Monday, April 28, 2008


What is it about the world that it's trying to break my heart with all these parent-child stories? (I won't even get into that hideous Austrian about the face of sheer evil.)

Matt Logelin's beautiful wife, Liz, died of a pulmonary embolism (the same thing that killed my friend Ann) the day after their daughter Madeleine was born. This Star Tribune article, and his blog, make my heart ache. Here I am worrying about things like going back to work and childcare for Miss Kelly and getting her to eat solid food and then I read this and realize I have no problems, none at all.

And the Seattle Times has two articles on parents who have raised disabled children well into adulthood. As the parents age, they worry about what will happen to these children, who cannot live on their own. The first article is about James Jensen, who has Down syndrome, and the second is about Ronny Johnson, who has autism. Their parents' devotion shines through every word of each piece, and it drives me crazy that we spend so much money on wasteful things in this country and there is not enough help for this kind of need.


Norma said...

I can relate to the siblings in the Ronny Johnson story. I have an older sister (35) who is epileptic and slighty developmentally challenged. It's like she's REALLY immature for her age. She's on state disability and has never left home. However, my father passed away 7 years ago and now my mom is solely responsible. I know, unfortunately, one day my mom won't be around, but I don't want to take over caring for my sister. I'm 30 now and just starting to try to get a lot of my own life together. My sister and I were never really close and she can be very much like a bratty child, ride and disrespectful. I can only hope that there will be somewhere for her to go when my mother is no longer around.

Anonymous said...

I work for a non-profit organizatiom providing programs, services, and support for the developmentally disabled. The residents in our homes are encouraged to be as independent ast possible. They are happy and healthy and have more of a social life than I do. I feel sorry for the consumers who do not have the opportunity to live in a group home. They blossom and grow when they get to feel "grown-up" and in charge of their own lives. I admire the families that keep their children home. Certainly they should be with their families until they reach adulthood, if possible, but once they reach adulthood they should be given the same opportunities to spread their wings and fly.

Jo Anne said...

As a parent of a specials need child, who is 23, I can relate to those parents. Currently he is attending the local university, living in the dorms, with home health aides that come in to feed him and he is just thriving. He plans to get his own apartment after he graduates from college, but I do see parents every day that are rasing thier special needs child and my heart just breaks for them. I just really wonder what will happen to that child when the parent passes on.

Susan said...

Thanks for posting these stories. They were really moving and eye-opening.