Tuesday, January 20, 2009
There was a time when I could not see the light. A time when I literally struggled to get through the day. A time when I cried so much, and felt so guilty, that I wondered if I would be able to be a good mom to my girls. I literally pasted a smile on my face and forced myself to put one foot in front of the other to go through the motions of being me.
I got to a point where I needed help. I went to a psychiatrist and started taking antidepressants, which on one hand worked to improve my mood, but on the other hand caused all kinds of rather unbearable side effects like nausea, sleeplessness, and ringing in my ears. Still, they worked to get me out of the pit I was in, and eventually I started feeling better.
The other thing I did, which may have been even more invaluable, was to surround myself with a support network of people, online and in real life, who really knew what I was going through.
There was a time when I was desperate to hear about the "good things" even though I didn't believe in them.
Now, even while acknowledging all of the heartache and sorrow and hard work that goes into being the parent to a child with special needs, I finally get it. I am in that place where I see the good things.
One of those good things has been the opportunity to develop relationships with people I would have never known otherwise, and one of those people is Kelly.
Kelly is mom to Maggie. Maggie is a beautiful little 6-year-old girl who lives in our city and goes to kindergarten in our school district. She also has CP, drives her power chair using her head, and is learning to talk using a computer. She is pretty inspirational all on her own. I'm glad to know her, and I am glad for my girls to have her as a friend. Maggie was Eden's inspiration for finally giving the Creepster Crawler and the head float a chance! Both are things she wouldn't touch until she saw Maggie using them:)
Kelly (aka "Maggie's Mom") has been so generous to us in terms of loaning us equipment, and passing down things that Maggie has outgrown (such as the head float). And if that wasn't inspiration enough, she has started a non-profit called Kelly's Kidz, to provide financial assistance and equipment for children with special needs, when their families are unable to obtain it on their own. Until you try to navigate the world of raising a child with physical challenges, medical equipment, and health insurance, you have no idea the barriers that we face in obtaining the things our kids need. Even with great medical insurance, it gets pricey (and that's an understatement).
So, way to go Kelly! It is so very exciting that Kelly's Kidz is up and running, and we are totally looking forward to Maggie's Lucky Strike Challenge at the beginning of February. Thank you so much for all of the support you have provided us, and for all of the children whose lives you will touch in your endeavors. I am proud to call you my friend:)
Please visit Kelly's Kidz website, donate if you can, and for those in the area, join us for their first big fundraiser!
**And yes, that picture at the top is a picture of Eden sitting...on a bench.
Posted by Billie at 10:09 AM