Face of hope

Face of hope
Courtesy: TIffany Kay Photography

Monday, November 26, 2012

"Like her..."

Thanksgiving this year was wonderful.  We got to travel and see family far away in Cleveland, and spend some time together away from all our usual routine, which was nice.  Meagan was basically happy and got to interact with a lot of cousins, grandparents, and other family and friends she hadn't seen in a while.  She also enjoyed quite a few of the Thanksgiving dishes we cook every year.  She picked a perfect time of year to start trying to eat.

All dressed for Thanksgiving

There was a lot of good conversation - small talk, and catching up on family.  Telling what the girls had been up to.  Talking about the progress and setbacks alike Meagan has had.  One evening, someone said to me upon seeing Meagan clap, "Well that is good for someone like her....."  It caught my ear, but soon passed.  However, later on, when my other girls were talking about dreams of what they would be when they grew up, I heard someone say "Well she won't work... but if she does, grocery stores have pretty good jobs for people like her...." while looking at Meagan.

 Now before the blood boils, I know for a fact these comments were in ALL good intentions.  They were trying to be positive, and sometimes talking to someone with a special needs child isn't easy.  Sometimes the words come out awkwardly, and I get that. I know no insult was meant by it, and to this day it has not made me one bit angry or bitter.  But still, being Meagan's mommy, those two words in particular.. "like her.." stuck with me throughout the week.

The conclusion I came to, was simple.  I think too often in our society we dismiss many of our ill, impaired, or challenged citizens with words like that.  We see "them" or people "like them" and we are quick to judge their life, their dreams, and even their future.  We see something other than the "norm" and we immediately feel compelled to react.  I, instead, think we should retain.  We should retain the absolute beauty and innocence of people "like her" in our society.  The joy in which they see the world.  The suffering they endure for all our souls.  And the beauty with which God has given them.

And so maybe Meagan will go to Harvard.  Or maybe a grocery store will have a the perfect job for Meagan... for someone "like her."  But I cannot know the future.  For Meagan or any of my girls.  I can only look at my children and ask God for the strength to be a better mother by living my life the best I can.....

...with determination like her...

...with generosity like her....

...with presence like her...

....with joy like her.

And maybe, if I am extremely lucky, I will be able to view the world with the innocence and purity Meagan sees everyday.  Maybe, just maybe, I will be blessed enough to grow and be a little more.... 

"....like her."

Happy Thanksgiving 2012 to all my family.....my dear husband, my beautiful girls...and especially my sweet Meggy.