ODE TO SAMAHRIA: By Bears (Barry Neil Kaufman – Son-Rise Program Co-Originator). Complete Version.
Samahria picked me to love when she was 17. When I presented my writing and ideas with intensity, she tickled me and laughed. When I hesitated, she said “jump.” When Raun became autistic, she joined him in his world (in a small bathroom) and helped us begin a three-and-a-half year journey that created a treatment revolution (The Son-Rise Program®) for children with autism. When I suggested adopting yet another child of trauma as a way to express our gratitude for our blessings, she said “when?” When we started the Institute, she worked with me side-by-side as we created classes and curriculum as well as cleaned buildings and made beds for arriving participants. When I have written my books about our work with families and children and what we and our staff teach to adults (Option Process®), she has been more than my sounding board but my editor and biggest fan (and co-writer of one of those books and co-screenwriter of the Son-Rise movie). When I asked her to climb down a rope ladder on an ocean-liner during a storm in order to help my dying father, she took a deep breath, pushed through her fear and lowered herself right after me into a tiny fishing boat bobbing in the icy waves off the coast of Alaska.
And, when I am tired at night after teaching, doing sessions and meeting with staff all day (just as she had done), Samahria strolls into my office where I am still working, takes my hand gently and invites me to choose life and go to sleep. We’re all blessed for a multitude of reasons. Helping individuals, families and children as best we can for decades is a continuous highlight of our lives. But my greatest blessing is to be loved by my very special life-long bride and best friend and sweet mama to all our children — she loves me like no other, inspires me to do my best and builds bridges with me to our dreams.