First, I have wrote a few letters in this blog; 3 of them actually, to my 3 beautiful children. Lately, as my Thursday evenings once again become my favourite night of the week as I go to Autism Ontario Niagara Chapter and spend time with some wonderful women, I thought about yesterday the significance they have had in my life, and wanted to share what happens when you leave denial behind, face on our new journeys as parents with Special Needs children head on; and the benefits of it all.
Dear Amazing Women in my life, that happen to have children with Special Needs;
When I began this journey, much like your own, I mourned. I mourned the fact that the life I envisioned for my children may not be the life that they are going to lead- and when the mourning began to subside, I embraced this new found life, change my perception, and opened myself, and our lives in search of others like us, and we were blessed.
I am fortunate enough, to have 2 groups of these women in my life, the one group I met through Autism Ontario, on a Thursday night. I wanted to go for a while, but never knew what to expect, and finally Kelli and myself grew the balls and we went. It is hard to look back 2 years ago, and remember what challenges we were going through, it seems so long ago, time wise and developmentally for Owen, and the worry I was having in regards to Ben. I met you all, a group of women who embraced us with open arms, who understood everything that was coming out of my mouth, the similar stories you shared, the millions of questions we had for you. I will never forget the love, compassion, acceptance, and most importantly the non-judging understanding that I felt, and continue to feel in your company.
People not in our situation, may find it odd at what we can talk about with each other, what we can laugh at with each other: and for me, it is therapy. I am blessed to have an understanding family, supportive and accepting friends and family, we are very fortunate, but I truly believe without your love and support, it wouldn't be manageable as it has been. It is so wonderful and convenient to have you a click away on Facebook for those moments when I am a mess and no one could attempt to say the right thing, and you are all there, and I love and thank you from the bottom of my heart. You will all be friends always in my life.
The second group of amazing special needs moms is just that, you are all amazing, come from all different needs from your children, and have formed a friendship that is to be envied. I met you Fraser over 2 years ago, at the children's centre with Owen and Makayla in Stepping Stones, and oddly enough Frasers' husband was Ryan's rugby coach that year. I also met Laura through a common friend we had over facebook, that happened to be friends with all these moms that met each other mostly through the Children's Centre, and they have welcomed me with open arms. I love this group of moms, like I said, you are all so strong, so amazing; and come from all areas of special needs, not only Autism. Your blogs, strength, humor, and love is felt in every word you write, every heart wrenching battle you face, and I respect you all more than you will ever know.
Both groups of these women continue daily to fight the good fight, to stand up to schools and school boards, to doctors, to strangers. They fund raise like we did for their children to receive the best possible outcome from our health care system that sometimes seem to forget about our children with special needs.
I felt this morning, compelled to write how much you women are appreciated and loved in my life. I am so honoured to know you, to laugh with you over things that no one would understands. I love that you counsel without judging, you listen with understanding, and I admire what each and everyone one of you goes through. Thank you for entering my life, embracing my children, and becoming friends.