Monday, March 28, 2011

A couple of weeks ago my husband, daughter, and I were walking out of Starbucks and there was an older gentleman sitting at a table outside. As I walked by I heard him say “cerebral palsy?” I turned and said “yes”. He then said that he had 5 year old twin granddaughters and that one of them had cerebral palsy. I asked him how she was doing and he said very well. He then asked me if I found that it was hard to make friends? I kind of shrugged and said I guess so, but that I had my group of close friends growing up and that I did not feel like I was lacking. He also asked if my husband and I grew up together, to which I replied that no, we met in college. We did not chat for long but I hope that I was some encouragement to him seeing that I was married and had a daughter.

Awhile back I was in a Bible Study and a woman was sharing her story about raising a child with a disability. She broke down in tears when she told us the story of them recently getting a puppy. She said that her son said to her that now he had a friend. She trusted in God to lead him, and trusted God in what ever her son’s future would hold, but (normally) she wondered if he would ever lead a normal life, ever be able to live on his own, ever get married, etc. I approached her after the study to say to her that as a disabled person myself that her son is probably stronger than she thinks and that he is so blessed to be raised in a Christian home with parents that pray for him every day. She was grateful for my comments.

It wasn’t until after hearing this woman’s story, did it even cross my mind that maybe my parents had thoughts like this when I was growing up. Now maybe I should confirm this with my mom before writing this post, but it makes me kind-of sad to think that they would have wondered these same questions... because I never wondered these questions about myself.

My parents bought me a car for college graduation. My mom shared with me later that they felt like they just left me with this car wondering if I would ever be able to actually drive it. The reason they bought the car is because I told them that I would need it to find a job and for transportation. I guess I just figured I would learn how to drive. I did have my driver’s license but when you get your driver’s license in a small town with no stop lights, no traffic, and a two lane highway, well... it doesn’t really give you any experience for driving in a city, parking in parking lots, changing lanes, getting on the freeway, etc. But that summer, with the help of friends, I learned. My mom also admitted to me once that she also had wondered if I would be able to live on my own and cook for myself, but that she also knew there were options like in-home care and pre-packaged meals that could make life easier. Turned out, I didn’t need either.

It also wasn’t until I had a child of my own did questions about my own child’s future pop into my head... and she’s not disabled. But I don’t dwell on these. I pray, and trust in God that she is in His hands. So I can only imagine the questions about my future my parents might have had.

I hope this post is an encouragement to a mother out there raising a disabled child. I don’t remember ever feeling pity for myself wondering if I would ever be able to live on my own, find a job, get married, have children. Yes I experienced flat out discrimination when looking for a job, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me and eventually I found employers that saw past my disability. I am strong, stubborn, and determined to accomplish those things I set my mind on...and patient. If you can not change your circumstances at that time, you can always change your attitude toward your circumstances. A dream I had growing up was that I would get married and have a family, but also in the back of my mind part of me knew that might not be a reality. But I chose not to dwell on that. I chose to remain positive, because feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t get you anywhere in life.

Um, I have kind of gotten off track, and I don’t know where I’m going with this so I think it would be best if I just stop now and say goodnight.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

March 10

Well... it happened. The thing I knew I would never be able to do. The thing I tried not to think about because it saddened me the most. My baby fell asleep in the car and I was not able to carry her into the house.

Kiana fell asleep in the 3 minutes it takes to drive home from the baby-sitters. She was so peaceful. So sound asleep. But I had to wake her and make her walk into the house on her own. And it made me sad. She didn’t seem to mind, didn’t seem to be affected by it. She fussed a little when I pulled her out of the carseat, but then she walked/stumbled into the house half asleep, asked for milk, and then cuddled with me on the bed.

I don’t know why not being able to carry a sleeping baby or child in from the car is so upsetting to me, because she’s never going tro know the difference. But I guess it’s because I remember my parents carrying me in from the car and placing me in my bed after I had fallen asleep on the car ride home. A few years ago I watched the movie “Things We Lost in the Fire” and the only reason that movie was memorable to me is because there was a scene where the father carried his sleeping child in from the car and I remember thinking that I would never be able to do that.

If the stroller had been easily accessible today I would have tried to lay her in it and wheel her in the house. But, it wasn’t. Oh, well. I’m going to end this post. Kiana got her nap today and was unfazed by being woken up in the car. It was just a sad moment for me.