I always look forward to WAGR Weekend each year. There is something about getting together with other families where you don’t have to explain your child (or yourself for that matter) that provides great encouragement. This year we drove from our home in the Philadelphia area to the Detroit area. What fun to arrive at the hotel and see Nicholas Prusakiewicz ready to get the party started! This year my parents were able to attend. They have always been supportive of our family and Jenna’s special needs. To have them meet other families with a WAGR child opened their eyes to a whole other side of living with WAGR. They are very excited to continue to learn how they can help their grandchild, as well as attend another WAGR Weekend. Jenna was thrilled to have her eleven year old cousin Abby attend the weekend with her. Abby has already asked if she can attend WAGR Weekend next year, because she made so many friends and feels like she understands her cousin better. What happened at the weekend to cause this response in my extended family? It was each of the families in attendance. Each family, in their own way, demonstrates love and acceptance and perseverance and compassion and determination and hope. Those qualities are fleshed out as each family eats a meal or swims or sits in a meeting. When someone has a need, another family jumps into help. One WAGR child applauds another when hearing of an accomplishment. A father puts his arm around another father to let him know that he is not alone. A mother smiles at another mother to share in their joy. When someone needs to talk, there are several empathetic ears to listen. Will we attend WAGR Weekend 2009? You better believe it! It is the jolt of refreshment that keeps me moving forward. The anticipation of seeing our friends who understand our life is something I treasure all year long.