When first we heard the words,
so many years ago,
that our darling baby daughter,
would never really grow,
to know the joys of learning,
to feel the strength of thought,
a little of us died inside,
our hearts and minds
within us cried.
We seek and find a partner,
bear children if we can
asking only that they be -
well, happy, whole and truly free.
To live and love as others do.
Fulfil their duty, see life through,
the trials of babyhood,
the wonder of the years,
but we look at them and study them,
through many bitter tears.
Although our grief is lasting,
we learn a lot from them -
compassion, understanding, humility and then
an overwhelming love,
which comes from our despair,
dispelling all the clouds of gloom,
for they have wondrous air.
When we see their faces light
with a job well done,
and know the splendid effort made,
to have the battle won.
We realise the spirit of all mankind,
is shining from within,
though their bodies may be twisted
and their comprehension thin.
Our hearts grow strong within us,
we try with all our might,
and draw from many friends we make,
who share a similar plight.
The bonds of friendship strengthen
as we help our special kids
and we can laugh and see life truly
and not through shuttered lids.
The help we get along the way,
from teachers, helpers everyday,
is given gladly with generous thought,
we take it and hug it and know our kids are taught
to reach their own potential,
whatever that may be.
And we hope that when we leave them,
their destiny will be,
in the hands of others who will care
to see them through to do and dare.
So I want to tell you mothers
who share this meal tonight
that it's been a priviledge knowing you,
the burden is made light,
when we pull together, share the load,
so thanks, good bye, this is the code,
for a better understanding of all it means to be,
the parents of a special child, who holds the golden key.
- a parting letter from my mother, Stephenie Fischer, about her daughter, my sister Caroline, a special needs child, as she graduated special school in 1991.