Amazingly, I learned of Kim Peek's passing only a couple months ago. Way back at the start of this blog, I mention some of my role-model "heroes", one of whom is Fran Peek, who provides me with hope, fortitude, and an example of placing the needs of one's son or daughter first above all else. Although Kim passed away back in December, '09, he and his dad are in my thoughts today. Perhaps this is because this week-- the start of David's doctorate degree program-- commences a new chapter in Dave's and my life together. When I think of the ever-popular Kim, I remember how nervous and shy David was the first time a reporter wanted to interview him. I told David he didn't have to do the interview, but that, if he chose to, he would be helping the autistic sons and daughters of parents reading the article, because he is an example of an autistic scientist who is succeeding in school. Dave summoned his psychological strength for the sake of those unknown readers out there, and did the article, for which I am so very, very proud of him.
Kim showed the same concern for others. Even "neurotypical" people get stressed by social contact, even more so "neuro-atypical" people, but Kim never slowed down, never allowed stage fright or burnout to keep him from scheduled appearances. Kim and Fran helped so many people by tirelessly sharing their story, by providing an example of what family members ought to do for each other, by simply letting us all share in their love for one another. The parent in me doesn't want to imagine how life is for Fran now without Kim (his "shadow") at his side. As autumn, and the holiday season, approaches, Fran is in my prayers.