Thursday, May 3, 2007

When they stare at our children, do we know what's on their minds?

Kat at No fighting no biting has a companion post to "The Town Without Children", in which she describes a whole-food co-op in Maine where she summers with her children, suffering stares from the 'leftover hippies' who glare at the 'breeders'. I too often wonder why they stare, is it environmentalism gone mad, resenting the impact children have on global warming, or are they secretly envious of our 'troop of little ducklings trailing behind'? My guess is a sad mixture of the two.

I felt uncomfortable about the stares my children received in my local health food store until a friend told me this story about it's owner.

Ten years ago a lovely sixteen year old girl named Carrie, a treasured little sister to three big brothers died of heart failure. Her family has carried this grief for ten years, afraid to share it for fear of hearing the hurtful words, "well, it was all for the best, she had Down syndrome you know". The mother spent all her time and energy decorating her home to "Better House and Garden" standards. The big brothers became successful businessmen, and one of them opened a health food store. The pain in their hearts dulled to an ever-present ache which blunted their emotions, and robbed their joy.
One day, a Catholic neighbor stopped over to share a book which she felt the mother would appreciate. It's Sometimes Miracles Hide:Stirring Lessons from Those Who have Received God's Special Blessings in a Special Child with an accompanying CD of the Bruce Carroll song. As they played the song, both neighbor and mom broke down when they realized what day it was. It was the tenth anniversary of Carrie's death. God, who has seemed so far away from this woman, suddenly touched her heart, allowing her tears to flow freely, for the first time in years. Her sons heard from her, and they too were allowed to grieve for that beloved little sister. Healing began, and their hearts open ever so slightly to the love of God.
This little blessing was gratefully recounted to me by Carrie's mother, who asked to meet me, the owner of the book. She bought my newborn Christina a lovely spring bonnet, and held her close for a long time. At three months old, my special daughter had already been a blessing to her family.
As the song says, " Sometimes miracles hide,
God has wrapped His blessings in disguise,
though it might take a lifetime for us to realize,
that sometimes miracles hide."

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