergarten, I couldn’t walk well enough to keep up with my peers and my parents, along with my doctors, decided it was time for my first power wheelchair.
I often reflect on what those first few years must have been like for my mom… all the uncertainty and newness to contend with. But through whatever difficulties my disability presented, my mom parented me with an incredible amount of love and grace.
- was my fiercest advocate to ensure that all my needs were met at school.
- made sure I had the best doctors and medical care possible.
- proactively parented me to become an independent and mature adult.
- supported all my goals and fostered my interests.
- never discouraged me from learning my own limitations.
- taught me that my disability was not an accident and that God has a plan for me!
This picture was taken on my wedding day in 2008. It is so special to me because it symbolizes my mom releasing the reigns of my care after 28 years of stewarding not only my physical health, but also my emotional and spiritual wellbeing. At my wedding, she could confidently “give me away” because had raised me in a way that prepared me for the next season of life. Over the last ten years, I have come to an even deeper appreciation for the love and guidance my mom provided, and the intentionality in which she and my dad raised me.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you!
Tracey Motoda, born with with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), currently serves as Response Specialist at Joni and Friends.