Happy Birthday

So here we are. A year on from the day we found out that little Alice couldn’t hear.

What has changed?

Well little Alice isn’t so little any more, but more to the point, our eyes have been opened and we are tired – very tired.

That said, the journey we have been on has been incredible, and the people we have met along the way have been an inspiration.

If you had told me 366 days ago that the past year would have panned out the way it has, I would have laughed in your face. Out perfect little daughter was not as she seemed – perfect nonetheless, but with a problem we neither contemplated nor understood. Alice’s dear Granny was still with us, telling us that there was nothing to worry about and life – well life was just ordinary.

And here we are now. Back at our flat in Devon – the same flat we retreated to last year when we first found out about Alice’s deafness, yet in a lot of ways I wouldn’t change what has happened for the world. In a perverse sense, whilst I would give Alice the new batteries she needs for her ears tomorrow and would never wish this upon anyone, I feel enriched by the experience – dare I say it, a better person for it.

And Alice…..well Alice is all the more special and that is something we can never take away from her. She is a wonder. A phenomenal young lady who proves every second of every day that whatever life throws at her, she will continue to stun us all.

Darling Alice. If one day you read this, I love you more than you will ever know and I hope one day you forgive us for the way this all panned out.

Inspiration for an average Tuesday

A blog fulfils many needs.  For us it was an easy way of keeping friends and family updated with the daily changes in Alice’s life and sometimes it is a place to scream at the world for the inequality.  But sometimes it is nice to take a step back.  So a poem for you all.  The poem was originally called the Special Mother, but I think family is more appropriate. …

The Special Mother by Erma Bombeck

Did you ever wonder how the parents 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; son. Patron saint…give Gerard. He’s used to profanity.”

“Forrest; daughter. Patron saint, Cecelia.”

“Rutledge; twins. Patron saint, Matthew.”

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

The angel is curious. “Why them God? They’re so happy.”

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

“But have they patience?” asks the angel.

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

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

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

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

“I will permit them to see clearly the things I see…ignorance, cruelty, prejudice….and allow them to rise above. They will never be alone. I will be at their side every minute of every day of their life, because they are doing my work as surely as if they were here by my side”.

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

God smiles, “A mirror will suffice.”

Now  I don’t necessarily agree that we are Saints, far from it, Alice is hard work and we are knackered by the end of the day.  A small example for you,   Alice you stay in bed, don’t keep wandering around and go to sleep, don’t get up until 7am.  Now try that with limited language and no signing…… to a 2 year old

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