Face of hope

Face of hope
Courtesy: TIffany Kay Photography

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


There is a "famous" blog post called "Holland."  It talks about the life changing experience of having a child with special needs by comparing a trip planned to Italy being diverted to Holland.  It is inspiring and comforting for parents new to this journey.  Recently, however,  I came across another blog post (which you can access here), that was more true to point. While "Holland" is certainly uplifting, this new post I read was the true nitty gritty of being a special needs parent.  It instead describes planning a trip to Paris and then unexpectedly being dumped in the middle of a desert. As I was reading through the funny and bluntly honest emotion the author wrote, one line in particular stood out to me.  The author states, "At times, you're lonely for all the friends you had who went to Paris..."   Wow I thought.  That is so true.  And something I really hadn't thought about until I read it.

In the midst of this new adventure, we change. That is to be expected, as with any new experience we go through in life.  Even on the new path Meagan led us down, we felt prepared for the changes our family would undergo.  What we didn't prepare for is how when we finally came up for air, life around us would have also moved on.  Friends who had been on our same trip to Paris would have not only been there by now, but settled in and seen the sights.  I think sometimes it is hard on both parties.  We yearn for the friendships of the past, while at the same time, our old friends yearn for a way to relate to our new life, or somehow understand what we are going through.  It's only natural that this occurs - none of it is good or bad.  It just is what it is.  But even more importantly, what I realized after reading the blog, is that while sometimes we may have those fleeting moments of wishing to be close to our Paris friends, the desert, while unexpected, is certainly not lonely.  Others have been dropped here too.  And new friendships are formed and flourish.  Because only the other desert residents truly know what it is like.

 I guess this is no different than other life changes.  All of life's new paths bring both excitement and nostalgia, happiness and sadness at the exact same time.  That's what change is.  But what we have to do is just realize that it's ok.  Our new friends in the desert are ever so special, and the bonds formed become unbreakable. At the same time, we wish our Paris friends well and enjoy reading about all their new adventures.  We are happy for them but no longer yearn to go to Paris because we can't imagine our life not being in the desert.  Would life without Meagan be worth it to have made it to Paris? No.

It seems a good opportunity to say to  my Paris friends I miss you, but I always think of you.  I wish you all the joy in the world and am ever so happy you made it to the planned destination.  We may not talk as much as we used to, and we may have different lives now, but that's just the transformation that happens.   I also understand it may be hard for you to figure out how to relate us now...our experience as special needs parents is foreign to you, and it may make you unsure if we can relate anymore. And that's completely ok... But I assure you, we can.  We can still learn from each other.  I know you learn from Meagan everyday and how our life has changed because it is outside the norm you are used to. But we like to hear about Paris too.  Let us know how things are.  Send us a postcard and let us know what Paris is like. And we'll try to explain the desert the best we can.

You can access the blog that inspired my post here :http://not-hothead-yet.livejournal.com/703116.html

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