This fall has been hard. It’s just grief. We’re old friends.
I think I’ve come through the other side – at least for this season. An old counselor described grief as a tunnel – it’s dark in there – but it will end. This fall’s grief tunnel was relatively short with brief holes of light – but I’m through, and I’m grateful.
Author and special needs mom, Sandra Peoples, describes three seasons of grief for a special needs parent. The first is immediately after diagnosis; the second is around puberty, and the third is after the child ages out of school – around 22.
Anne is 14 and at the end of puberty. She’s developed into a beautiful young lady, yet she still loves Daniel Tiger’s neighborhood and Candyland. She continues to read at a 1st-grade level, and her walking is increasingly laborious causing her to be confined mostly to her wheelchair. I don’t think you realize you have expectations until you arrive and life is – well – different than you expected.
I thought Anne might be more grown up. walking a bit more – maybe even reading a bit more. I expected her interests to be more age-appropriate. Actually, I don’t know what I expected, but I know those expectations have not been met.
Instead, I have a delightful daughter who loves boundlessly, connects effortlessly, and brings me a tremendous amount of joy. She’s exactly who God willed her to be. As she snuggles in my lap watching another episode of Daniel Tiger, I savor her presence. As my other children grow up and out – Anne will always be close. She’s mine, and I’m grateful :)