You are the God of miracles and wonders! You still demonstrate your awesome power. Psalm 77:14 TLB
In just over a week, my life will change forever. My son will graduate from High School. Unlike most parents, this has not been something to which I have looked forward with excitement. Graduations have always been difficult for me as they tempt my mind into imagining what my son would be like if we had been given a different road to traverse. Would he have the character and compassion of his father? To what college would he be going? Would he be studying to be in the ministry as his dad did? Would he have a girlfriend? Would he have my sense of humor? The questioning brings no answers–only anguish. But this graduation will be hardest of all because it marks the day when we will no longer have the assistance of teachers, para-educators, speech, occupational and physical therapists or the 7:30 AM to 2:30 PM reprieve which they provided.
Standing at this familiar fork in the road between Joy or Despair, which undisguised is simply Thankfulness or Thanklessness, I endeavor to walk in joy despite our changing circumstances. I will plan a celebration for our son’s graduation. I will celebrate his life and all he has taught us about Agape Love. I will celebrate the love and support of family and friends over these past 20 years. And most of all, I will celebrate God’s faithfulness.
As the upcoming celebration is fast approaching, I muse over the details while cleaning this evening’s dinner dishes. Beyond the sound of the faucet water, I hear my son wheel his chair into the living room. I decide to leave him be as there is nothing in that room that would be of danger to him unsupervised. Suddenly, I hear notes begin to resonate from the piano. Not banging or clanging but one note at a time. Some Staccato. Some Fermata. Soft and contemplative. I run to the piano and am joined by my youngest daughter. Astonished, we both recognize this holy moment. We sit quietly and listen as the ‘recital’ continues. After minutes go by, my daughter speaks. “Mom, this is another miracle!” She recounts how my son recently pedaled a bicycle and walked down his high school hallway in his gait trainer in physical therapy. How he wheeled his way to the refrigerator and pushed the ice dispenser. How he made his way to the stove the day after he saw me cleaning it, and took out the element and played with the drip pan. She notes how these have mostly occurred in the last few months.
My thoughts go back to earlier stages of our journey. The initial terminal and progressive prognoses. The useless and unconstructive diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. Our son’s inability to hold up his head in infancy. How hard it was for him to reach and grab for things as a toddler. The continuous wondering what he was able to understand when there were no signs of comprehension. His first wheel chair at the age of 6. His inability to move himself while in his wheel chair until just a short time ago. And NOW, THIS evening–he moves himself decisively, determined and curious–right up to a piano–with understanding and purpose!
Hope is reinstated. My soul is refreshed. I am invigorated. This impending graduation is NOT the commencement of misery–It is the Commencement of Miracles! LH
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