If you do not like long-winded
entries, I understand and give you my permission to skip this post. :)
I love, love, LOVE Adele.
Her voice and lyrics move me like no other.
I am thrilled with her Grammy wins.
However, she is not my hero.
Every now and again, I meet someone that changes my life.
Saturday, I once again, met a new hero.
While I have never met this man, I gained awareness of him
through his daughter and wife. I'd like to share a bit of their story.
Tara (not her real name) is a 9th grader and attends
school in a different district than my daughter does
but they were both guests at a birthday party on Saturday.
I was immediately struck by this lovely young ladies smile.
It completely lit up the entire room.
During our 2.5 hours together, I only saw it dim once.
The reason? The cake was being cut and she LOVES cake!
The intensity as she watched the pieces being passed around the table
was palatable. THIS was serious business!
Once the cake was consumed (2 pieces even), that
glorious smile returned and continued radiating even as she got into their car to leave.
She is my hero for the joy she spread that day.
I shared my feelings with her Mom. She informed me that Tara
is always smiling like that, every where they go, but this isn't the case at home.
We formed an immediate bond over that statement, as any parent
of a special needs child knows, these kids reserve the worst for home.
I bet most parents can relate to this!
Amid the many differences we may have in our home lives,
we have many more similarities than you might think.
Tara's Mom is my second hero in this story.
She is proud of her child and unafraid to advocate
for her daughter.
I admire her for that.
Mom also divulged that she was on her second marriage
with a man that was not Tara's biological father.
He did however, enter their lives while Tara was still pretty young.
Something else we parents of these special kids share are the many appointments
we must take our children to which may include but not be limited to:
Medical doctors, medical specialists, psychiatrists, psychologists physical therapy,
occupational therapy and speech therapy.
Tara's stepfather participated in these appointments.
The fact that he took on this ready made family and attended these appointments
already had him in my hero column but what I heard next sealed the deal.
One particular Doctor had told the parents that Tara
would never walk or speak.
The father immediately yelled at the Doctor
" Don't you ever tell me what our daughter will and will
not be able to do!"
How many times I wish I have the nerve to say that to a doctor.
How many times I wish my children's father were present and willing
to say that to a doctor.
You see, the doctors don't have all of the answers.
Neither do we, as parents.
But I will tell you this...
Many times, these special kids defy the odds and accomplish
more than is expected of them.
Today, Tara can speak.
Maybe not as her age level but she IS speaking
and easy to understand.
She IS walking and participates in many sports
through Special Olympics.
So in the midst of a simple birthday party
at a bowling ally,
not one, but three hero's crossed my path.
I am blessed.