Bridges hold symbolic meaning for many people. Girl Scouts “bridge” to new stages in their program, and Simon and Garfunkle used the imagery in their hit “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” During a recent 5K run with my Tourette syndrome community marking Tourette Awareness Month, a bridge took on new meaning for me.
As I was making my way up and down the bridge on our path, I was reminded that like a bridge, Tourette has ups and downs, commonly referred to as the waxing and waning of symptoms. My Tourette community has also been my bridge between stress, fear and strength. When my daughter was first diagnosed almost 11 years ago, I wrote a poem that included the words, “give me vision to see the path to take, fill it with courage, hope and strength.” At that time, I was faced with many unknowns and treatment decisions.
Through participation in the Tourette Association of America’s programs, I found my community. They understood our circumstances and helped us find the best path for my daughter. Today, as I look back on our path, I know that during the ups and downs of our journey, my Tourette community has been a source of hope, courage and strength. I encourage all parents who are raising children with differences to find their community of support. Without a doubt, it has not only made our journey easier, but also a more beautiful path to travel.