Pam Halter
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Parents Blog

The Things People Say - part one
10/1/2012 7:52:27 AM by: pam

What expectant mother prays during pregnancy, “Please, Lord, I hope my baby has autism and seizures because that would be such a blessing!”

Seriously.

And yet people continue to say things to me that make me think, "Shut up, it's NOT a blessing!" when I share about my struggles with being Anna's mommy. I realize they are trying to comfort or encourage, but if they would stop and really think about what they’re saying, they would be horrified by their words. I'm going to break them into seven parts, talk about how I feel, and give suggestions of what people can say instead.

"But She’s Such A Blessing!"

I hear this more than anything. I can relate the number of Anna’s seizures in one day and inevitably, someone will utter this with great compassion. I have to bite my tongue to keep from retorting, “Really? How IS twenty seizures in one day a blessing? Please, do let me in on the secret because I don’t see it.” Instead, I smile and say, “Well, yes, sometimes.” But inside, my stomach clenches, and the despair that always hovers on the edges of my mind wells up. I fight it, but it never gets any easier, even though I’ve been hearing it for years.

What I would like to hear is, “Wow, that must be hard.” Then I can agree – but it also leaves the door open for me to say there are blessings, if I’m so inclined, because some days I do see the blessings. Most days, however, I’m exhausted and stressed, so telling me what a blessing I have feels like a slap in the face.

I don’t want to take anything away from parents who DO feel as though they were blessed when God gave them their special child. Many people feel blessed. I do not, and I wish people would not assume I do.


Comments

pam From At 10/3/2012 11:21:54 AM

That's an interesting thought, Julie. And a sad one.

Julie Monzi From Gettysburg, PA At 10/3/2012 9:39:57 AM

The thought just came to me that people don't want to acknowledge how difficult it can be for you because they don't want to feel obligated or led by the Lord to help out. ""You're so lucky; you are so blessed"" leaves them off the hook.

pam From At 10/1/2012 1:34:38 PM

Thanks, Marilyn - I don't mind your comments at all. We do it one day at a time by the grace of God. How else could we do it at all? Yes, there are blessings at times. Yes, it's really hard most of the time. But this is what we have. It helps having a good husband/dad like Daryl, too.

Marilyn Cooksey Eller From Pennsville, NJ At 10/1/2012 11:46:52 AM

What I think is how do you and Daryl do it? I can't imagine saying ""it's a blessing"" for Anna or for you and Daryl. I always feel a little sad when I see you all. I do think you are an unusally strong person and that I could never be that strong. Hope you don't mind my comments.

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