What Next?

photo credit: liveindiapost.blogspot.com

I’m literally sitting in the parking lot at the eye doctor waiting to walk in, and I can’t. I…just…cannot. I have to stop crying first.

Why? Because, this. (I encourage you to take the six minutes to watch the video. It offers some good insight, not just to what I share here next, but a glimpse into life with a special needs child.)

You know, I don’t know what it’s like to be a parent of only “typical” kids, so I don’t know if parents of “typical” kids have the same fear I do. I do know I’ve had conversations with parents of “non-typical” children, so I don’t think I’m alone here…though maybe I am. Creation was established, by God, with a life cycle…and the natural cycle for us is that our children outlive their parents. We go first…that’s the way it’s “supposed” to be. I’m not supposed to bury my own child.

I’m just gonna throw out a fault of mine…an odd fear of mine that maybe shouldn’t be. (If you’re a parent and reading this, don’t judge me…not until you’ve walked the road I’ve walked for sixteen years. I’m just laying my weakness down at the cross and counting on Christ’s redemptive grace and mercy to carry me.)

Some days, my biggest parenting fear for you, my only daughter, is that you outlive me. Yes…that would mean, that in order to prevent this fear from becoming reality, I would need to outlive you…to bury my own child. And THAT is perhaps my second biggest parenting fear.  But, some days it seems like the better alternative, if I’m just being honest.

The thought that you may have to navigate this life without the foundation and stability of your mommy and me is…unbearable for me to imagine. I shared the story at our basketball games this past weekend of when we lost you at Six Flags as a child…20 minutes of unimaginable turmoil and hell on earth. The sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I’d failed you. I would rather walk that pain again for my lifetime than to live an eternity knowing you are alone here, without the love and support of a sibling like this. I think my bigger failure would be in not setting in place for you a support system and firm foundation upon which to fall when I pass into eternity.  

I pray almost daily that you have this type of relationship with your brothers when your mommy and I are dead and gone. (Not because I’ve guilted you into it, boys.)  Not because they HAVE to…but because they WANT to. It’s hard to see that type of future for the three of you during this stage in our lives. I pray I can be the type of father and leader that guides the three of you to that place. That leads you, my precious daughter, to a refuge of safety, security, stability and support.

I love you more than you know, sweet daughter of mine.

Love,

Daddy

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