Vintage artwork by Walter Weber
Vintage artwork by Walter Weber

One of the things that goes along with having a special needs child is the kind of connections you make. I know many families with one or even two children who have a variety of disabilities, different abilities. The challenges can be immense. When I consider the qualities of inner strength and deep compassion, many of these moms and dads rise like lotus blooms to the surface of my murky mind. Among them live some of my soul sisters, my s/heroes, my support network, my inspiration.

I wrote the following last spring after a lunch meeting with an amazing mom I know. She relayed a story about happenings in her backyard and the image it evoked has stayed with me all year.


She walks barefoot in her little yard, quiet and careful lest she disturb the Baltimore Orioles nesting in a tree there, those birds who arrived like a gift and stayed like a sign.

Inside the house there are papers everywhere, notes and records and bills. The health insurance company is not insuring enough to be assuring or reassuring. In his bed her only son, only one, sleeps heavily despite the morning sun. He seized again, in the night and she who barely sleeps, at least not heavily, was right there, right there with her heart as always beating in her hands as she watched, as she held, and she medicated and soothed and prayed. As she prayed.

2 Responses

  1. Wow – that is really beautiful. I too am so inspired by other parents of special needs kids. Those moments of holding your heart in your hands of caring, soothing and praying — those are the ones that can never be fully expressed. But you came as close as anyone can get with your beautiful, poetic writing.

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