My son Zach let know immediately upon the return from my "moms week away" how happy he was to have me back at home and resume my role as mother. He had graciously accepted the responsibility of caring for his two disabled younger brothers, while I spent a week in Vegas with my two sisters, relaxing and enjoying some much needed time off. As he wrapped his arms around me to welcome me home he whispered that everything had went wonderful but I was very missed, by him especially.

Zach spent a few minutes briefing me on the weeks highlights. Assuring me that his brothers were happy, rested and doing very well. It did not take long for me to know that Joanne our sweet neighbor who had committed to come by in the mornings to help him get the boys off to school was absolutely wonderful. I had most definitely made an excellent choice in asking her to help out. Josiah and Cody let me know they enjoyed her company as well. It thrilled me as I listened to them tell me about their time together. Almost bringing tears to my eyes when I learned that each morning she sang to them as she helped them ready for school.

I was even more surprised the next day when Joanne stopped over with two very heart felt thank you notes for me and my sons. Her first note thanked me for allowing her the opportunity to get to know my boys and entrusting them to her care. She continued to thank me for the wonderful experience and that she feels so blessed to have been able help. Her note to my sons thanked them for accepting her help and allowing her in to their special world. I read her notes several times that day, each time it gave me such a warm feeling.

I spent sometime this weekend thinking about relationships. What it means, the bonds that pull us together and the situations that break us apart. Wondering why there are some people we are so drawn too, and what is it that makes us attract others. In the world of special needs this has always been a very complex and sensitive matter for me. While trying to keep my thoughts mostly to myself, I often have had to bury my emotions behind my smile. Joannes note assured me that I had made a wonderful choice. Even with my own relatives it can be difficult to ensure my boys feel accepted and wanted at times. Thinking back to the nine days I spent with my youngest son Josiah in the hospital as he recovered from spinal fusion surgery, it has become very clear to me how imposing their disease makes others feel at times. Also how left out it often makes my sons feel.

Every now and then something wonderful will happen and it is then that we are reminded what love can do. While all relationships are just not made to last forever, there are those that can grow from one simple act of kindness. As we push forward and accept the changes and challenges Duchenne has placed in our lives it still remains a constant struggle for me to keep my sons connected to the outside world. The world where unfortunately compassion may not always be present. The life beyond our accessible home where there is not always room for two wheelchairs. My journey with Duchenne has helped me find the courage to be open and honest with myself. Most importantly though it also has pushed me to continue to find ways enrich our lives.

My home coming from my week in Vegas could not have been more splendor. Joannes note showed me that by reaching out I had invited more love into our world. I could not be more thankful. If angels do walk amongst us I trust that perhaps my sons needs have helped me to reach out to a few of them.

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Comment by Andrea Cleary on October 17, 2011 at 12:23pm
Very touching. Wonderful stuff can be found when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. Thank you Rita.

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