day 315: relativity

I have written recently about my allergy attacks, which have subsided thank goodness, and my struggle with late hours doing homework for this summer practicum I am involved in.  Truth is, I have been whiny, which is not the usual me.  And I apologize.

Relativity.  We can only live and feel what we know, but at some point some I believe it is healthy to get perspective.  My-problems-versus-their problems kind of thinking.  When my son was living in Kenya for two years and wrote letters to us about what he was facing, and especially what the Kenyan people were facing, I got a weekly dose of relativity about my own worries.  It was good for our whole family.  We learned a lot and got more real about our lives.

This might be one of the reasons I enjoy special education (the other reasons being the amazing families I have gotten to know).  I regularly see people who have had to learn to live with children who may never be independent.  They have health impairments, learning disabilities, etc. that will keep them from ever being on their own, which means parents will never be on their own either.  These people are heroes to me because, let's face it, some days it helps to know that one day we will set them free and just enjoy them from a bit of a distance.  Am I right?

I have 2 friends in particular that I am thinking about here.  One who has recently been left by his wife of 23 years.  His autistic son will be his charge forever.  He is a wonderful dad who is beyond willing to commit to this life.  And though I am biased, I need to say how great he is at being the perfect parent for his 15 yr-old son.  I love this guy like my own brother.  The other is Heidi at Dunhaven Place.  We have become friends, even though we have only met in person once.  I could talk about a number of her talents and good qualities, but for this post I just want to mention her devotion to her family, which consists of a few members that need her regular attention and assistance.  I love this lady, and have felt recommited to special ed because of these kinds of acquaintences.

So I am practicing a little relativity here, and realizing that even though I can have a hard day here and there, things could be harder.    


gigi | July 1, 2010 at 6:49 PM

We all could benifit from these kinds of reality checks. I know they really help me keep prespective.

Momza | July 1, 2010 at 8:44 PM

I really enjoyed this, Kazzy.
And I needed to be reminded of this especially today.
Thank you.

Jenny P. | July 1, 2010 at 9:35 PM

Amen to that... it's easy to get caught up in our own drama. After I ranted on my own blog the other day about the need sometimes to simply survive, I had a phone conversation with my Mom about a particular family that is very near and dear to her heart that is really struggling right now, with health issues, faith issues... we cried on the phone, and then I went and hugged my perfectly delightful, healthy children with a humble prayer of gratitude in my heart.

amber_mtmc | July 1, 2010 at 9:39 PM

I, too, am often amazed by those who parent children with special needs. My sister has a one-year-old baby boy with Down's Syndrome. She is an amazing mom for him.

Heidi | July 1, 2010 at 10:34 PM

Oh, so sweet! I really needed this today--thank you! I love you, too. You are a very important person in my life. It occured to me last night that you and a few other of my blog friends treat me like the sisters I have always wanted but never had. It means so much more than you know. As for problems--it's true that getting perspective is important. There will always be someone with worse problems and someone with less. However, problems of any size still have a way of filling a room. We are entitled to feel a bit put out by them once in a while. Hugs!

Robin | July 1, 2010 at 11:14 PM

Great reminder. Perspective is so important.

No matter how tough my life gets, there are others whose lives I could never handle. I am so blessed -- especially with healthy, wonderful children.

I think your friend is an awesome dad, too.

LisAway | July 2, 2010 at 12:11 AM

I love that you look at mentioning your allergies and late nights/early mornings as complaining. I guess by definition it is, but you are just so not whiny that I would never think of it that way. You're right: you don't complain (on your blog) so this didn't sound like it to me either. Just telling what's going on. But I do realize that those things have been hard for you. (my allergies have been almost debilitating for me the last few days. I can't see or think. I just want to curl up in bed)(THAT'S complaining :).

I also totally agree about those who have it much harder than me every single day. I wonder how they do it and they are a real source of inspiration. Heidi is DEFINITELY one of those for me, too. And the dad you mention sounds like another good example.

Just as you say perspective can be very helpful and important in helping us get on track and be grateful for what we have. Sometimes "complaining can be helpful too, though. :)

Welcome to the Garden of Egan | July 2, 2010 at 7:06 AM

Beautiful thoughts.
You are so amazing with your ability to put into words things that honor these people.

Melanie Jacobson | July 3, 2010 at 9:45 AM

I think you might be an angel. Just saying.

Kimberly Vanderhorst | July 4, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Relativity is such a gift. And, I must say, so is Heidi!