When we found out what we would be dealing with regarding Luke’s “special needs”, my initial reaction was  “wow, ok…wait, what?” From hospital stays to doctor’s visits, to watching children of friends meet checkpoints years before Luke, that initial reaction has become very much in the past. It only takes a moment of someone else’s inability to accept you for what you have become for you to realize just how much you have changed for the better.

Quick example, growing up in Queens, each year, my family would spend a day at Bear Mountain. We (about 20-30 of us) would sled, play football, eat, hike and would have memories that would last forever. In an attempt to rekindle that tradition, a large part of us made this same trip last year. We ate, hiked, and played football, just like the old days. This past weekend, another attempt was made to make this day happen, but we just could not get this to work for everyone.  Long story, shorter, not everyone was very understanding about the reasons why. At this stage of the game, the reasons are my issue to figure out and should be irrelevant to the other person. I hope I don’t come off with a “I’m better than you” attitude, cause I really do not think that, but for the last 9 years, I have come to terms with my life being a little different than most people I know. I know this. My wife knows this. My children know this. Others think they know this, but they really do not.

I see & read stories way too often of children who are living with incurable diseases or families who have lost a child due to illness or even to an accident and I go home and hug my kids. I am able to put aside our cross and our worries and reflect on how lucky we are. I have always been someone who thought the other person has it better than me. It’s ironic, that having a child with special needs made me realize they don’t have it better me, for having Luke in my life has made me a better person than I ever would’ve turned out to be.  Luke will be wrapping up his final year at the educational facility he’s been in for the last 5 years. We were asked to write a dedication to him for his yearbook. What I came up with was “we will never be able to give you as much as you have given us”.

I guess my point here is when something does not go the way you had planned or hoped, don’t think about yourself so much, instead think of the reasons why this did not happen, then be thankful those reasons will not truly affect your life. I’m not asking anyone to walk in my shoes, cause honestly, I don’t think they would get very far. What you can do is put them on once in a while.

Are you questioned by those closest to you because they just don’t understand your life? As a parent, a homeowner or any version of an adult, how do you deal with it? Just ignore and move on? Confrontation? Talk to me…

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