Often, people don’t know how to react to surprising or scary news they hear. There is often compassion and I would not be surprised if a bit of relief was also felt. Relief that this isn’t their cross, their burden.
I grew up with a mother who had been paralyzed from the neck down when I was six. Thanks to a genetic illness called Von Hippel Lindau we almost lost her. ALMOST. Instead, Mom learned to walk and drive and do pretty much everything again. In watching her, I learned that being ‘handicapped’ wasn’t all bad and that life is what you make of it.
You see, my mom brought so much richness and strength to our lives because she had VHL. She taught us to be survivors, to be resilient. I’m a better mom, more compassionate person and stronger woman as a result.
Fast forward to present time. My children have special needs and I do not want them to be healed. Sure, I’ve had my ‘Jesus in the garden’ moments and wanted the cup to pass from them (and me). When that didn’t happen, I realized that I’m glad.
You might be scratching your head now…
My children being a little different isn’t all bad. Which is prettier a garden full of only one color flower or the mix? I think it’s the mix. My children add color to the lives of those around them.
Without A, I wouldn’t have moved forward on healthier eating choices. I never would have gotten as good at cooking and baking. That’s all thanks to her hypothyroidism.
E has opened up a whole world of learning for me. He has pushed me and those around him to be more compassionate. I’ve become more precise in my language because of him. Through ABA, he has really learned how to use humor and it is amazing! Moreover, because of E my husband and I and hopefully those who know us no longer judge parents by their children’s behavior. We know now, it isn’t always a reflection and so we give space and grace instead of the eye.
Then there is Sweet C. With her I still struggle. We are learning ASL for this girl. We have found a whole new world because of her. A quieter world, well not always.
My children have value just as they are.
When you pray that they are healed, I sometimes hear that they aren’t enough as they are. That is simply not true. My kids, and really all individuals who have Special Needs or Disabilities are enough just as they are created. Life might be harder in some moments, but I learned at an early age that it’s also richer.
After all, why only have red roses when you can have pink and orange and yellow and white, too?
Thanks for reading this post. I started it a long time ago and didn’t know how to say what I felt clearly. It was through a conversation with other moms dealing with their children’s diagnosis’ that it came to me. Reach out to your community if you are struggling, we aren’t meant to walk alone.
And if you don’t have Community, reach out to me. I’ll be it!