I have missed you! Please forgive my absence! I had an event that rocked my world just a bit last week! It's a sad event, unfortunately. :( A friend of mine called and told me that one of the "children of my heart" had passed away. He was 16!
You see, I work with children who have many many physical and communication needs...the more needs that they have, the more I love working with them! I do love them all, please note, but every once in a while God places special children on my heart and my love for these children is unimaginably deeper than I can really express. They become "my children" in a different way than all the others. Ryan was just such a boy. I was his speech pathologist when he was just 2-1/2 years old. He could not verbally talk or physically walk, but he had eyes that were chocolate brown, a 10,000 watt smile and a mischievious glint in his eyes that you knew held great humor and love of life. He was wonderful to work with, but challenging too...his amazing mom always said he knew so much, but had no way to tell us. Ryan was very patient with me as we explored different ways to find a voice for him.
The only physical control that Ryan had consistently was head and neck control...after many trials and many errors, he finally let me try something crazy! I used velcro to strap a little flashlight to his temple, taped pictures up in our small speech room and turned off the lights. Then I asked him to point his "head light" to different pictures on the wall....he got them right 100%!!! From there it was all uphill! I could prove that he knew what he knew....within 6 months, we had a dynamic communication device for him (Dynavox) and the rest is HISTORY! He became an avid communicator, writer, poet and all around kid, who could keep up with the best of them. He was also a gold medalist in the special olympics for racing his electric wheelchair, controlled with several switches mounted behind and beside his head. His amazing mom continued to be Ryan's greatest advocate, his greatest asset and his greatest champion. When Ryan stopped breathing in the middle of the night last weekend, all efforts were made to revive him. But the Lord called him home.
As sad as it is to lose Ryan on this earth, when I went to the services and saw and heard from all those whose lives were touched by Ryan's life, I realize that he fulfilled his purpose here while we had him with us. He made us all better people, all around. Ryan's dad said, "God wanted Ryan the day he was born, but then He changed His mind and kept him here so we could all experience him in our lives." Nothing more true could be said.
I made this card for Ryan's mom, because I believe God gives these children just the right parents and I knew that more than any other identity or "character" trait she had, being Ryan's mom was the most important identity to her. When God places these children in my heart, he also gives me a special relationship with their mothers. And I cherish that relationship as much as the connection I have with their children. And I keep in contact with them throughout their children's lives. So I dedicate this post to all special children and their moms. Love ya!
Bless you all!