My Daughter, My Teacher

Today's Guest Blog is from Nancy Mitchell. Nancy and I have been friends since the early 1990s when we took the Awakening Your Light Body classes with Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer.  Both Nancy and her daughter are a true inspiration for positivity and not accepting limitations.


My Daughter, My Teacher

Guest Blog by Nancy Mitchell

Our daughter Jenny was born in 1982 with very weak muscles, which caused joint contractures in utero. This condition is called arthrogryposis. On the day she was born, she underwent 3 hours of surgery at Stanford to remove intestinal blockages and remained in the NICU for 28 days. We were very happy to take her home!

Although her birth and recovery were events to celebrate, there is something that dies when a disabled child is born, and that is the dream of a perfect child. Parent’s expectations are shattered and must be put back together in some sort of order that makes sense to logical, physical minds.

Our work with Jenny centered on not only her physical body but her mind as well. What she could not do physically, she had to do mentally for good cognitive development. When she was able to stand up, I “walked” her around the block on a rolling platform. She eventually walked very hesitantly on her own, with frequent falls. 


At the age of 5, she received her first power wheelchair. What freedom this brought to keep up with the neighborhood kids!

Jenny had a full-time aide in the school classroom until the sixth grade, when the aide’s time was cut down to three days a week in preparation for junior high school, when an aide would not be necessary. Her elementary years were a learning experience for me also. Every spring I would go to Open House at the school and look at the work and the penmanship done by students in the next grade. I would say to myself, “Oh, she can’t do that. She will need a computer soon for writing.” But you know, she always managed to keep up with her peers in the penmanship department. I decided my expectations of her were too small, and I decided from now on not to try to guess the future.

In the fall of seventh grade, Jenny underwent spinal fusion for correction of 80 degrees of scoliosis. The operation was successful – two Harrington rods were inserted into her back to correct the scoliosis to 20 degrees. Spinal fusion, though, is a bloody procedure, and she hemorrhaged during surgery and required thirty units of blood. Respiratory distress (ARDS), a bleeding ulcer, and a blood infection followed. My expectations for her disappeared. I only wanted her to live. I wanted her to live and be happy. The rest of her life would be up to her.

She eventually recovered and went back to school two and a half months later. She had no problem catching up to her classmates, thank heavens. She had high expectations of herself and worked hard! High school graduation in 2000 and college graduation in 2005 were times of joyous family reunions. It was not my expectations that produced these wonderful results. I stood back and watched as her life unfolded in the way it was meant to. She was in charge of herself. 


A job and then some time off to deal with health issues followed college graduation. With a degree in computer science, she became an independent contractor, working from home on personal and business websites. She learned a new programming language, Drupal. For recreation, she played power soccer with the San Jose Steamrollers. In 2014, she was ready to go back to work part-time for a web development firm in San Jose, a twenty-minute drive from our home in Fremont.

About that time also, she and a girlfriend signed up for a free online dating service. She talked with a few men over the phone and via computer, but she knew that a girl in a wheelchair was a deal-breaker for a lot of guys. I don’t think she had terribly high expectations for this endeavor, but she “soldiered on”! She talked with one fellow for a week, and when they agreed to meet, she told him she was in a wheelchair. His attitude was, “Well, let’s meet and see what happens!”


To make a long story short, Jenny and Mario were married in a beautiful California vineyard on April 22nd, 2017. Honeymoon was ten days in the Orlando area. When they returned, they were happy, tired, a bit sunburned, and had two more bags than they started with!

Jenny and Mario have their own expectations of life. She learned to drive a van with hand controls, and they bought a condo located between their two jobs. They both work full time and are conveniently near mass transit should the freeways get too crowded.


A friend asked me last month if I ever expected, five years ago, that Jenny would do all this. I told her that I stopped having expectations of Jenny when she was in elementary school. Because she always surpassed my expectations, I decided to give them up. No more expectations. That way I could enjoy the flow of life in whatever way it came about. No disappointments. Just acceptance of her life the way she wanted to live it.

What will the future bring? I have no clue, and I’m not going to guess. Jenny and Mario are a couple now. Bon Voyage to them on the sea of life!

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About Jonette

Jonette Crowley

Jonette is a spiritual adventurer and modern-day shaman who leads spiritual tours to power places around the globe. She is a gifted channel, oracle, and author of the internationally best-selling books “The Eagle and the Condor” and “Soul Body Fusion®.” She is the founder of the Soul Body Fusion® method for healing and beyond. With her guide “Mark” she teaches people to reach multi-dimensional and quantum states of consciousness.

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