More Pearls of Wisdom from women who inspire us
My friend Wendy Schaffer, mother to Jodi, her special needs daughter, gives us a brief glimpse into her world of emotional rollercoasters. Wendy reminds us to celebrate every life because they are all worth celebrating. Here are her pearls of wisdom...
Pearls of Wisdom from Wendy...
I didn’t realise how difficult it would be to put pen to paper – to express, succinctly, my ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ regarding having been blessed with a special needs child, in much the same way that we have been blessed with two other very healthy children.
Maybe that’s it! No child is the same and with that, every life is a blessing. As parents our journey’s are unique. There is no easy answer, no quick solutions, no right way to do it.
There is no doubt that the extent of emotional pain one experiences when having a special needs child is mind-boggling, complicated, bewildering, the unknown.
I learned to trust my instincts, to respect our precious, vulnerable, ‘at high risk of not surviving’ angel, to know that her struggling journey was ours too in the same way that our ‘well’ children’s journey would be ours to travel. There is terror, pain and sorrow but WOW!! … there is joy, overwhelming love and pride with every morsel of the tiniest achievement and within that, there is immense gratitude that she is here. She was given no chance of making her 1st birthday …. she turned 32 in April of this year.
With all of our children, we battle the world’s problems – preparing each one of them for the real world. How do you prepare the real world for your particular special needs child? There is a constant struggle, you don’t know if she will be alive to reap the benefits of your attempt to prepare the world for her ‘specialness’. There is rage, frustration, loss, and self-doubt where judgment, bias and inequity, play havoc with your already fragile and vulnerable self. One hour at a time, one day at a time, one step at a time. You meet people - educators, advocators, psychologists, other parents, all of whom facilitate and stretch your thinking and slowly enable you to give permission and credibility to your dreams and hopes.
With every step you take, you return to your fight – the fight for your own ‘self’. A reminder that there is another journey happening alongside this ‘unknown’ one. Each of your blessings needs you - you need them too. And your inner strength is rediscovered – you get back to what you inherently believed at the outset of this journey.
Your special needs child, Jodi’s life, IS a celebration and the even bigger truth is that every life and all of our lives deserve to be and must be celebrated.
Inspiring women, Jodi & Wendy Schaffer, remind us that every life should be celebrated