Jan 12 / Anne Fricke

Love Letter To the New Special Needs Parent

By Anne Fricke

I know your heart is breaking. Your nerves consumed by fear and worry, your breath stifled with grief.

Your hopes and dreams for this new life, a bird with wings spread, rising above clouds, the path with no boundaries, a view of it all, riding air currents through clouds and between rays of sun, a majestic bird with freedom to choose the flight path, now with tattered and broken wings.

It tumbles to the ground, and you must be there to catch it. To cradle disappointments in your heart though people will tell you ridiculous things to make themselves feel better.
“God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”
“I couldn’t do what you do.”
“God chose someone special for a special person.”

And these will add to the weight of your worry. You will feel inadequate, incapable, unaccepting at times. People will talk of the burden you carry (the challenges, not the bird) and refer to them as a gift. And then their own wings will spread, and they will take off, flying into the horizon.

And you are there, in a land you know little about, a landscape of unrelenting extremes.

And you will cradle this being, this new life, and love it all the more for your concern,

You will wander this place, confused at first, lost and unsure of the direction to walk, and you will slowly begin to see that there are others on this path. Some will wait for you, walk beside you, direct you when the path veers off,

And one day, you will realize that you have walked far, with friends by your side, your arms and back have grown strong enough to carry this bird, you will find that you know this path, and you will realize there is no destination, no end to reach, no goals that you must strive for,
but that you are simply walking to enjoy the view, the company, the journey,
and you will notice that down here, you can smell the flowers.

About the Author

Anne is the founder of BREATHE, a poet, and mother to three daughters, one of whom has Prader-Willi Syndrome. Much of what she knows about herself, she has learned through writing. You can check out her "Journal Therapy for Parents and Caregivers" course on this website to learn more about it, or watch for any of her live workshops. 

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