Here you will find a collection of quotes, poems, songs and inspirational stories that have brought us strength, hope and laughter at times we desperately needed them. Some of these have been hanging on our refridgerator for over a year, some were forwarded to us from families in similar situations and some we just stumbled upon by chance.
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." Albert Einstein
"The only way we can be there for our children is to be there for ourselves." Anonymous
"You've developed the strength of a draft horse while holding onto the delicacy of a daffodil...you are the mother, advocate and protector of a child with a disability." Lori Borgman
"Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it." Bill Cosby
"The central struggle of parenthood is to let our hopes for our children outweigh our fears." Ellen Goodman
"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." Robert Brault
"Preseverance is not a long race. It is many short races on after another." W. Elliot
"If you think you can or you think your can't, either way, you'll be right." Henry Ford
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." John Wayne (Papa will like this one!!!)
"Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace." Dalai Lama
"Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see further." Thomas Carlyle
"Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same." Franz Peter Schubert
"Whenever God closes one door he always opens another, even though sometimes it's HELL in the hallway." Unknown
"The squeaky wheel gets the grease. The squeaky wheel NEEDS the Grease." Rick Lavoie
"If you've told a child a thousand times and he still does not understand, then it is not the child who is the slow learner." Walter Barbee
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Children remind us to treasure the smallest of gifts, even in the most difficult time." Allen Klein
"There are two ways of meeting difficulties: you alter the difficulties or you alter that way you meet them." Phyllis Bottome
"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much." Mother Teresa
"Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength." Christopher Reeves
"To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world." Heather Cortez
Moms and Dads of SNC (Special Needs Children):
….some reflections and even a little humor….
You know you have a special needs kid when….
the pediatrician insists you call her by her first name.
your kid’s accordian medical file is 4 feet thick.
you feel you’re constantly in survival mode.
your medical deductible is met by mid-January.
you go for a highly specialized procedure (e.g., a colonoscopy, an EEG, an MRI), and the tech states “you look so familiar; have you been here before?”
you loathe the “developmental milestones” checklist at the pediatric “well baby” (HA!) visits.
“friends” don’t ask you to watch their kids because they fear you’ll ask them to return the favor.
your child is 18 mos. old and you long to have a book barbeque with your copies of “What to Expect: the Toddler Years” and “What to Expect: the Preschool Years”.
you feel yourself stifling laughter when others complain about their child’s “tragic” ear infection or (gasp!), their ordeal with immunizations or a blood draw.
you find yourself resenting any therapist's criticism of your little one's mannerisms ("fix your legs!" "don't rub your head!" "don't flap, just give a clap!").
your mail carrier must think your home is a pseudo-infirmary based on the bundles of Blue Cross/Blue Shield statements you receive.
your child is 2, and has a “medical resume” of sorts to facilitate succinct meetings with new medical professionals who are taking on your child’s case.
you deny your anger to a counselor, yet you long to create an iron-on tee-shirt that reads: “Screw you! He’s special needs!” (This could also apply to bumper stickers, key rings, personal pens; hey, maybe I’m on to a new merchandising trend!)…
you have a vast reference section under the category of your child's illness (also includes at least 5 three-ring binders with 8-pouch pockets sheets filled with medical business cards and contacts).
the quote “it’s nothing that a little prozac and polo mallet won’t cure” is especially poignant.
you see that doctors are human and insecure when they realize they can’t help your child; ("So that's why they call it "medical practice"; I get it!").
out of respect and empathy, you never turn your head to look at a handicapped person, and you are especially irked when you see people stare.
you understand “McDonald’s Envy” (i.e., kids at McDonald’s playground who do so easily what your child cannot) all too well.
you get excited to meet another parent “in your shoes”, as if another child with the same malady is something to celebrate (?)… (It’s so odd!)
your child’s name is permanently etched on your church’s prayer list, and you are on church prayer lists in at least 5 other states.
being overly nice to my kid
ignoring my kid
treating my kid like there’s nothing wrong
Yes, that’s right, you can’t win!!!
The Sunny Side of having a SNC:
a SNC is a “bad friend” filter.
all sorts of medical professionals seem to immediately recognize you when you’re out and about (“all this and fame too!”).
you lose all old neuroses (I suppose you trade them for new ones, but let’s be positive); a clean house, for example, is out of the question.
you gain immediate respect from strangers/friends by your “in-depth” medical knowledge; (aka, a self-taught PhD in the category of Williams Syndrome, for example).
you get to take vacations to many big and exciting cities; “Pack your bags, hon! We’re going to Boston! (Children’s, that is…)”
it's December, and upon analysis of the full year's worth of medical statements, you smile and think, "Gee, for what we pay out in medical premiums and deductibles, I really got my money's worth!" (It's like an all-u-can-eat medical buffet, and you're a hungry, 500-lb. fat person. A more succinct way of stating this is "the all-u-can-eat medical buffet is losing money on me!").
you have a really good excuse for:
not showering today
being a sloth
not paying bills
not attending playgroups
not attending the company Christmas Party, and all other outside company “fun”
being rude to telemarketers (or, in my case, bill collectors), parents, and spouse
not having sex
being hostile in traffic
in sum, total self-centeredness
you truly appreciate every developmental milestone that your child has mastered.
you realize that your child is somehow God’s instrument (although sometimes it feels like he’s God’s hammer!)
you cash in your innocence for wisdom (or is this a disadvantage?).
you begin to understand the essence of unconditional love, and strive to give it.
Dear Mommy, don't you cry now
and Daddy, don't you weep.
I want to whisper in your ear
Before I go to sleep.
I know that when I came here
I seemed perfect in every way
and you were so proud Daddy
when you held me on that day.
And Mommy when you kissed me
and wrapped me up so tight,
I felt as if I belonged here,
and everything was right
When things got really scary
and I began to slip away
I saw your face, dear Mommy
as you knelt by me to pray.
And Daddy, I always notice
when you wipe away a tear,
or watch the other little boys
as they run and laugh and cheer.
I may not be able to tell you
how much I love you so,
or even show you how I feel
and what I really know.
But when you hold me Mommy
at night when all is still
I hear your dear heart beating
and I know that all is well.
And Daddy when you take me
to the park, to run and play
I know that you still love me
though the word's I cannot say.
So Daddy don't you cry now
and Mommy don't you weep,
I want to tell you something
before I go to sleep.
I may be sort of different,
and you may not understand
I know that I am not that child
that you and Daddy planned
But I love you both so very much
and I know you love me too
and one day when this life is done
You will feel my love for you.
I know the future is unknown
and you will always have to be,
the ones who love and listen
and take good care of me.
The road we walk is rough sometimes
and you cry a lot of tears,
but one day we will turn and laugh
as we look back o'er the years,
So Mommy don't you cry now
and Daddy please don't weep
I want to say, I love you
before I go to sleep.
To You, My Sisters
By Maureen K. Higgins
Many of you I have never even met face to face, but I’ve searched you out every day. I’ve looked for you on the Internet, on playgrounds and in grocery stores.
I’ve become an expert at identifying you. You are well worn. You are stronger than you ever wanted to be. Your words ring experience, experience you culled with your very heart and soul. You are compassionate beyond the expectations of this world. You are my “sisters.”
Yes, you and I, my friend, are sisters in a sorority. A very elite sorority. We are special. Just like any other sorority, we were chosen to be members. 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.
We were initiated in neurologist’s offices and NICU units, in obstetrician’s offices, in emergency rooms, and during ultrasounds. We were initiated with somber telephone calls, consultations, evaluations, blood tests, x-rays, MRI films, and heart surgeries.
All of us have one thing in common. One day things were fine. We were pregnant, or we had just given birth, or we were nursing our newborn, or we were playing with our toddler. Yes, one minute everything was fine. Then, whether it happened in an instant, as it often does, or over the course of a few weeks or months, our entire lives changed. Something wasn’t quite right. Then we found ourselves mothers of children with special needs.
We are united, we sisters, regardless of the diversity of our children’s special needs. Some of our children undergo chemotherapy. Some need respirators and ventilators. Some are unable to talk, some are unable to walk. Some eat through feeding tubes. Some live in a different world. We do not discriminate against those mothers whose children’s needs are not as “special” as our child’s. We have mutual respect and empathy for all the women who walk in our shoes.
We are knowledgeable. We have educated ourselves with whatever materials we could find. We know “the” specialists in the field. We know “the” neurologists, “the” hospitals, “the” wonder drugs, “the” treatments. We know “the” tests that need to be done, we know “the” degenerative and progressive diseases and we hold our breath while our children are tested for them. Without formal education, we could become board certified in neurology, nephrology, endocrinology, and psychiatry.
We have taken on our insurance companies and school boards to get what our children need to survive, and to flourish. We have prevailed upon the State to include augmentative communication devices in special education classes and mainstream schools for our children with cerebral palsy. We have labored to prove to insurance companies the medical necessity of gait trainers and other adaptive equipment for our children with spinal cord defects. We have sued municipalities to have our children properly classified so they could receive education and evaluation commensurate with their diagnosis.
We have learned to deal with the rest of the world, even if that means walking away from it. We have tolerated scorn in supermarkets during “tantrums” and gritted our teeth while discipline was advocated by the person behind us on line. We have tolerated inane suggestions and home remedies from well-meaning strangers. We have tolerated mothers of children without special needs complaining about chicken pox and ear infections. We have learned that many of our closest friends can’t understand what it’s like to be in our sorority, and don’t even want to try.
We have our own personal copies of Emily Perl Kingsley’s “Welcome To Holland” and Erma Bombeck’s “The Special Mother.” We keep them by our bedside and read and reread them during our toughest hours.
We have coped with holidays. We have found ways to get our physically handicapped children to the neighbors’ front doors on Halloween, and we have found ways to help our deaf children form the words, “trick or treat.” We have accepted that our children with sensory dysfunction will never wear velvet or lace on Christmas. We have painted a canvas of lights and a blazing Yule log with our words for our blind children. We have pureed turkey on Thanksgiving. We have bought white chocolate bunnies for Easter. And all the while, we have tried to create a festive atmosphere for the rest of our family.
We’ve gotten up every morning since our journey began wondering how we’d make it through another day, and gone to bed every evening not sure how we did it.
We’ve mourned the fact that we never got to relax and sip red wine in Italy. We’ve mourned the fact that our trip to Holland has required much more baggage than we ever imagined when we first visited the travel agent. And we’ve mourned because we left for the airport without most of the things we needed for the trip.
But we, sisters, we keep the faith always. We never stop believing. Our love for our special children and our belief in all that they will achieve in life knows no bounds. We dream of them scoring touchdowns and extra points and home runs. We visualize them running sprints and marathons. We dream of them planting vegetable seeds, riding horses and chopping down trees. We hear their angelic voices singing Christmas carols. We see their palettes smeared with watercolors, and their fingers flying over ivory keys in a concert hall. We are amazed at the grace of their pirouettes. We never, never stop believing in all they will accomplish as they pass through this world.
But in the meantime, my sisters, the most important thing we do, is hold tight to their little hands as together, we special mothers and our special children, reach for the stars.
By Erma Bombeck
Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social
pressures and a couple by habit.
This year nearly 100, 000 women will become mothers of a special needs
Did you ever wonder how mothers of these children are chosen?
Somehow I visualize God hovering over earth selecting his instruments
for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He
instructs his angels to make notes in a giant ledger.
"Armstrong, Beth; son. Patron saint...give her Gerard. He's used to
"Forrest, Marjorie; daughter. Patron saint, Cecelia."
"Rutledge, Carrie; twins. Patron saint, Matthew."
Finally He passes a name to an angel and smiles, "Give her a special
The angel is curious. "Why this one God? She's so happy."
"Exactly, " smiles God, "Could I give a special child to a mother who
does not know laughter? That would be cruel."
"But has she patience?" asks the angel.
"I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a
sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she'll
"I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence
that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to
give her has her own world. She has to make her live in her world and that's not
going to be easy."
"But, Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."
God smiles, "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect - she has
just enough selfishness."
The angel gasps - "selfishness? is that a virtue?"
God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally,
she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than
She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied.
She will never take for granted a 'spoken word'". She will not
consider a "step" ordinary. When her child says 'Momma' for the first time, she will be
present at a miracle, and will know it! When she describes a tree or a sunset to
her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations."
"I will permit her to see clearly the things I see...ignorance,
cruelty, prejudice....and allow her to rise above them. She will never be
alone. Iwill be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is
doing My work as surely as if she is here by My side".
"And what about her Patron saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in
God smiles, "A mirror will suffice."