First up: Zoey is sick with a nasty little respiratory thingy. And is feeling down right yucky but manages to smile and sign "happy", over and over, again. I think that is totally for my benefit. She coughs like she has been a smoker all her life, to which we find ourselves, in true Needham fashion, telling her to lay off the nasty habit would you Zoey, each and everytime she goes into a coughing fit. My child who never naps, has just now fallen asleep next to me, as I type. Poor love.
Next, and this one, for those who don't know me, might need more of an explanation, but I just am not in a position to give it right now, so will need to leave it at: I will be going to a gathering on Saturday and will be seeing family members I haven't spoken to in 3 years. Two of which are my very own mother and father. Mentally preparing myself by repeating: "Go slowly. Breathe. Smile." ~Thich Nhat Hanh.
Finally, my heart has been heavy over the on going discussions surrounding a little girl named Amelia, that was denied a kidney transplant based on "mental retardation". And if that was not enough, dialogue continued here at the HuffPost and a most disturbing opinion was voiced by one woman and sadly echoed by others,in one way or another, that, in a nut shell said, that there is a distinction between " a human person and a non-human person." The absurdity of it all I could not even begin to rehash here, but I invite you to visit my dear friend Elizabeth's blog where she and others have done an amazing job of bringing this to the forefront of discussions. Much needed discussions. However, I have to tell you, Elizabeth and I talked yesterday and we wonder, have we truly made progress in educating society about our children and others with disabilities? Are we simply spinning our oh so very tired wheels? Will our children always be viewed as "lesser than"? Their lives dehumanized based on their capabilities or lack there of? I wonder. But as I wonder I will continue to advocate and fight and speak up, despite the ignorance that still abounds. I know of no other way to be.
But you know, I can offset all the icky feelings brought on by stories such as Amelia's, fairly quickly, by introducing you to Helene. iHelene, is our second recipient of Mission 2. Darling little girl. With a mom who writes with the humor necessary to journey with these children of ours. Humor has saved myself and my family during some of our darkest days and Suzie's mom, she has that humor chip that is essential to retaining our sanity. So please read and stay tuned for upcoming news on Mission 3.
I must have started this blog a half a dozen times, then gone back and erased the few paragraphs I had written.
Evolution of self is a crazy thing. If you are open to it, it can lead you in some wonderful directions in your life. If you are closed to it, if you find yourself bogged down by fear, anger, aggression...well, before I start sounding too much like Yoda, let's just say that you can very easily just miss out on so many lessons Life tries to teach you.
The reason I kept erasing the text was that I kept starting this post with apologies. I kept apologizing for the delay in getting it written, the delay in wrapping up this Mission 2, the delay in getting set to go with the announcement of Mission 3, for the this and the that.
And I realized...I have done that, and continue to do so, quite often, and not just here. I do it on my own space, I do it on other spaces where I might be invited to guest write. I do it a lot...in my everyday Life.
I think I am beginning to have an understanding as to the 'Why', but I'll talk about it somewhere else since I don't plan to make this post all about me. I will only say this about this place and this space. It's always been and always will be an Open Book. And it will remain so.
It is a reflection, perhaps, of who Heather and I are and whoever else comes to the table, and I like it that way. It is a perpetual Work in Progress, it is in its infancy, and it has much growing yet to do, because it, like all of us, is evolving too.
But it is Good. It does Good. And I think that I don't need to apologize that I can't give it the time I want every day, or every week, right now. I give it what I can, and when I can I'll give it more.
Because I do love it, and man-oh-MAN does it give back TEN-FOLD.
When I first read Suzie's entry regarding her daughter Helene, I recall some of her statements LEAPING out at me. Reminding me, strikingly, of my son Bennett.
I can't explain why, because Bennett does none of those things exactly, but the sense of humor, the ability to HAVE humor, is something that Bennett does not lack, despite his tremendous disabilities. And I just had an...impression, that Helene had a similar disposition.
Humor certainly helps, a lot...and I wish that all of us had more of it in our lives. Especially with our kids. Those of us that do...it is a very special gift. The sound of laughter, especially from a kid, does it get better?
We need to have it as well. Us, the parents I mean.
Suzie certainly does, as this little passage from her e-mail she sent me when they first got the iPad indicates. She was telling me a little about Helene, they had not yet given her the device but were waiting until Christmas. (And again...her description...sounds like she could be writing about Bennett, at least to me.)
'Helene is really beside herself about Christmas, in both good and trying ways. She is a veteran tree-decorator (on and off with those ornaments, again and again), holiday dancer, repetitive Grinch watcher, (Oh, those Whos down in WhoVille, the tall and the small...), cookie tracker and eater, and is exhibiting rather stunning and remarkable self-control over the mailing boxes that are coming in the door. Somehow she is fully aware they are presents, and must wait.'
Sounds like a Mom you would want to hang with, right? I think that you ought to write a blog, Suzie, I really do. And of course, there was this little ditty that I got shortly after the iPad was given to Helene as a Christmas present.
'She's been running around the house yelling opposites: Up! Down! Inside! Outside! Open! Shut! And spelling p-e-a-c-o-c-k and w-a-t-e-r-m-e-l-o-n! (Well, honestly, the end of watermelon gets lost, but you get the idea.) Mind you, this is from a girl who has VERY little to say generally.'
Indeed it was.
On behalf of:
The Mission: iPossible! Group