Any parent how has a child with any type of disability, I understand. It as taken me almost 12 years to step back realize some things.
Nothing helps with the reflection process more than feeling like shit, laying on the count, and on several cold medicines that probably should not be taken together while watching a show that sometimes entertains you but annoying the living shit out of you at the same time. My life is far from normal. It is not the best, nor is it the worst.
I thought getting married, having a good job, and having kids was the pinnacle of achievements in life. Fast forward a decade and a half, and I am divorced, my good-paying job eliminated, and I do still have two sons in the teenage years (one is close, but might as well be a teenager). My rosy picture of life that I had in my early 20s was jumped, stabbed, shot, and so jaded it is afraid of the sunshine. I have been threatened, sued, stolen from, taken advantage of, etc, but for all the sins committed against me, I have committed my own.
Watching my youngest son almost die multiple times starting from (literally) day one had an undeniable effect me and my relationships with everyone. Today, he is a happy kid, but he still struggles. He still has a long way to go. There are somethings I can do, but I am helpless in many areas. When they days go great, I am ready to tackle anything. Every so often, there are days where I don’t want to feel the pain anymore, no clue how I will pick myself up off the floor.
To close this, I will tell of an experience at a Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) concerted several years back. They change up the stories every few years. That year was the first time for this story. I was not too sure what I was going to think, but it has forever made an impact. The story is essentially about a man who had a son born with some developmental disabilities. I cannot remember, but I think the mother died in labor. Scared, and unable to cope with this son’s disabilities, he left him at an orphanage. His soul became tortured, hating Christmas and how happy people were. Throughout the show, something changed in this man. He found himself at the orphanage where he left his son. He saw his grown son taking care of babies who were left just like he was. This song (below) is what they played at that part. I hardly every shed tears, but this song gets me every single time. The show reminds me of my son. It reminds me that I have never given up. It reminds me there is a long way to go. Taking care of a child with disabilities, I put my life on hold. I became numb, and I stopped feeling. It has been difficult to let the walls crumble. Feeling is scary, and it hurts. This story was not about the child. It was about the father, and the long road to realization, acceptance, and forgiveness. This line hurts, but inspires. “Could you be this old, and have your life just begin.”