One of the most touching moments I’ve had as the mother of a special needs child happened in August of 2007. It was the night of my first fund raiser, a spaghetti feed I held at my childhood church, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Clarkston, Washington. There had been a great turnout and I had lots of help from friends and family. I was raising money so Phoenix could get his very first piece of equipment – a gait trainer/walker that would allow him to stand and walk by supporting his core. It would allow him to finally graduate to the toddler class at daycare and play with the other kids his age. The walker had a price tag of $4,000. My medical insurance plan had refused to pay for it and so had the state of Washington. About four weeks prior to the event, I had lunch with a small committee of friends and we planned the event. In my mind, I wondered how many $7.00 plates of spaghetti would I need to raise $4,000? I was prepared to have multiple fund raising events. But it turned out that wouldn’t be necessary.
The fund raiser was over and the clean up was done. Phoenix was asleep and I was sitting in bed when I opened the envelope of money that had been collected that evening. There was cash, of course, but then there were the checks. There were multiple $50 checks, a few $100 donations and even a check for $800 from P.J’s godfather. I cannot explain the feeling of love that washed over me in that moment – it was overwhelming, and something I had never felt before. I realized that this was one of the benefits of having a child with special needs. This was a feeling that very few people ever get to experience and the amazing thing is, it happens a lot.
Good people are all around you. They will offer you tickets, buy your dinner, offer to help you at the grocery store, in the parking lot, etc. Open your heart and accept the help.
If it weren’t for the help of the many angels who have come into my life, I do not know where I would be. An old African proverb states that it takes a whole village to raise a child. Phoenix has his own personal village of angels doing the job. May God Bless them all.