Pam Halter
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Parents Blog

Jury Duty and Holland
3/27/2014 7:36:35 AM by: pam

My Facebook friends will have seen the events of last week. Anna got a summons for the jury.

Really.

At first, it didn't register what it was. Then I said, "No way. NO way!" And I laughed and laughed. My first thought was to take her for her duty. I imagined bringing her in the courthouse and introducing her to everyone. I imagined her babbling and sitting with her feet up and maybe having a seizure. I planned to say, "This is the type of person you summoned to sit on the jury!" Then I would blast them for being so clueless. Everyone urged me to take her. Call the newspaper, they said. Call the freeholders, they said. Show them how stupid they are, they said.

I was ready to do that. But when I started thinking about it, the question of how they got Anna's name and address came to mind. She's not registered to vote. She doesn't have a driver's license. Had someone stolen her identity? The humor wore off quickly. Within a short time, we discovered Anna's picture ID was the culprit, as we got it at Motor Vehicles a year and a half ago. I called the courthouse and explained the situation. They're going to send me a questionnaire to fill out to get Anna excused.

And you know what followed? Grief. Deep, intense grief. Just when I thought there wasn't anything else to grieve for Anna, the milestone of serving on the jury came along.

Oh, when will the grief end?? Unfortunately, there will be more things to grieve, I'm afraid. Mary will graduate college next year. My grandson will start Kindergarten in September.

A well meaning friend sent me the story that compares having a special needs child to a trip to Holland instead of the trip to Paris or somewhere exciting that expecting a child brings. Are you familiar with it? Even that caused grief, because the story, while nicely written, doesn't allow for the ongoing and deep grief that comes with things like graduations and jury duty. It fools you into thinking kids like Anna are a gentle and lovely thing, like tulips and windmills. But it's not. Not anything close. Tulips and windmills are no comparison to ER runs, doctor visits, seizures, autism, and developmental delay. The Holland story makes parents who don't have a special needs child feel better. Those of us who do, know better.

So, are you grieving today? Let me know and I'll pray for you as you pray for me. Grief makes us feel alone, but we aren't. We have each other.


Comments

pam From At 3/28/2014 7:55:26 AM

Right - and unless you enjoy the ride, it's not much fun. I like roller coasters at amusement parks. Not so much in my life. Which is why I appreciate the calm days sooooo much!

Julie From Gettysburg, PA At 3/28/2014 7:40:38 AM

It's definitely a roller coaster ride. Some days or weeks I'm on top. Then something happens to send me back down again.

pam From At 3/27/2014 8:17:04 AM

Which is why I simply say thank you to the people who send me stuff. They really want to help. They just don't know they aren't. SIGH

Laura From At 3/27/2014 8:14:04 AM

You pretty much nailed it. There are a few things that comfort me like the Holland story comforts those without a special needs child, but most of the time they are so minute, it's difficult to be soothed by them.

pam From At 3/27/2014 7:56:13 AM

Praying for you, Terri. ((hugs))

Terri From www.terrigroh.com At 3/27/2014 7:41:58 AM

Grieving the fact that my son went from working 32 hours a week to 16 AFTER he mentioned he had disabilities. We never know if it's because of his disability or just because they aren't ready to open the new store he will be working in yet. I feel sad today. Sad that he has no friends. Just sad.

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