The Special Mother by Erma Bombeck

Special Mother

 

The Special Mother

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures and a couple by habit.

This year nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen?

Somehow I visualize God hovering over earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

“Armstrong, Beth; son. Patron saint…give her Gerard. He’s used to profanity.”

“Forrest, Marjorie; daughter. Patron saint, Cecelia.”

“Rutledge, Carrie; twins. Patron saint, Matthew.”

Finally He passes a name to an angel and smiles, “Give her a handicapped child.”

The angel is curious. “Why this one God? She’s so happy.”

“Exactly,” smiles God, “Could I give a handicapped child to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.”

“But has she patience?” asks the angel.

“I don’t want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she’ll handle it.”

“I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I’m going to give her has her own world. She has to make her live in her world and that’s not going to be easy.”

“But, Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.” God smiles, “No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect – she has just enough selfishness.” The angel gasps – “selfishness? is that a virtue?”

God nods. “If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she’ll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn’t realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a ‘spoken word'”. She will never consider a “step” ordinary. When her child says ‘Momma’ for the first time, she will be present at a miracle, and will know it!”

“I will permit her to see clearly the things I see…ignorance, cruelty, prejudice….and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing My work as surely as if she is here by My side”.

“And what about her Patron saint?” asks the angel, his pen poised in mid-air.

God smiles, “A mirror will suffice.”

Erma Bombeck published this column on May 11, 1980.  

image from flickriver.com

About Life&Ink

Hi, I'm Charlotte and armed with the experience 24 years of marriage, 2 kids, 2 dogs, 8 homes and a closet full of power tools brings, I come here to share how the processes of raising my kids and transforming my home raised and transformed me.

6 Comments

  1. Thank you for posting this. I had never seen it before but it is just beautiful. I have been married 36 years, have 4 children, 3 grandchildren and have also lived in lots of houses (my husband is a builder). Our oldest son was born 33 years ago and has Spina Bifida. I certainly know the celebrations that go along with each achievement. I have also found that my life has been enriched tremendously. There are so many special people that I wouldn’t have met if not for his disability.

    1. Hi Glenys! I am glad to have a little space to share such special words and to know that others can have their day touched, if even for a moment, by niceness. We need all of that we can get! As I get older I am even more appreciative of the times I can look back on, of my children, my marriage, our many adventures and challenges and to know we made it through, not only intact but enhanced. It’s a wonderful feeling isn’t it! Thanks for stopping by and all the best!:-)

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