Sometimes when the days seem hard, I seek music that will help move me through those dark times. I am grateful for the many songs that combine insightful lyrics with talented vocalists. The song writers and performers are able to express my feelings and help me remember what is important.
One line of Celine Dion’s hit “Because You Loved Me” is particularly inspiring to me. “You’ve been my inspiration, through the lies you were the truth. My world is a better place because of you.”
Nick can’t fully express his feelings and emotions. Often I have to guess as to what he is trying to say. Over the years, I have hoped that the message of this song is what he thinks about me. I have tried to be his voice, to give him wings, to lift him up, and to stand by him.
We all try to do this with our kids, however most parents don’t usually have this same intense interaction for four decades. Typically developing children begin expressing their independence after a couple of years and usually after another 20 years we as parents begin to agree with them. It is the standard parent-child dance of growing up.
The dance steps are more halting when raising a child with special needs. The years have changed me. Giving loving, dedicated service to another person can refine us. Our focus changes, selfishness is replaced by selflessness, love prevails and disappointment flees. This doesn’t happen all at once and the process is not a panacea. The course is difficult and often discouraging.
However, Nick has always had complete faith in me that I would do whatever was necessary for him. Therapy, education programs, medical appointments, special diets, adaptive equipment, exact daily schedules . . . the list is endless.
Sometimes I am tired, worn out and he will say, “I need a hug, you hug me mommy?” Even though I feel that I can’t go on, I remind myself that he needs me. As I sit down next to him, his arm tightly around my shoulder, pulling me in, a shift occurs and exhaling, I feel calm. It might be the eye of the storm, and I will need to continue on, but for the moment, he is my strength when I was weak.
So now, I connect with the lyrics differently. They are about me, only now I see that I am not singing them for Nick, I am singing them to him.
With deep gratitude and increased understanding, I softly sing the closing line along with Celine, “I’m everything I am because you loved me.”
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