Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I May Never Be an Empty Nester

The following post was written by Rick Law, an attorney who deals with estate planning, medicaid assistance and disability law.

"My wife and I have almost reached the empty-nester stage. We look forward to that event with excitement, and a little anxiety too. We have raised four children, ranging in age from 32 to 17. After such a long run in parenting minors, it’s time to move on to that more senior stage referred to as being an empty-nester.

Not everyone becomes an empty-nester. And although we sometimes joke about the child who 'failed to launch' due to the inability to get a career, there’s another group of parents who will never know the joy of seeing their child be fully self-supporting. In my office it is not uncommon for me to sit across the table from an 83 year old parent who is still the primary caregiver for a child who is chronically disabled."
When I read the last sentence of this article, I cried.

I cried because I was led to believe by medical "professionals" that my son wouldn't live long.

I cried because somewhere in my heart I held hope that one day I would have a somewhat "normal" life. 

I cried because I don't want to continue sleeping with a baby monitor in case Cody has a seizure during the night.

I cried because my friends are all becoming the aforementioned "empty nesters" and I'm still dealing with a child who is completely dependent on me.   

I cried because Cody realized I was crying and, being the sweet spirit that he is, said "Are you doing okay? I hate it when you have a cold."

I cried because I feel guilty for thinking selfishly.

Tomorrow is Cody's 30th birthday. Tomorrow I will be cheerful and focus on the blessing Cody has been in my life.

But today, I cry.

To read Rick's article in its entirety, click on the following link...
83 Years Old and Never an Empty-Nester


jaesi said...

This is beautiful!
If there ever was a family that was destined to be, it would be yours :)

Happy Birthday Cod Man! XOXO

Katelyn said...

I cried reading about you crying. And then I laughed as tears streamed down my cheeks when I read the part about Cody asking if you were okay when he realized you were crying. I will never understand what you have gone through and will continue to deal with raising Cody. Last week as I cooked my first dinner ever and slaved over the stove from 1-5 in the afternoon, nobody knew why I was crying, but I cried, because I finally realized after 19 selfish years just what you have done for our family, and how so often I forget to thank you. Thank you so much for the Mother you are. I need to remember to tell you more and more.

bbsmum said...

Oh DeeAnn ... sending you such a big hug ((())) What a beautiful comment from your amazing daughter. Now I'm crying too.
Happy birthday Cody.

BLOOM - Parenting Kids With Disabilities said...

THank you so much for writing this DeeAnn --

Instead of feeling guilty or selfish, perhaps you can fill your heart with compassion for yourself. That is what I felt as I read your piece. That is what I try to feel for myself. It's amazing how much compassion we can have for others, but not for ourselves!

Happy Birthday Cody! What a beautiful tribute from your daughter.

Thank you so much for sharing this. xo

DeeAnn said...

Ladies- Thank you for understanding. Your kind words mean the world to me.

Katelyn- You are amazing and my love for you is immeasurable!

Apples and Autobots said...

Big, big tight hugs to you, sweet friend.

cheartstrings said...

I just cried too. You are clearly a strong woman. Love the pix of you on the ladder with the boys. You are all beautiful.

DeeAnn said...

cheartstrings- That is my daughter Katelyn on the ladder with her brothers. She may not like that you said that, but I am flattered. :)

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