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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Shattered Dreams: Special Needs Parenting 101. (Story #3,200!)
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Monday, March 24, 2008

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent stories by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
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           >> View all 7,357

A woman copes with her little girl's disability and comes to realize just how blessed she is.

I think back to my life before I was pregnant with my daughter, D'Arcy Annika, and I often wish I could go back to that peaceful time.  Ever since our daughter burst onto the scene four years ago, our life has been a constant state of chaos and/or confusion.

D'Arcy looks like any other child with her innocent blue eyes, carrot-red hair, and disarming grin; however, when you see the palsied limbs, red wheelchair, or braces attached to her stick-thin limbs, one can't help but feel a sense of pity.

I get angry a lot of the time, angry because I feel I was cheated out of a normal child, angry because of the way people treat not only our daughter, but us in general.  They see her physical disability; somehow they feel it is our fault; it really bothers me.

Any dreams I had for our baby girl were shattered when doctors discovered that she was "floppy", unresponsive in nature.  Further testing revealed brain damage, which told us that our daughter wouldn't be able to play sports or do anything a normal child should.  Doctors suspected something neurological was going on with her.

More anger.

At the age of one year, our D'Arcy was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia, meaning severe cerebral palsy.  Her entire body was involved.  She would probably never walk;  she would always need a wheelchair.  D'Arcy was also discovered to be mentally disabled; howevever, her retardation wasn't as severe as was first thought; doctors were certain that, with help, she could learn, just at a slower pace than her peers. 

It was bad news, but not as bad as it could have been. 

At least, D'Arcy wasn't a total vegetable case, unable to do anything for herself.


Now D'Arcy is going to be five in a few months; she's grown to be a very pretty little girl with long, thick, flame-colored hair, freckles sprinkled on the bridge of her nose and cheeks, large, expressive sky-blue eyes, and a huge, megawatt smile that could light up the darkest reaches of the earth.

D'Arcy cannot walk, but she can talk somewhat.  She makes her needs known with her facial expressions and a few basic, simple words.  She can eat (with help), but it takes a while; feeding her is messy at best.

While D'Arcy has had many problems, compared to some kids with cerebral palsy I've seen, our little girl has it pretty good.  Suddenly, her problems don't seem so bad; the dreams that had once been shattered are finally being pieced back together again.  Maybe there's hope yet for our little girl.



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Reviewed by MaryGrace Patterson 3/26/2008
This story brought back many memories of Little Joshua. He had cerebal palsey ,along with a multitude of other problems.As you know he only lived to be two. I can sympathize what all that the parents feeland are going through. Its hard on everyone......Great story!....M
Reviewed by Jackie (Micke) Jinks 3/25/2008
What is n-o-r-m-a-l in this world? And who, besides God, can make that judgement? I DO NOT believe He would use that word. There is a uniqueness to each one of us. Some are more challenged, but have as much to contribute in their uniqueness. Let us not forget each one's worth. Oh,'ve got me on my soap-box! Your words are thought provoking :o)

Reviewed by Ann Scarborough 3/25/2008
There is always hope and dreams, D'Arcy has a wonderful mother. Love this, Karen.
Reviewed by Randall Barfield 3/24/2008
I love 'megawatt smile'. Really cute. This is a hard life for this mother, although, as you mention, there are some rewards. Many times they are philosophical, metaphysical, spiritual, aren't they? Cheers
Reviewed by Carole Mathys 3/24/2008
You have a talent for writing these touching stories, Karen...
love and peace, Carole~
Reviewed by Lee Garrett 3/24/2008
A very sad and touching piece.
Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 3/24/2008
This is a beautiful write, thank you for sharing
God Bless
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 3/24/2008
Moving write!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Felix Perry 3/24/2008
Sad but moving write that shows a parents love can accomplish almost anything.

Reviewed by Georg Mateos 3/24/2008
Whatever happened to those forefather's words about a nation for all, where we can read about disqualified if , black, sick, handicaped....
I just ask.

Reviewed by Jeanette Cooper 3/24/2008
This story is very revealing in a way most folks--who've never dealt with sickness or disability of a loved one--doesn't understand. The anger, there is a great deal of anger.

Underlying all one's love and determination to do all they can for their loved one, there is always the wish things could have been different and such yearnings bring frustration of knowing they can't be different--and finally anger that life has presented them with an ongoing problem that can never be resolved.

Does complete acceptance ever come? Probably, but that lingering wish for normalcy never goes away.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 3/24/2008

Why are her dreams shattered? Are all children perfect? No - we are all disabled in some way. Some are just obvious ... powerfully thought provoking write of changing attitudes.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Rose Rideout 3/24/2008
Again I thank you for opening our eyes to true beauty and making us see how many ways we are blessed.
Newfie Hugs are on the way, Rose
Reviewed by Cryssa C 3/24/2008
Your write took my mind in several different directions this morning...

You always come up with the best descriptions, Karen... "flame colored hair..., blue eyes...,...megawatt smile"... they all bring the images to mind so perfectly.

I have heard it said that most parents with a disabled child have to go through a mourning period before they can truly see the blessings their children are...

Until we had a daughter in a wheelchair I never realized just how partial the world is to people who can walk with ease! There are so many things in just normal daily life that can exclude those with physical disabilities. Even our words... For example: "Everyone stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance..."
Yes, the world is changing with the enactment of laws to make things more accessible, but we need to open our eyes to all of the little partialities too.

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