Every once in awhile you read something and can’t help but shake your head and go “spot on.” Terry Brand is a friend of mine and her work is with special needs adults. She has a sense of humor and doesn’t usually show that she takes like very seriously. But recently she wrote this, and I read it and thought it should be shared.
“This is the best explanation of what I do,” Terry wrote. “I have worked with these folks for years. I love it every day!
“To the parents of the child with special needs,
“I do not know the struggle you must have gone through watching your child not progress like the other kids. I could never fathom the heartbreak for you when you stopped wishing they would become doctors or lawyers and simply hoped they would be happy.
“My heart breaks every time I think of the moment you wondered what would happen to your little man or sassy miss when you passed on and if anyone would ever attend their funeral since you were no longer around. All these battles you have gone through as a parent and cried and screamed and even questioned your faith over – I hurt a little knowing anyone felt that way.
“I am not a parent of special kids. However, I care for adults with special needs. I have worked with them for over four years. Wonderful being with different levels of understanding I have been blessed even more to call my friends. I know the years of them being adults is far in the future, but know they will continue to be happy in life. They may not ever want to backpack through Europe or see Bono live in concert, but they have a sense of happy that is so much simpler.
“They like the moments their HTS comes in their room and sings Reba to them at the top of her lungs (it always makes them die laughing at the silly moment) or drawing on the sidewalk with chalk in the middle of the summer or having a late night snack with the caretake on duty. They always need someone there to help them shave in the mornings or cook their food, but they do not know that is not normal and they eventually end up loving HTS company.
“I hope you are ready to have your family expand, because we love them and we have bonded with them and we understand them. We stay to keep their routing nd give them security in their environment. We stay because their hugs are genuine, and their laughs are the best – like a child.
“I guess I just wanted you to know though it seems hopeless at times, know there is a light and they will be happy, loved, cared for, and they will be okay.
“Hoping this gave you a second of peace.”
Sometimes we get a glimpse of something we know nothing about … and glimpse something that might give us pause for thought. After reading this, first I am thankful for all those people who do things that to me would be difficult (caregivers of all sorts). Second, the joy that Terry has in her choice of work is felt in what she wrote, and I wish this for all those I love. Find something in your life that brings you joy. And then I want to add, if you are the parent of a special needs child and you need someone to talk to or to help you learn about community resources available to you, call Monica Ronne at 580-651-9700 or Shanda Oden at 580-461-3528. There are people who understand.
And if your heart is wanting to help a family with special needs children, the Oden family is once again adopting two children with special needs from Russia and their friend, Amber Costilla, is organizing a benefit to help cover the extensive adoption costs. Give Amber a call at 338-0072 if you’re interested in having a fun booth, help on the committee, or want to help in some other way! It’s going to be on May 12 for a couple hours and should be fun for the whole family!