As if you didn't already KNOW.
But a tease is a tease, and sometimes that's what you have to do, build up to something and then...WHAMMO. Reveal the surprise.
As a parent with a child who has a disability, and a lot of difficulty with communication, and as a parent who was a part of this contest, I can tell you with some confidence that I am sure all of us, this group that I like to call 'The Forty', has a story. And I know in my heart that every story is unique, beautiful, heart-breaking, uplifting, terrifying, wonderful, and special.
What made Stephanie and Christopher's story leap out at me, and I can only speak for me, was what happened to them when they thought they were receiving their iPad from the original contest site. They got a real 'whammy-jammy' laid upon them by the alignment of their circumstances and the original giveaway, as explained by Stephanie in the comments section of Love That Max, one of the many blogs that covered the carnage.
'In our case, this has affected some of my son's treatment plan! We travel 300 miles for therapy services. He was getting Augmentative Communication therapy @ Rehab Institute of Chicago. We had originally decided to order something like a Dynavox computer for Christopher ($4000 - $10,000 depending on accessories). Now that would have been covered by insurance and would have taken the entire year limit for DME purchases. About that time we found that we were awarded the iPad. Our therapists were thrilled, because it was more versatile than a straight communication device. We made weekly appointments throughout the summer.
Every week, we would have to show up empty handed. Every week, our therapists were getting more and more frustrated - we were taking up appointment times for people who actually HAD devices to use. After last week when we had been told the iPads were mailed, then they weren't etc., our therapists said come back when you have the tools for therapy.
We are now at the bottom of a two year waiting list. So, even if it were to show up tomorrow - my son misses out. Not to mention, now we have to make a decision whether to cancel the order for the stander and gait trainer that we ordered, or decide to get a communication device. I also have a bunch of therapists who think I am some liar, stringing them along.'
That really struck a chord in a lot of people, myself included, and I know it resonated with Kara, who we talked about yesterday. It was mentioned in Mo's original post about the purchase of the iPad, I just edited it for purposes of keeping the identity hidden.
Mo's quotation from one of the Prayers of St. Francis yesterday summed it up perfectly, and I never thought that I, a man, a Catholic man, who has been struggling with my Faith for 20 years, would so willingly embrace one of the Prayers so...effortlessly.
But how can I not? The Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi (sometimes called the 'Peace Prayer' is actually quite beautiful, and as much as this may surprise you if you have been following me personally for two years, I'd like to share it with you here in its entirety. This is its English translation.
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Does it get much better than that?