• Linh Tu

Our Life List: Traveling with Jaelin

Updated: Jun 29

I had plans for the future and how I wanted to raise my family. But life had other plans. I could have easily been torn down and wallowed in self-pity, but instead I have found inspiration in the beautiful face of one whose strength surpasses my own. Jaelin shows me everyday what resiliency is, how bravery looks like and how hope can change any perspective.

Everyday, for the past 13 years, as Jaelin’s mother, caregiver, friend and advocate; I have learned to accept what is out of my hands, and instead, to focus on what really matters. I have learned to measure time in terms of quality and not quantity. A caregiver prioritizes quality of life for those with special needs. But in my various roles in Jaelin’s life, I define mine as experiencing as many shared memories and moments as possible together with her.


Instead of a bucket list, we have a “Life List”. This “Life List” prioritizes living in the moment since there is no promise of tomorrow. I have a running list of places and experiences that I want to share with my daughter. With a changed perspective and some creativity, I can ensure that Jaelin will live the most fulfilled life, regardless of her disabilities.