A couple of weeks ago Joel's Grandpa passed away. We went to his memorial service this weekend. It was nice to see lots of family that we don't get to see too often and it was also nice to take time to remember a great man. Joel's Grandpa lived to be 90 years old and he lived a very full life! He was a fun guy to be around. He always had a great story to tell and he could hold our boy's minds captive with his stories, like no one else could. He also had a way of making you feel like you were very important to him. I always felt special when I was around him. He will be dearly missed!
Here is the last picture that we have of him, which was taken this summer.
At his memorial I had the privilege of meeting an "Angel". I was sitting with Gavin, when a lady came up to us and said, "You don't know me, but I just had to come and say Hi to you and your Angel." I knew who she was talking about right away.....She was talking about Gavin! She said, "I have an Angel too. Let me go get her." She came back with her "Angel" and I was so glad that she did! Her "Angel" was named Judy and she was 52 years old. Oh, and she just happened to have Down syndrome like Gavin does. I fell in love with her instantly!
Her Mom said that she always goes up to others that have an "Angel" too. She also said that she can spot an "Angel" a mile away. She always says to her husband, "Oh, I think that I've spotted a winner!" He doesn't know how she does it, but I do! I can spot these wonderful humans a mile away as well!
She said that us Moms, of these "Angels", have a calling from God and that it is a great calling to have. I couldn't agree more! I am so happy to have met this lady and her "Angel" and I'm so glad that she took the time to come and introduce herself! She definitely made my day!
There are so many people that try to be supportive of me, as Gavin's mother. But, no one can totally support you or get you, like another Special Need's Mother can! Others just can't understand what a blessing your child is and others just can't understand the highs and the lows that come with having this child in your life! I always come away from meeting another Special Needs Momma feeling like I have such a bond with them, even if I've only talked with them for a few minutes. I totally "get" them and they can totally "get" me! This is an awesome feeling!
Of course, there are different degrees of a child's special needs and I can definitely "get" some Mommas, more than others. Some of us deal with greater difficulties and have a "less" bright future ahead with our child's loss of abilities. But, all Special Needs Moms have such a heart and bond with another Special Needs Mom! So, I was THRILLED to meet Judy and her wonderful mother!
They totally understand the blessing it is to have a Gavin in their life! They totally get that when you can make your child laugh, considering their mental or physical abilities, it is THE BEST SOUND IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!
And, they totally get it, that when your Special Needs child smiles, it is THE MOST AWESOME SIGHT IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!
I am so thankful for all the great Mommas that I have had the privilege of meeting or getting to know by blogging! Thanks for taking the time to support me and for just "getting" me and for loving my son just because of who he is! You are all winners to me!
Oh, and here is a blog site to go to if you are interested. And, here is another one. I read a couple of things on both of these sites this weekend and today, and both address some of what I've said here today. One of the above sites has a song about Special Needs children and parenting them. The other site has a list of reasons to be thankful for your Special Needs child. They both hit the nail on the head and brought tears and a smile to my face! Check them out!
To sum it up, it's kind of like this: Only another parent, especially a mother, of another Special Needs child can truly understand what the other parent is going through. We are part of a "private club" and you may only join this club if you are called to do so, or if your heart is big enough to take on this calling yourself. You can't possibly understand the rules and regulations of this club, unless you have been blessed with a special ticket, which allows you admittance into this club. (Sorry, no exceptions allowed! :) That's just the way it is.) In fact, many of us would have never even joined this club on our own, but now that we are a part of it, we are so happy (most days anyway) to be a member of this most blessed organization! We just "get" each other and we can spot a "winner" a mile away!
"Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it. But the correction of fools if folly." Proverbs 16:22