I’m going to share a little secret that is often hidden by my mostly positive writing; raising a child like Eddie is pretty hard. Multiple times a day an overwhelming feeling of anxiety starts to build, and I do my best to block it, but it is always there under the surface. I could easily focus on the struggles he faces every day…and the fear that I can’t help him. Honestly, sometimes I can’t help but focus on that…but not today. Today, I’m focusing on being thankful.
I’m thankful for his ridiculously contagious laughter, which comes out of nowhere, and makes us wonder if he’s possessed.
I’m thankful for his hugs, and air kisses, because he’s never quite patient enough to make it all the way to my cheek.
I’m thankful for his willingness to use a white cane, even if he hasn’t quite figured out its intended purpose.
I’m thankful for the dedicated staff at his school, and their willingness to work hard for Eddie, when I know I’m not always a picnic…and neither is Eddie.
I’m thankful for a certain occupational therapy “guru” who has just agreed to evaluate my son, even though she has no time, and owes us nothing.
I’m thankful for a foundation in our area, which awarded Eddie a grant, so we don’t have to deny him what he needs.
I’m thankful for my husband, who is the best father I have ever met.
I’m thankful for my daughters, who surprise, amaze, and entertain me every day.
I’m thankful for having so much family that we simply can’t be with them all on Thanksgiving…and I’m thankful that they all want us there, and accept Eddie for who he is.
Finally, this Thanksgiving, I’m most thankful for having known my Grandfather-in-law, who we unexpectedly lost last weekend. He was without a doubt the biggest fan of this blog, even though he never got on the internet. Family printed off copies of my postings, and he faithfully stowed them chronologically in a binder and referred to it as his “book.”
He often spoke about Eddie, and knew Eddie really well because of reading the “book.” He had a greater understanding of my family, because he always took the time to read…ask questions…and simply care. He was a generous, loving man…and thanks to him, so is Eddie’s dad.
So, on this day, the only overwhelming anxiety I feel, is that I won’t be sending a copy of this article to him…and his “book” will remain the same. But as with all anxiety I face, I’m not going to focus on that, because he wouldn’t want me to feel that way.
In honor of him, I’m going to instead continue to focus on being thankful. Thankful for Eddie, for our family, for support, and for a man that I’ll continue to think about every time I write…and that I know is still reading every word.
If you have a child with a visual impairment in your family…please comment below. What are you thankful for…how do you keep being thankful?