It is stories like this that inspire others to keep the faith when times look grim. Do you have one to share? Send them to me and they will be compiled together for a proposed anthology, similar to Chicken Soup for the Soul and A Cup of Comfort. Click on the From Caring To Sharing tab above for more detail. Below is one story that I have written:
The Value of Life
As I sat in the doctor’s office listening to him tell me that my baby
would have no quality of life and that I should consider an abortion, a million
things were running through my head. Why me? What did I do wrong? Will my
life ever be the same? But never once did it occur to me to follow through
on the well meaning advice of a doctor who didn’t have a clue. I was going to
have this baby, and I would provide her with the best life possible.
What that meant I wasn’t really sure of at the time. Never having had
any contact with a person who had a disability, I was oblivious as to what to
expect or how to even go about getting the care my newborn would require. So I
simply took it one day at a time, and I allowed her to be my guide.
The day she entered into this world I looked down into the eyes of my
flawless looking daughter. I vowed to her that I was
going to try my best, if she would only be patient with me. And so we ventured
on a journey full of ups and downs. For every step back we took, my daughter
found a way to make my heart grow just a little bit larger. Her loving
disposition and innocent looking face made every trip to the doctors worthwhile.
She was the sweetest little girl I had ever put my eyes on, but at the age of 5
we still had no concrete name for what we were dealing with. No label, no
statistics, no research that would tell us what to expect for in the future. A
little bit of this and a touch of that never meshed together for a real
diagnosis. So I have decided to call this no name anomaly `Innocent Syndrome`.
For that’s what it truly reflects- a child who was innocent in every aspect of
It was hard as a mother to watch your child struggle so much in life.
When she entered Kindergarten she will still not talking, and seemed to only
gravitate towards adults, without even giving her peers a second thought.
Worried about her becoming the scapegoat for cruel childhood teasing, I tried to
overcompensate by making sure she had the finest of clothing and the latest
trends in order to appear as typical as possible. I didn’t want her viewed as
`different.` But Elizabeth didn’t care. She was happy in her own little world.
Stacking books and sorting cards out seemed like much more fun to her than
going to somebody’s house to play with dolls. But still I worried.
As her body grew rapidly, her brain seemed to develop at a much slower
rate. By the time she reached her teenage years she looked no different than
her classmates on the outside, yet inside there was still this innocent little
girl peeking through. The countless hours she spent with her books and cards
were much more intense for her, and while now very verbal, she still only wanted
to `chit chat` with the grown ups. Would I ever be able to get to fit in?
But as I sat back and observed, she was fitting in… in her own way. She
had made herself friends within the community without my even realizing it.
Everywhere we went, Elizabeth would find an adult that she would deem her buddy
and spend countless hours filling them in on her life. And they would listen.
Over and over they joked with her over who was sillier, smiled in surprise as
she once again announced how old she was, and graciously accepted hugs whenever
they were offered. The waitresses, cashiers, and receptionists were all her
posse, and she loved it. She had found her own way to find a place in this
world and it didn’t involve fancy clothes or expensive gadgets. The only thing
she ever wanted was acceptance, and she found it by being herself.
My daughter may not have straight A’s, friends over on the weekends, or
even a name for this thing that has changed our lives forever. But what she
does possess is something greater. With a carefree attitude an unconditional
love for everything and everyone, she has the quality of life that few others
have. I often think back to that doctor and wonder why he felt that her life was
of no value, when all along she held the key to happiness within her heart.
And so the girl that I thought I would have to teach everything to has
taught me the one lesson in life that I will treasure forever. Being yourself
is the best thing of all.