Last winter a reader called and shared her appreciation for how the magazine was benefiting her and her family. During our conversation, she noted how helpful it would be to have an issue dedicated to parents who have children with disabilities. She and a number of parents in her community have children with various challenges, and she described the loneliness that they often feel in working through their particular circumstances.
Since our conversation, we have been reaching out to families who have or have had children with disabilities, including lost sight and hearing, Down syndrome, cancer, and autism. Their experiences vary significantly from one another, yet each one carries two similar threads: near constant challenges with almost imperceptible progress, and deep appreciation for life and for one another.
We feel we came to know these individuals and how their parents assisted in bringing out their remarkable gifts. We learned about the special gifts of Thad, whose influence forged compassion, optimism, and hope in his brother; how Ilene helped her sister find deeper joy in making another person happy; and Devin, who taught his father that work is more about developing a person than accomplishing a task. The individuals in these articles remind us that every person brings distinct gifts to their family and to the world about them. We find those gifts when we take the time to notice.
Discovering and building one another can be challenging on a day-to-day basis, particularly when the progress is intangible and without an end in sight. Perhaps what is so remarkable about the individuals and families in this issue is that they provide perspective amid ever-present difficulties. One mother, whose two children have autism, faces days that are more difficult than she could have ever imagined, days that are overwhelming. Yet, she dries her tears and moves ahead, just like all parents who face the choice to give up or to find hope and renewed perspective in their surrounding challenges.
Together, we find great strength in considering the tasks and joys ahead, in recognizing the difference others have made on us, and what our own efforts will do for our children and the generations to follow. We hope you find your own story as you read about the ordinary yet remarkable people within this issue of Seeing the Everyday.
All new subscriptions and renewals ordered by January 30 will receive issue no. 20. We look forward to you receiving your copy.