...Special insight from a young daughter to her father

  

April 2000:  Lindsay, the writer of this note, is the 13 year old daughter of Ted Hoffman, a member of the ARDS Advisory Council of the ARDS Support Center.  The Hoffmans lost their teenage daughter, Tiffany, a very special educably mentally impaired child, to ARDS following severe injuries sustained in a car accident.  The Hoffmans have struggled to fight through the loss of Tiffany.  As with other family members who have to deal with the untimely and tragic loss of any daughter or son or sister or brother, indeed any family member, the Hoffmans still deal with the ongoing pain of her loss.  Lindsay and Ted share with you this letter from her to him in the hopes that you may find comfort in knowing that even in the face of the pain of death, lessons remain to be learned in life.  No changes have been made to the text which is published here intact.

 

Dad,

I would never think you're dumb for encouraging your children to proceed on with life and don't worry about the things you know you can't fix.  I would like to tell you about something I saw today, that made me realize what life is really about, and here it is...When we were leaving Bed Bath and Beyond by Old Navy, there was a teenage girl with downsyndrom walking with her dad to the door.  She looked kinda of mentally handicaped.  But as she stepped up to the door, she tripped, fell, and hit her knees on the cement really hard.  Her dad helped her up, and she started crying.  I looked at her, and I felt her pain.  I felt so sorry for her and wondered why does she have to be like that? She looked like she was sixteen, and she cried over falling.  I couldn't believe it.  I understood why she was like that though.  It made me feel like I should be happy because I'm not like that.  She gets on with life with her illness of whatever she has, and here I am complaining about me being overweight.  Well you know what? She can't fix her problems, but I can.  That girl made me feel lucky, and if I could even say one word to her at all, you know what it would be? "Thanks" that's what it would be.  So it's kind of amazing what you can learn from someone that may not be as smart as you.  And from now on, the thought that i like the most, is "Open your eyes to the world, and you will learn more than what can be taught" All I have to say now dad, is that I have realized the true meanings of life.  What something is worth or if it's even worth anything at all.  I mean, it's just so weird how something so spectacular can happen right in front of you without going to an N Sync concert or getting your first kiss, or even sky diving or riding a roller-coaster.  Life is a ride that never ends until God pulls the lever.  And last night dad, I noticed how lonely my life is without Tiffany, she was like the other part of me.  It's still hard to believe that someone I've known for 12 years is gone.  I think I might write a book about this.  My thoughts, my dreams, my memories, my favorite times, everything.   So I'll let you go and start writing.

Love, Lindsay