As I was waiting on my delayed flight home from Toronto, I was feeling very excited to get home to see my kids.

While boarding the plane, I recognized a gentleman from our community. We often see him walking with his care aid in our neighbourhood. He was seated with his care aid who I happen to know has been with him for quite a long time and is a man the family is very grateful for and trusts immensely.

I head to my seat, fumble around and then decide on “A Star is Born” to distract me for the first half of the flight. It’s a romantic movie in so many ways but when Ally (Gaga) tells Jack (Bradly Cooper) that his behaviour doesn’t embarrass her, she displays a depth of love only few people experience.

A few minutes after that scene, the young man and his care aid made the move to use the restroom. I could see the aid help him into the tiny restroom and proceed to use the one on the other side of the aircraft swiftly and then wait for the young man to be done. He helped him out and they headed to the back of the plane to greet someone they had recognized.

I watch them out of the corner of my eye while the final scene of the movie is playing out. Ally is singing the love song Jack wrote for her before he passes away. Although I had watched the movie before, the lyrics hit hard!

“I don’t want to feel another touch,” “I don’t want to start another fire,” “don’t want to know another kiss,” “no other name falling off my lips,” “don’t want to give my heart away to another stranger,” “or let another day begin, won’t even let the sunlight in,” “I don’t want to give somebody else the better part of me.”

I felt HEAT wash over me along with all the emotional feels and my eyes started draining. I could not stop crying as my mind flashed through appreciation for the people caring for others in our world and visions of William’s caregivers and how good they are to him – each flash of memory made the tears harder to stop. Then thoughts of my parents with my girls while I was away – the girls experiencing what it’s like to be loved by them, learn from them and spend alone time getting to know one another so deeply made more tears roll – for so many more reasons.

Then I look to my right and Bear is beside me, peacefully sleeping while I weep. More tears flow and I’m frantically trying to wipe them away. More and more people are lingering around the washroom.

I know they aren’t looking at me but now I’m sweating and crying, my nose is running and I have tear stains down the front of my hoodie. But all I want to do is let my overwhelming appreciation flow out of my eyes unapologetically. That man sitting next to me is my person and we created this very special life together and he’s not embarrassed by me ever. This realization makes more tears roll.

I write this blog through happy tears, next to the person I can’t imagine living without and on my way home to my three favourite humans.

The hustle in my life is a lot: the advocating; the fighting to get what William needs; remembering all the little things like prescription refills, booking appointments, filling the van with gas, making changes to the caregivers’ schedules; being an advocate and support for the girls; and taking care of myself. It’s all a huge load and sometimes all the emotions rise to the top at the most inopportune moment – like they did today on a very full flight while I was seated way too close to the washroom.

A sappy movie, excitement to get home to my children, appreciation for the struggle of differently abled humans and their caregivers, love for my parents and adoration for my husband are just a few streams of light shining through my life.

~ Keely

Keely is an author and advocate for children living with disabilities. She lives on Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia, with her husband, her son William who has cerebral palsy, her two daughters and several four-legged friends.