Happy Birthday Dear Glenn
104 years ago this week the Founder of The Institutes was born. It was a good day for planet Earth and a very good day for brain-injured children and all of us who had the pleasure of working with him and knowing him over so many years. No one speaks better for GJD that he does for himself. It is our custom this week to let him do so.
I have asked the staff if I might have a few minutes to talk to you since I do not always have the pleasure of being there and seeing you in person.
First, let me say that I miss you all very much. There is nothing that would make me happier than to be there with you at this very minute.
I have had a love affair with Mothers and Fathers and brain-injured children for more than five decades. From the very first family who ever came to The Institutes up to the new families who come here every year since – our families have had a long and distinguished history.
Every once in a while our families experienced disaster – sometimes a natural disaster – a massive earthquake, an horrific tsunami, sometimes an economic disaster – an energy crisis, a stock market crash, sometimes a personal disaster – a house fire or the loss of a family member.
It is a lot to handle.
Institutes families from around the world contacted us to ask about our families in those disaster zones. “Is everyone OK?” they asked.
We are so relieved to learn that all our families are safe. It seems a kind of miracle to us that our families always seem to come through the storm no matter what kind of storm it may be.
The world watches in astonishment at how you have handled each disaster, often wondering — how do you handle these disasters and when will you break under the strain?
But you do not break, – or fall, – or even bend a little.
You always stand tall – always.
You are extraordinary people.
The world has been surprised but I am not at all surprised.
I know you very well.
Your hard work and determination are legendary at The Institutes. The long list of children who have successfully completed our program and graduated is astonishing. These children go back now more than half a century. Some of them are now raising their own children.
Can you imagine how happy that makes me feel?
There are some gifts that are so wonderful there are no words to describe them.
You are still standing and fighting the good fight every day to save your children.
We are so proud of you.
Against all the odds, against not one disaster but sometimes many, against anything and everything that threatens your child — you will stand.
We salute you.
Keep fighting the good fight. You are winning and along the way we will be fighting for your child right beside you.
We are with you.
The staff and I and all the families of The Institutes in Philadelphia, in the Americas, in Europe, in Asia, all around the world, are thinking of you every day.
With much, much love,