Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's Ok, Really!

When Lizzy was a little girl, we would travel quite a bit with her. She had a third of the "gear" that she needs now. However, since we had the house built, we encourage family and friends to visit here because we don't like to take Lizzy on the road for too long. That being said, it had been about 9 years since my sister and her family physically saw Lizzy.  Only 2 of her 5 children had ever seen her. I was a bit worried how the kids would handle seeing her (being on the floor, grunting, etc)or attempting to interact with her.  I am constantly worried about this. I don't ever want anyone to feel uncomfortable around Lizzy.

It was as if they see her everyday. Comfortable. They were so excited to be here. It was beautiful! I want you to notice the little girl in the red tank top. This is our sweet niece, Eliana. She stood at the door of Lizzy's room watching for a bit. She had never met Lizzy. I don't think she even knows a child like Lizzy, so I am almost positive she was a bit scared. My sister says she is like a little mommy with her sister and brothers. But I wasn't surprised to see this reaction from her. I told my sister not to force it and to let everything happen naturally. She didn't want offend me but I assured her it was ok. Really. When she did warm up to her you can see what happened. She didn't take her eyes of Lizzy for a moment.

Lizzy loving her new birthday toy. Wyatt, 9, wanted to be around her the whole time.
Lizzy looking at her Uncle Joe who is always ready for the camera! He is the ONLY one ready!
Love how Wyatt and Eliana, 5, are touching Lizzy!
Lizzy is loving this! My sister is is holding Hannah, 2.

Eliana still can't take her eyes off her.


After we realized that Lizzy had special needs, the acceptance didn't come right away. It took me years to finally accept that I was living in this world of constant stares and whispers. A daily struggle of "why me and not her" type thinking. Endless hours researching her condition and falling deeper and deeper into depression. I would refer to Lizzy as developmentally delayed. That's it. It wasn't until I heard my in laws refer to Lizzy as "severely handicapped" did I realize what I had. This is how they would describe Lizzy to someone if asked about her. I was appalled......and thankful at the same time. At that moment, I realized something. It is what it is! Acceptance is hard.  Not just with what kind of handicap your loved one has, with anything. However, once I did acknowledge and accept that Lizzy had several handicaps which were pretty severe, I was able to cope with the day to day, move on, and really enjoy her. Like I did when she was a baby, before I even knew anything was wrong with her. Have you been able to accept what has been place in your life? If not, it might take time and that is totally ok, really! You can do this!

I have received lots of pictures and video of your beauties! This video will hopefully bring CP to the front row! The big question will be... ARE YOU AWARE? HOW AWARE? We can do this together!

**Lizzy also has a condition called microcephaly. Tomorrow is National Microcephaly Day! Wear yellow in support of Lizzy! Check this out.

God Bless!


It's All True said...

Since I am 19 years ahead of you almost all your comments are things that I have thought or said. I wish I could go back in time when Betsy was smaller. When I could still carry her around, still hold her on my lap. I really miss that. We used to travel to the Outer Banks, Myrtle Beach and Disney World and I miss that too. Betsy doesn't do long trips anymore.
Betsy educated our whole neighborhood. Kids would come over, stare, ask questions - which I encouraged - and then got used to her. The stares didn't bother me back then. They do now because she isn't the cute little handicapped girl. She's a grown woman who looks different. When kids stare now AND adults it hurts. Why it didn't hurt then I'm not sure. This has been a learn as you go journey. As you already know, there is much to be thankful for along the way.

Lisa said...

I am sorry it hurts. I know that our girls may not notice the stares or giggles. But we do! We went to Damon's football game last night and during the moment of silence, I felt like the entire stadium was staring at us and I want to leave. Lizzy was grunting and squealing the entire time. Some people couldn't stop laughing. Not sure if it was at her or what but it hurt.


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