By Ruth Manimtim-Floresca
It’s weird (in a good way) how a lot of women, who have met for the first time, could easily click and bond with one another when they find out they’re all moms. Having children, after all, can immediately spawn dozens of stories in a heartbeat. This is more true when moms of kids with special needs meet. I have found so many kindred souls online who know exactly what I have gone, or are going, through with my son who has cerebral palsy. There are dozens of them I have yet to meet face-to-face but I feel this strong connection every time we exchange e-mails or comment on each other’s Facebook statuses. I always know they “get” me the same way I “get” them.
A forwarded e-mail in one of the e-groups I belong to affirmed that we are members of a very elite sorority. “Some of us were invited to join immediately, some not for months or even years. Some of us even tried to refuse membership, but to no avail,” wrote the anonymous author.
All of us have one thing in common – we are mothers of children with special needs. And regardless of how different those needs are, we have mutual respect and empathy for all the women who walk in our shoes. I found myself smiling when I read, “We are knowledgeable. We have educated ourselves with whatever materials we could find. We know ‘the’ specialists in the field, ‘the’ neurologists, ‘the’ hospitals, ‘the’ wonder drugs, ‘the’ treatments. Without formal education, we could become board certified in neurology, endocrinology, and physiatry.” Indeed, I was once mistaken for a nurse after fluently explaining my son’s condition to a new doctor.
Since our journey began, we’ve greeted each morning wondering how we’d make it through another day and rest each night not sure, but marveling, how we were able to do it.
As moms of special needs’ kids, we have learned to deal with anything life throws at us because we’ll never stop believing in miracles, that the potentials of our children know no bounds and that, with faith, we will always be given the strength to survive one day at a time.