Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Special Mother

This story was written by Erma Bombeck on May 11, 1980 and Glenn Doman recited it for us at the last hour of the last day of lectures in Philadelphia. It was very touching and of course I was crying by the end of it, as was every other mother in the room with me, all of us feeling a sense of camaraderie.

by Erma Bombeck

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, Matthew. Forest, Marjorie: daughter; patron saint Cecilia.

"Rutledge, Carrie: twins. Patron saint....give her Gerard. He's used to profanity."

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," says God. "Could I give a child with a handicap to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel."

"But does she have 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 wear off, she'll handle it."

"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 witness to a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations.

"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 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."


Jennifer said...

You are indeed a special mom!

Cute story -- Last night, Matthew was doing his little good night poem ("I see the moon and the moon sees me, God bless the moon and God bless me")and about half the time he asks to add people to bless. So he says "Mommy, Daddy, Baby Sister ... names of grandparents/aunts/uncles ... and Baby Joaquin. Amen!" Just wanted to pass a little boy's affection along! = )

Hector & Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

Soooooo cute! Thank you Matthew for including Joaquin in your prayers!

Trina said...

I cried when Glenn Doman read this out loud to us back in 1997, and it still makes me tear up when I read it today. It is my most favorite story to read, and I always give it to a new mom of a special needs child. That, and the "Holland" one.

Monica Crumley said...

Very beautiful, so true. Thanks for sharing. You ARE a special mom and not just because of Joaquin. :-)