I would like to take this opportunity to nominate my sister, Julia (Julie) Collins as a special valentine. Special is a perfect description of Julie.
On March 5, she will be 56-years-old. She has Down’s syndrome.
Julie brings joy and happiness to everyone around her and she makes people laugh.
She recently had to stop using her walker and is now confined to a wheelchair. She made the adjustment with determination and grace.
In the last 18 years, Julie has lived with me. She has been a blessing and I have learned a lot from her. These are the reasons I ask that she be considered as a special valentine.
After my first marriage failed, I thought my world was over. My sons were incredible and helped hold me together. I hated life, and only had them half the time, so the other half I was alone and miserable.
Then a beautiful young woman (my future wife April) across the street came over to play video games with my best friends, their children, me and my children. As the night progressed she said her feet were cold and sat sideways on the couch and put her toes under my butt to warm them. I didn’t think anything of it because she had mentioned having dental work that day and I assumed she was still giddy because of the laughing gas. Later she scooted over close to me as we played guitar hero and laughed. I was still oblivious.
I would like to nominate a woman who has changed the life of my child to be a Special Valentine. Her name is Vicki Lozier. She has been my son’s aide at school since he was in seventh grade and he is now a junior at Grant County High School. She has taught my son to start everyday fresh. She has instilled in him many things that go beyond the scope of what is normally taught at school. She has taught him to believe in his abilities and to advocate for himself. She is there with daily encouragement and the straight talk he needs to navigate the complexities of school life. I cannot express the gratitude our family has for Vicki. Our son has blossomed under her guidance. Raising a child with autism takes a village and we our so lucky to have her in ours. Vicki deserves to be a special Valentine!