How Can I Be Grateful for Disability
How can I be grateful for disability? The question seems ludicrous, even unfeeling, when I consider what my father, son, and now my mother experienced due to disability.
So how is it, on this day after Christmas, I am grateful for the disabilities that continue to bring sorrow, pain, and loss to our family? The more I reflect upon this question, the more I see that the answer can be found in the smiles of my father, my son, and now my mother. Let me explain.
My father was bedridden for almost 3 decades. My mom was his primary caregiver with my sister, brother, and me playing supporting roles. He was completely dependent on us. We fed him, washed him, dealt with his bodily needs, and kept him company. When we entered Dad’s bedroom, he lit up. Not because of what he wanted us to do for him, but because we were with him.
Our infant son was similarly dependent upon my husband and me. Our baby’s first year was a revolving door of painful surgeries, invasive tests, and illness. Nevertheless, he smiled at us early. When we entered his room in the middle of the night to change his diaper, he smiled. When we talked and cuddled with him during his tube feedings, he smiled. When he was in the hospital and we sat beside his crib, he smiled. Not because we could take away his pain, but because we were with him.
To read the rest of How Can I Be Grateful for Disability, click here to visit the Key Ministry website for special needs parents.
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Image by Grae Dickason from Pixabay
Jolene Philo is the author of several books for the caregiving community. She speaks at parenting and special needs conferences around the country. Sharing Love Abundantly With Special Needs Families: The 5 Love Languages® for Parents Raising Children with Disabilities, which she co-authored with Dr. Gary Chapman, was released in August of 2019 and is available at local bookstores, their bookstore website, and Amazon. See Jane Sing!, the second book in the West River cozy mystery series, which features characters affected by disability, was released in November of 2022.
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