Friday, January 30, 2009

Dealing with the Past!

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, however, if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
Maya Angelou
I wasn't sure whether to post this or not, but the reality if life is that some children have special needs and those children have parents who go through a range of emotions. Maybe by sharing this part of my story, it may help someone else who is in a similar position...
With three children all with different needs we have struggled to get ready for this baby on the way. I've discovered a few extra boxes and bags to be dealt to. It took me a while to recognise them, but as I've tried to get mentally prepared for another little person in our home, I kept finding stuff in the way. For a while, I just moved the stuff around, but it wasn't till I opened the boxes that I discovered they were a whole lot of old emotions I had not dealt with when Reuben was little.
Reuben was a much anticipated and planned for baby and we were excited to welcome him into our family. It quickly became clear to me that all was not well with this little one. At first we thought he was blind or deaf and he did A LOT of crying. It took over two years of tests and working the health system to get recognition that Roo was not meeting his milestones across the board. I remember spending hours walking around the neighbourhood with this crying baby in the pram. We wore out a whole set of pram tyres doing this!
Just before he turned three he began attending the Champion Centre. There I worked every week with the talented therapists teaching Roo the skills he needed to cope with his version of the world. It was hard hard work. I used to leave every week, drained and exhausted... and feeling sad. But I stuffed those feelings down and put them away till there was time to deal with them.
I know now there is no right time, but looking back I don't know what I could do differently. Maybe all parents of special needs kids should have compulsary therapy! Anyway Roo is mostly doing great now, but the memory of those early years remains.
Now we are going to have a new baby, and unconsciously I put all that stuff in her pile - baby gear to sort!
Each baby is a new beginning and a new possibility. That doesn't mean I don't have fear and anxiety. But it does mean that I needed to spring clean all the old boxes and baggage, and start afresh with new hope and trust in God.
Maybe I don't even need to go through all that old stuff and sort it. It's too late to cry those tears and feel those feelings. It was not my fault, it was not Roo's fault and it's definitely not Annie-Rose's fault. It's just the way it was.
So I'm leaving all the unpacked boxes out for garbage collection, I'm giving them to One who "carried our weaknesses... our sorrows weighed Him down". (Is 53:4 NLT) I can leave the burden I carried for so long without knowing it was there. There is forgiveness here in that place for me and Roo and all of us that struggle. Just recognising it for what it is, it is such a relief, and I can look forward to this new beginning with hope and joy. I imagine that God will sigh, and wonder why it took so long!
"Give your burdens to God, and He will take care of you" Psalm 55:22
(Two books I can recommend are Letters to Sam and The Shack.)

1 comment:

  1. This was beautifully written and so heartfelt. I felt your heart wrenching grief, sorrow and pain.
    I am glad Roo is doing so much better. My sister is a special Ed teacher. She ran an autistic unit and has a grandson with asbergers. (SP) He is doing so much better now also. It does take so much out of you. I am so grateful for the knowledge that our Savior keeps us in the palm of his hand. (Somewhere in Isaiah:-)
    I pray Annie Rose will be born perfectly healthy and bring you so much joy!
    My oldest child our, son with so called learning disabilities who failed through so much of school and if I hadn't have done his homework in H.S. would not have graduated is currently in his 2nd year of dental school with high grades on the deans list! He went back to school when his brain was ready to concentrate and learn. He got his Bachelors with a 4 point. He entered dental school at 34 years of age with a family and dad of two daughters.
    So many hugs to you!!!!


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