Sunday, January 11, 2009

I challenge you to make a date with society.

No greater love, no greater devotion, no stronger will than that of a parent. Not just an everyday run-of-the-mill parent but the parent of a special needs child who chooses to keep their child in the home as long as is possible. Kept in the home to nurture and love, to learn to respond and hopefully find their own niche in society.

No greater frustration, no greater defeat, no greater depression than that of the parent who chooses to keep their disabled child in the home for as long as is possible. In the home to seize the nights with spasms, deplete all monetary assets and monopolize the very existence of the entire household.

No greater feeling of joy, no greater feeling of depression than that realized by the parent who holds faith in the children of society who are feared, mocked, ridiculed and sometimes even abandoned. Have you ever witnessed the look of defeat in the eyes of these same noble parents whose tearful eyes have long since dried, when faced with the foreboding realization that placement is inevitable.

Have you ever witnessed the Olympic Games where the muscles are not sculpted and well formed, where the eyes do not see clearly, and the ears do not hear the sounding round of the crowd as the they cross the finish line? Have you ever attended a school staffing where the future of these children rest in the hands of strangers? If you have answered no to any of these questions I have put before you, you are blind to the plight of joy and struggle of one of humanities greatest assets. To witness such things, humbles you to your knees as you begin to comprehend the magnitude of strength found in the hearts of these families.

With this I challenge you to make a date with society. A date with humanity in it's rarest form, a date with courage in it's ultimate creation. Make a date to spend just one day in the presence of greatness. A date with a special needs family.

Barbara Fulghum-Clemmons

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