When Another Special Needs Parent Told Me It Doesn’t Get Easier…
I met a woman recently who has an older daughter with similar disabilities to my 6-year-old, Sully (both are cognitively challenged). I felt such a pull toward her, secretly harboring thoughts that she would pull me close, hug me and tell me it’s all going to be OK. That they grow up, they figure it out, and a happy ending exists. That’s not what she said.
When I finally had the chance to talk with her, the first thing that came out of her mouth was, “I wish I could tell you it gets easier. It doesn’t. It only gets harder. As they grow they become more and more different. They aren’t cute little kids anymore; they become teenagers and adults that just don’t fit in.”
CRUSHED. I was just crushed.
Where do I go from here? The last few weeks have been clouded with anger and sorrow. Then some rage mixed with tears and despair. There are days I’ve hardly been able to carry on a conversation. Thinking about what will come of the rest of his little life has consumed me.
This is where the choice comes in. When I was growing up and I would get in trouble for this or that, my dad would always give me a choice. Usually there was a clear option, but at least there was a choice right? Twenty five year later, I’m faced with the same decision. I can choose to continue to fill my days with anger and worry for his unknown future, or I can live believing he will thrive, filling my heart with hope and love, turning my compassion into action and my joy to motivation.
I guess if you quiet your mind and listen carefully to your heart, the decision is clear.
Choose hope, friends. Love without boundaries. Throw joy and compassion around recklessly. We all have our own truths; this is mine. And truth doesn’t mean you won’t have a bad day; truth is just deciding to kick your bad day’s ass.
This post originally appeared on PRIDE Coaching.
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