Thursday, May 29, 2008
Now, that's what I call being a parent!
We had a visit from the hooftrimmer yesterday. That is not so very unnusual, as it happens every 6 weeks like clockwork around here. What was really uplifting about the day was the story Chuck told me about our hooftrimmer's family when he came in for supper last night.
Mark and his wife work together to trim cows' feet. Mark's Dad also comes along to some farms-and he is in his 80's.
Chuck has always had wonderful conversations with both of them, but yesterday, something really struck a cord with him, which did with me as well, which is why I find it something that needs to be written about.
Mark's parents had 2 sons biologically. Mark, and his first brother. Mark's brother was born with Downs Syndrome, 40+ years ago. The idea of putting him in a home for special care was never even a thought to these parents. The thing they were concerned with, was, who would he have for friends as he grew up. So, at 40+ years of age, they went seeking to adopt 2 more boys with Downs Syndrome-and now, at 80+, these devoted parents are still "raising" their 3 sons with DS in their home. When Mark and his Dad go hoof-trimming for the day, they always bring one along with them. It is good for everyone involved, and especially Mom, who is left home alone during the day with the remaining 2.
Mark's Dad shared with Chuck that at 40, having those 3 boys in the home was just something they knew they had to do, and loved and raised them as best they could. But, he also added, that at 80+, it is getting to be a challenge, but they would not have it any other way.
Chuck was very humbled by the conversation. How many parents, us included,
complain about our daily jobs, and our roles as parents, and we have "normal" children? We have children that have normal mental capacities, who will eventually grow up and leave the home.
Sometimes, it is really good to be reminded that life is really too short to fill our days with murmuring, grumbling and complaining. The dedication, love and patience that they have shown their special sons all these years is a true test of character. For some reason, I feel I fall far short of that mark they have set, but it is something to strive for none-the-less.
On another note, my dear husband was to the Dr last week. We knew his cough was not good, and with his asthma, I was fearing Walking Pneumonia or something equally ugly. Well, it was nothing like that, but after a cortisone shot to help clear the congestion in his lungs, the Dr also told him, "I THINK we can clear this up without a night in the hospital."
Chuck has never been told anything like that before, and he has had sinus infections all his life-this one was a bad one, and so unlike anything else he has had before. Such a strange year for sinus stuff and breathing problems, but hopefully after a week of antibiotics, and probably another round of them, just to be sure, and a very expensive new inhaler, maybe we can overcome this, and I can get my cheerful, energetic husband back soon. And I think my children need their smiling, playful Daddy again too.