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Love is all around


Two weeks ago when I was at the airport waiting for Rebeka’s plane to finally land I sat down and watched all of the people in the airport. People waiting, people leaving, people working, moms, dads, grandparents, husbands, wives, young and old. and as I sat there anxiously awaiting the arrival of my daughter and thinking about how much I have missed her these past few weeks, I thought about all of the people here waiting to greet their loved ones too. The airport is one place where you can actually feel the “love all around.”

photo courtesy of flicker

All you have to do is look and see people arriving and hugging their loved ones, family, and friends. People who are serving our country coming home in uniforms and running to happily great their family that they have missed while overseas. Children arriving from a trip. Parents arriving to visit their grandchild for the first time. Husbands coming home from a business trip. Love is all around.

It’s a good visualization when you are feeling down; stop for a minute and think about how “loved” you are! Stop and think if you had been away how happy your family would be to greet you at “the airport.” I know it’s a visualization I will keep with me now forever.

24 Years of Marriage; the good, the bad, and the ugly…

On June 2, 1985 I was about to become a young 23 year old bride. I was ever so excited to become “Mrs.” but if I knew then what I knew now would I have taken that plunge? Would I have believed it if someone told me that in 24 years we would have…

1. Run ourselves into credit card debit that it would take years to clean up…

2. Moved 4 times in the first 3 years of marriage, once bringing a lovely family of cockroaches over to my in-laws who were ever so “pleased” with me for doing so!

3. Given birth to a premature daughter after having just about everything that can go wrong during a pregnancy including a car accident that would leave me confined to the hospital for my last 2 months of pregnancy to end in 26 and a half hours of labor with Pitocin to be followed up with a c-section birth of a 32 week preemie with 0 Apgar scores who we were told EVERYTHING would be wrong with.(Although, happily that time they were wrong as she is now a beautiful and intelligent almost 21 year old college senior.)

4. Started a business with 2 creeps and then had to pay a lawyer to get out of that situation.

5. Traveled to Antigua, Hawaii, the beach, Palm Beach, Miami, LA, and of course Disney at least 20 something times, … (which was pretty much my idea)

6. Given birth a second time under the same crappy “Toxemia/Pre–eclampsia Diagnosis” and this time having another 32 week preemie that ended up with cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder and all that goes along with that…

7. Created a daughter so beautiful on the outside as well as on the inside that she would be crowned Miss Maryland Teen America and go on to hold the title of Miss Continental Teen America who has became an advocate for the disabled.

8. Created not only 1 but 2 successful businesses that originated from our daughter’s disability and how through her life challenges so many children’s lives have been changed and improved.

9. Ooo so many medical issues, weigh gains, weight losses, medication, and major stress to the point of driving issues, hives and panic attacks.

10. Made it through a huge legal fallout from the sale of a company and everything that went with that…

I can say this through thick and thin we have stuck it out together! I’m still standing. One might ask would I do this all over again. “I do.” That was my answer 24 years ago, “For better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part” and “I do” would be my answer again! Happy anniversary honey, I love you with all of my heart!

Ten things being the mother of a special needs child has taught me.

I am constantly inundated with a facebook survey sent from friends about “the top 25 things you may not know about me.” I started to write this at least a dozen times and when I get to the fifth thing I just say “forget it, I’m sure that my things sound so much like everyone else’s.” And frankly who cares what my favorite ice cream is (not that I eat it) or what my favorite movie is or what time I came home on the night of my prom. (Well that would be easy because I did not go-but that’s another story).

The more I pondered on this survey the more I thought about my life and how different it has been from so many of my friends, because I have been raising a special needs child for seventeen years. And then I decided it would be better to write “Ten things being the mother of a special needs child has taught me.”

This has been the greatest lesson in my life, definitely frustrating at times constantly questioning the almighty for delivering Ainsley to us but in the end when all is said and done and I put my head on my pillow at night I thank god for giving her to us because through her disability she has taught us all so much about life.

So here goes: Ten things being the mother of a special needs child has taught me.

Being the mother of a special needs child has taught me that “ignorance is bliss”, saying something to an adult staring at a child in a wheelchair is sometimes really hard to resist…

Being the mother of a special needs child has taught me to be patient with everything, which is just taken for granted a healthy child will bring…>

Being the mother of a special needs child has taught me that I do have courage to go on and it’s ok to cry, sometimes you just need to take a breath and give a little sigh…

Being the mother of a special needs child has taught me to be understanding of those less fortunate then you, as someday this could be your life too…

Being the mother of a special needs child has taught me to manage my time, since I have spent so many hours juggling doctors and therapists and work you would have thought I would have lost my mind…

Being the mother of a special needs child has taught me that I know what is best for my child, even if I have to fight city hall which at times can get wild…

Being the mother of a special needs child has taught me that there is a time and place for everything, and sometimes a giggle might just be the right thing…

Being the mother of a special needs child has taught me about hope, even with the smallest glimmer of things like toileting when I thought I was coming to the end of my rope…

Being the mother of a special needs child has taught me that I am stronger than I thought I could be. I have become a hematologist, neurologist, nurse, pharmacist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, personal assistant, manager, special educator, professional fundraiser, inspirational speaker, and an advocate all bundled up into the mom you can plainly see….

Being the mother of a special needs child has taught me unconditional love which I know came from my inner belief from the almighty above. I used to question why this did happen to me, and now although at times it is still hard to understand I cannot image what life without my daughter would be…