I have Linda Peterson’s book and loved it. But these excerpts testifying to faith in the face of great hardship are particularly powerful. Her book is The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities and Remaining Sane. It’s been available as an E book and now is out in print
My life has been blessed with the certainty of God’s existence. My brother was born multiply disabled with Rubella syndrome, (a warning to those who do not believe in immunizations.) He was almost deaf, blind, severely developmentally disabled and had a cleft palate, along with several other physical anomalies. My mom spent the first few months of his life sobbing on her bed. It was a confusing time for me as a child…my mom was not available to me, this new creature in my house mewed like a kitten for hours on end, and my dad did everything he could to not be home. Then, one sunny, warm day, my mom sat in the sun parlor on a rocking chair, rocking Curtis as he cried his kitten cry. Then a miracle happened…she was visited by the Holy Spirit. He/she came right on in, with a brightness that far surpassed the…
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This is a poem written by my best friend in highschool and college. We’ve kept up with each other for sixty-three years across the miles between Connecticutt and Tennessee.
Our journeys have been amazingly similar in the things that count, like family and spirituality. I have saved her letters and her writings from all the way back to highschool. I was reorganizing my files and found this and it touched my heart.
To My Children
I gave you life,
I gave you love: or tried to.
Sometimes I gave you pain.
The scars you carry still.
Because of my own wounds, I wounded you.
I wanted you to know God loved you;
But often my faith was feeble
As a candle
Flickering in the darkness –
And so you had too little light.
Sometimes I gave you much too much.
Sometimes my well was dry.
I gave you dung and dirt, sun and rain;
The things all flowers need
To live, to grow.
All that I gave you, good and bad,
I cannot take it back.
The soil is tilled; the seed is sown.
The rest is up to you, dear child.
Whatever road you take,
I wish you joy and peace and courage.
My prayers are with you
And my love.