Monday, August 9, 2010

Mother of a Princess

Surely every mother would agree, that at one time or another, their children believed they were royalty therefore excluding them from the mundane daily tasks and responsibilities required of a busy home. However, in my situation it’s me that believes I am the mother of not only a prince but a princess.

Being the mother of a child with special needs automatically places you in a category all its own. Taking that one step further, puts the focus on the siblings of a child with special needs. I have witnessed extreme acts of kindness simply by walking in the arena of special needs children and their siblings. At the beginning of our journey with Michael’s special needs I found myself staring at children with special needs as they interacted with their siblings. My heart was heavy just watching that scenario and thinking that would soon be us. But now, I stand in awe of siblings caring for their brothers or sisters with special needs. It humbles me in ways I can hardly describe. The sibling relationship is unique anyway but when special needs are involved, that relationship goes to another level of love and compassion which is exceptional.

Currently in my home lives a princess, my daughter Jessica. She quietly yet bravely walks out the grief and sadness she owns because her brother died from a horrible disease. I can see how the years of loving and caring for him has shaped her life. I am reminded of something my parish priest shared with me when Jessica was six months old as my Mom was dying from cancer. He said that at some point I would look back at the illness and death experiences I shared with my Mom as a blessing.

From this vantage point, I can honestly say that he was absolutely right. I am grateful for the wisdom he shared with me that day and the courage he displayed by speaking the truth, even if I wasn’t able to completely understand it at the time. A seed was planted by those simple words of truth and was cultivated in my journey through life. I was blessed twenty two years ago by the wisdom of my pastor and now I am blessed again by the opportunity to pass on that truth to my daughter.

When we choose to walk through the darkness of illness and death it gives way to a resurrection that in part, is only possible because of the suffering and sacrifice you personally experience. It makes me sad thinking about what Jessica physically, emotionally and visually had to experience with Michael. But in faith, I have come to realize some of that sadness is actually my limited worldly view of what is a blessing in disguise.

Many with royal qualities live among us, especially in the world of special medical needs. In the role of parent it’s important that we allow our children to experience both the good and bad in life even though it is difficult to let it become a part of their reality. What we might consider to be a bad experience could actually turn out to be a divine experience with a flow of blessings straight from the King of all prince and princess.

I consider being the Mother of both a prince and a princess one of my most profound blessings. Because of the princess I found the courage to Be the Change.

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