Late Spring 2008

Dear Friends

So often our society feeds us the line ''He/She is a true hero.'' The word ''hero'' is applied to professional athletes, celebrities, or people who have gained notoriety for one reason or another. Rarely is it a ''true hero'' situation. If we look around our own lives, at our own friends, our own neighborhoods, there is where we can find the true, unsung, everyday heroes.

One of my closest friends is the single mother of a handicapped child. The other day she told me about taking this child to a doctor's appointment. I sat there in disbelief listening to the details. Her daughter is now 16 years old. Taking your 3-year-old handicapped child to the doctor is one thing, but once that child is almost a full grown adult, as big as her mother, the task takes on a whole new dimension.

Kathryn is profoundly disabled. You can't reason with her, you can't cajole her; you can't really communicate with her at all. My friend basically has to physically maneuver her into doing what is needed. When Kathryn decided between floors that she wanted to open the elevator doors and get out, my friend had to stop her, using every bit of strength in her body.

Although Kathryn has an entourage of people tending to her physical needs, my friend doesn't have anyone in her life to share in the sadness, the scary times, the decisions that need to be made, and conversely, she has no one to share in the small joys when Kathryn makes a little progress or smiles her big smile, or seems to finally grasp a concept she has been struggling with. She has no one to sing silly songs to Kathryn with, no one to go on the car rides that Kathryn loves so much -- she does this all by herself. But you know what? I have never, ever heard her complain about any of these things. Kathryn is her daughter and like any mother, she'll do whatever needs to be done to ensure the well-being of her child.

Now, my friend isn't a hero because she does what any mother would do. She is a hero because she does it all alone and never loses sight of what is really important. She loves Kathryn, and that is all that matters. Often, I ask myself what I would do in her shoes. Would I be that brave? Could I take care of a profoundly handicapped child alone for even an hour? Could I do it with a smile on my face and a song in my heart as she does? To be honest, I just don't know.

My friend is someone I look up to as a hero. She is a person I try to emulate when faced with a daunting task -- if she can do what she does, then I have nothing to complain or whine about. This spring, let's try to identify the true heroes in our lives and appreciate them, help them when possible, and try to pattern a bit more of our own lives after theirs.

Other Issues:
From our archives -- Offering Wisdom to New Moms

From our archives -- The Best Good Deed

From our archives -- Embracing the Wonder of Children

From our archives -- Encouraging children to live their bliss

From our archives

Holiday 2013 -- Embracing the World of Wonder

Winter 2013 -- Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving

Fall 2013 -- Finding Beauty in the Everyday Tasks

Late Summer 2013 - Taking Our Own Advice

Midsummer 2013 -- Appreciating Nature's Bounty

Early Summer 2013 -- Being Prepared

Late Spring 2013 -- Having Realistic Expectations

Spring 2013 -- Offering Mothering Wisdom

Early Spring 2013 -- Being True to Our Nature

Holiday 2012 -- Appreciate the Goodness

Winter 2012 -- Enjoying the Anticipation

Early Fall 2012 -- Looking Back to Appreciate Now

Summer 2012 -- Chinaberry's History & Future

Early Summer 2012 -- My Dad

Late Spring 2012 -- My Satisfying Yet Untraditional Upbringing

Spring 2012 - The Consequences of Our Actions

Early Spring 2012 - Learning From Experience

Winter 2011 - The Small Moments

Holiday 2011 - The Good Deed

Fall 2011 - Gratitude

Late Summer 2011 - Overwhelmed? You're Not Alone.

Midsummer 2011 - Louise's Gallery

Early Summer 2011 - Flying 101: Giving Them Wings

Late Spring 2011 - Letting Them Fail

Spring 2011

Early Spring 2011 - Encouraging Your Kids to Live Their Bliss

Fall 2010 - The Chinaberry Commitment

Late Summer 2010 - In the Blink of an Eye

Midsummer 2010 - It's Her Story

Early Summer 2010 - Weathering the Storm

Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Enjoy the Ride

Early Spring 2010 - Enter the Land of Dirt and Bugs

Winter 2009 - Less Cleaning, More Meaning

Holiday 2009 - Finding Gratitude Every Day

Fall 2009 - Teaching Children Through Our Actions

Late Summer 2009 - A Spoonful of Sugar

Midsummer 2009 - Give Your Kids the Gift of Boredom this Summer

Early Summer 2009 - Who's the Kid and Who's the Parent?

Late Spring 2009 - Making Connections

Spring 2009 - Fully Engaging With Our Children

Early Spring 2009 - Building Character While Playing Characters

Winter 2008 - Never Underestimate the Value of a Good Hello

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