Saturday, November 14, 2009

Flowers Grow on a Bed of Tragic Family Loss

When I was in high school and college, almost all of my friends were Korean American. High school was an especially painful time for me and I got through it because I found some friends with whom I could relate.

I didn't have to sheepishly ask them to take off their shoes when they came into my house. I could open the fridge and feed them whatever Korean food I had to reheat and I didn't have to explain what it was and if it was spicy. I also could freely talk about my feelings on race and culture and never felt the need to be politically correct. Everything was understood.

I guess we all go through these new definitions of self-identity and it's always a blessing to find a kindred spirit with whom to cry and laugh. This happened to me not just in high school but also when I became a mom and then again when I became a mom of special needs children.

However, some unexpected things happened to me when I started this blog. Other mom bloggers contacted me and we quickly became friends. In my neighborhood, strangers came up to me and started chatting with me about holding it together as we try to be good moms. The next thing you know, I have more friends than I ever did and they weren't necessarily mothers of special needs kids like mine.

I write this today because I want to talk about a very special person I know who started a blog recently. Samantha recently lost her husband to suicide and he left behind one teenage child and two young children. Moreover, her husband was the breadwinner in the family.

I say she is special because she is the first person who came up and talked to me when I joined my neighborhood membership park. When I wrote on our neighborhood mom online group that I was seeking other moms with ADHD kids, she connected me with a relative right away. She is always trying to help.

Samantha is the kind of person that I envy. She is energetic, has great kids (who listen), has long curly locks of fiery red hair at which you just can't help but stare. She also she sips away at her Diet Coke so incessantly that you wish you too could enjoy something that much. One day, she came up to me with tears in her eyes and just gave me a hug because she read about my pain and my lessons through my blog and let me know that I had touched her life in some way. I don't know many people who are fearless and loving like her. We aren't close friends but you don't have to be close to her to know how special she is.

Now this beautiful loving spirit is challenged with such unimaginable sadness. It's the kind of sadness that we could never know even if your life as a special needs parent is incredibly hard. So what does she do with this tragedy? She shares it and spreads hope and energy to others. I absolutely love her writing. Each post is as admirable as it is touching. One of my favorites is this one about her new sense of community. Samantha, I wish you the kind of healing that will make you ten times stronger than you were before this happened to you. You have a beautiful heart.

Photo: Hanging on Spencer's stroller is the scooter she gave me when she found out I was looking for a used "first" scooter for Spencer. He's pictured here in our park where she was the first person to extend a warm greeting to me. I'm sure she didn't know how nervous I was being newcomer with a child who occasionally hurt others in the playground.


maniacal groomer said...

Thanks for letting us know about this blog. I forwarded the link to a friend that lost his dad to suicide a year ago and is looking desperately for sources online to find some way to deal with the process of mourning.

Hartley said...

Finding people who aren't raising kiddos like ours, yet are compassionate and empathetic in a way that allows them to "get" us, are so few and far between.

Give her my best--please really do--and my heart and prayers go out to her.

I will check out here blog.


Knowledge Safari said...

That is a powerful post. Thanks for sharing.

We are launching a new social network for parents/families with children who have special needs. launching early 2010! In the meantime we are blogging at Looking forward to reading more about you and your fmaily. I will link your blog to ours! :)