An Angel Among Us

Last night, Louie and I went to a Life Care Planning class, geared towards parents of special needs. The class was really aimed towards parents of older kids, getting ready to or closed to turning 18. I’m glad we went; while LJ is far from 18 years old, all that information was overwhelming.

We were told about the event through one of Louie‘s clients, when he found out we didn’t know nearly half the stuff we did about government funding and all that.

I wasn’t the least bit surprised that we were the youngest couple there. I can get a little intimidated by people, especially older folks, but not this time. I was there for my son and he gives me more courage and strength then I ever knew I had.

We got a few looks and even afterwards a woman came up to us and said we looked much to young to have an older child. I don’t think she meant to be rude, but it threw us off a little bit.

The speaker herself was… well, a walking angel. She had 8 kids that she raised as a single mom, 3 with disabilities. She fought for our disabled children’s rights to go to school, to have funding. She’s been working for years to inform parents of all their options and what programs are out there. Along the way, she’s become a guardian of at least two adults. Which happens usually when their parents pass and no one is around to make sure their finances keep going (like making sure they paid their bills).

We waited around after the 2 1/2 hour class to speak with her. She was excited to see a young couple with a young kid asking questions; many parents in our position are still trying to absorb the fact that their kids are disabled and too afraid to ask anything. She gave us some encouraging words and told me to call UCP and tell them Doris sent us.

I almost cried at least a dozen times. I was really inspired, which is what I needed. I know I’ve been down lately and while family can be encouraging, I know they can’t really relate. As LJ gets older, I would like to do more for the community of kids with CP. I joked around that I wish I could study under her, to help other parents plan and inform them of what programs are out there. I think at this time, it would be a little too much for me.

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