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Monday, June 29, 2015

You Just Never Know

I sat in church yesterday thinking about the name of my blog "We are God's entertainment" came from my son. I actually explain how it came to be in my very first blog post. Deciding to write was cathartic, getting things out helps me to process and let go. If you are FB friends with me, I do the same there, in a "faster, less wordy way." Sharing has been my way to bring people into our life of special needs. It is a way to give a taste of a household, you may have never known otherwise.
When I sat in church yesterday, after many weeks of not going, I thought much about our journey. The preacher, Glenda, was a guest, a member of our church and a dear friend of mine. She was my very first connection to another Mother of a child with special needs. Her daughter, Katherine was a regular when Mark and I first started attending church. Glenda had asked me to come to the service yesterday, because of our connection and because of my last blog post. Glenda isn't one to mince words either, it's a heartbreaking journey being a family member of a child who is constantly challenged in life. Glenda lost Katherine a few years ago and the pain from that loss is always just below the surface.  Her sermon clearly stated this, she talked about how miracles in the Bible give her pause and enrage her. "If we believe enough, our prayers will be answered." Glenda knows I struggle with this too, we've discussed it in depth much.
There is plenty of guilt being the Mom of a daughter with severe disabilities. I will always wonder if it was me, something I did wrong, something I could have done? My husband, Mark, has tried to quiet these fears for well over sixteen years, but they are never far from my thoughts. Then you add in stories of great faith and healings and I wonder, is my faith not great enough? Glenda spoke from her heart yesterday to a small crowd at church, on a rainy, cold Sunday. I understood her words, I totally got what she felt, but did all of the small crowd that gathered? Did the family whose children grew at a normal pace and achieved success as an adult? I would like to say "yes" because Glenda and I have not been shy about sharing our stories and hopefully, that has changed some hearts?
Sitting there, in my church, I was struck by the number of people who have touched my family. We were brought to this small church, long before Teale was even a thought. Mark grew up there, with his Mom and siblings. Much of his life changed after the sudden death of his Dad, when Mark was only two years old. This church rallied around his family, I've heard many stories of love and friendship in that time of crisis. I've lived those stories too, people who I didn't even think noticed my family, have done amazing things for us in times of great turmoil.
Not all that long ago, I was moved more than I can say, by words spoken to me. It was a typical Sunday and I had been on a really good roll of making it to church most weeks. Teale always accompanied me, she mostly sat quietly by my side. The members of our church know not to "push" interactions with her. Teale is best left alone to interact with you, if she chooses to. Mark came with me, when he could, but one of his bands practiced on Sundays, so this had become Teale and my time. Passing of the Peace is the toughest time to be at church with Teale, most know not to touch her or push interactions, but not all. "New members" may not know our story and may even see it as cruel that so few people talk to this quiet teen by my side. Anyway, it was during "Passing of the Peace," that the words were said to me. A woman I had probably always assumed was annoyed by my being there with Teale. You see, Teale is like a ticking bomb in church and there have been MANY EXPLOSIONS over the years. I'm sure there are people who would (and did hope) rather we just not bring her. I know when she was younger, it was a constant battle over heart and mind for Mark and I. He was easily embarrassed by her behaviors in church, I had more of a God made her too attitude, most of the time. 
So on that Sunday, a women I've known since the very first day Mark and I walked into his family church, as a young married couple, stopped me during the passing of the peace. She told me how much she admired me and that she had wished she had told another member, who had died of a heart attack much before her time, the same. In that brief encounter, her words were sincere and kind, as she shared with me how much she thought of my family and felt a pull to tell us. It wasn't a long speech, but it lifted my spirit and I think about it much. Honestly, I hope I do not offend her, if she reads this, but she truly was one of the last people I would have expected to hear that from. People put off different vibes around Teale, "uncomfortable" is a vibe I feel much. They don't know how to interact and so they ignore or look through her. I think Teale makes people see something they wish did not exist. It's painful and forces them to either act or run, many run. We've had family members tell us that they "just can't think about the amount of pain Mark and I live on a daily bases." So to have someone who I just "never thought" reach out to me and share her sincere care, well as I said, it has barely left my mind.
"We are God's entertainment," and I hope someday I will understand this journey better, but for now, my sincere thanks to the people who touch us along the way.

1 comment:

  1. In case I've never told you this, I often think that God knew what S/he was doing when S/he chose your family for Teale. I don't know anyone else who could have provided for her as well as you have. I always admired you and your entire family when you had the day care in your home and provided a much needed safe respite for other families with special needs children. You were certainly the "answer to someone else's prayer" for those families. I can't possibly know all the struggles you have faced, but I am filled with admiration for the grace and love with which you have made this journey alongside Teale. You have done an amazing job of helping her to be the best she can be and I am in awe of the work you have done. Much love, Sue Pixley