To the author of anonymous note left on my windshield
Mom of special needs child speaks out
I think I recognize you! I do. Before becoming a Mom, I used to live in your world of Black & White, everything in order, in its place. I got a plan, got a schedule, a list of finished projects, checked off checklist and all. How wonderful for you that your life is so structured, so dependable and predictable that you cling to that line dividing right and wrong, black and white, and that you feel compelled to comment when you think someone is coloring outside the lines.
This time though, in your hurry to keep things neat and orderly... you didn’t see the whole picture. I guess you didn’t see the accessible permit hanging from my car mirror, giving me permission to park close to the entrance. You didn’t see the wheelchair lift permanently installed into the back of my SUV, and you didn’t see me unload my little girl's pink manual wheelchair that we use for “ quick “ trips. Maybe from your view you only saw my older daughter and I, and not Zoe’s bubble gum pink wheelchair.
But forget all that, it could have only been my older daughter with me that day, parked in that same spot, and depending on her health at that moment- in your eyes, we would have appeared to be at fault- even though her doctor almost nags me, reminding me often to use the medically authorized permit to conserve her energy when needed. But looking at her you wouldn't know she has the same progressive metabolic disorder as her younger sister. She doesn’t have a wheelchair, but she has the same rights- all invisible to you from the perspective of your world. I recognize where you are from. I used to live there too. I used to have checked off lists, awards of accomplishments, perfect hair, great skin, sparkly eyes, a quick wit, a clean car, a social life, a large social network, an organized calendar, vacation plans set in stone, and a no overdue library books. But then I became a Mom. And unexpectedly, a mom of a special needs child. A child with no lifelong guarantee, no definitive prognosis and no detailed treatment plans. We have good doctors, we have a good attitude and we have a good family life.
My life is good, but not so easily structured. My skin not so healthy, my hair often flyaway, my eyes most often tired. I am up multiple times throughout the night, I rise at 5 and go full speed until 9 at night, still stymied and determined to do more each and every day. I miss the friendships I used to have, the once-so-easy-to-achieve professional accomplishments, but I don’t miss that world you live in.
I am a kinder woman who lives in a world that is no longer black and white. Sometimes gray is good, a salvation, a retreat from something that could be much worse. My priorities were reshuffled for me, and now I would never think to judge another.
I am always in motion and I am grateful. Grateful for the touch of my child who needs my hands to steady her, grateful for my child who craves my words to calm her, my child who needs my hugs to soothe her. I am even grateful, that I no longer live...in that black and white world.
For more from this blogger, check out specialneedsmom.com
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I also have a handicap card on my mirror. And, I know a lot of people look down their noses at me. Yes, everyone I may look normal. But after having both my shoulders worked on, both knees done too. But the kicker is my back, it's in lousy shape. I screwed it up in Vietnam in '68'. At the time I was a Weapons Mechanic & I screwed it up by putting lead ballast into a F-100 fighter bomber. The plane was going to depot & all ammo has to be removed & ballast installed for the plane to take off, it holds the nose down.
Anyways, since that day my back has been screw up, royalty. I used to laugh at myself because before I got that handicap card when I parked in the parking lot by the time I got to the store I was straight again. Now that I got the card I'm in the store pretty far before I straighten out. But, so all you goody two shoes out there know. Each step that I take, each & every step I take is a killer to both my back & knees. But, as bad as it is, thankfully I don't need a wheel chair yet. I'll deal with the pain, first before I get in one of those things.
People are rude, in general. I have had several notes left on my car, "You're parking sucks."
It would be nice if people would mind their own business. I have seen people parking in the handicap stall and they don't look handicap, but I always think maybe there is something going on that I can't see. Most important, it is none of my business. It would never cross my mind to leave a note on someone's car for ANY reason, whether their parking was bad or they were parking in a handicap stall without a placard.
I say, SHAME ON THE NOTE WRITER.
I have known a few people who have misused the placard. They know, but don't care that someone else will be hurt by their lack of consideration. But my dearest friend who hates to use his placard because to look at him he looks healthy. He is in congestive heart failure. You never know what another person is going through. Perhaps the woman who wrote the note should have a placard that states "ignorant and therefore Judgmental"
We are all guilty of that from time to time. But maybe it helps to be reminded we're only on this planet for 5 minutes really. It goes by so fast.....ease up and think, or just ease up.
Whom ever wrote the note, should mind his or her own business, and not meddle into somebody else life, do not judge if you do not know what really is going on in a person life that you never met. She or He might have a non visible disability, or may have a serious health issue, and it is wrong to judge a stranger, I can give an example, my friend son looks perfectly healthy, but he is not, he does have a huge problem with his spine, when
he was younger he had a bad fall, and ever since he has spine problem, you cannot tell, but he does have disability, so, do not judge if you do not know for sure what the problem is.
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