Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Love is all you need

Sometimes light bulb moments come from unexpected sources.  Who would have thought a politician could leave a lasting impression on the way I view disability?

Most Australians will remember former politician Kim Beazley.  I don't remember much about his politics, but I do remember that when he retired it was also reported in the media that his brother had died.  His much loved brother - who happened to have an intellectual disability.

Those words struck me at the time - his much loved brother.

At the time we were still new to the world of disability and I was coming to terms with what it would mean to have a child with a disability, and what it would mean for my children to have a sibling with a disability.  Would they miss out in some way?  Would they be unhappy?  Would they be resentful?  

The testimony of love for Kim Beazley's brother gave me instant clarity.

Love is the answer!

Love is what I want for our family and for my children!

I want our family to be defined by love rather than by disability or hardship.  I want my children to 'just love' their sister.  I don't want them to feel burdened by her disability or to see her as a tragedy.  I want them to just love her, and one day if she leaves this world before them for them to remember her fondly as their much loved sister.

I am getting lots of things wrong as a parent particularly as the tween years approach, but on this front I think we are doing OK.  Emma and Audrey aren't frustrated or angry that they have a sister with a disability - they love her.  

They just love her.

To check that I wasn't just projecting my wishes onto our family I asked each of them what it was like having Ashlea as a sister.

Their response?

It's awesome.

They also said it was funny.  And loud.

But both of them gave 'awesome' as their first response.

She is their much loved sister.

Thank you to the Beazley family for reminding me that LOVE is the key.


Sasha said...

Thank you for for this - I needed to read it. Our 6 yr old son has refractory epilepsy syndrome. He misses out on a lot, but his sister moreso, I think, because of all the time in hospitals, appointments, and places we don't go. But she sits on the couch and reads his favourite ninja turtles cartoon to him over and over again, with a smile on her face and cuddle for him. It's beautiful, and love really does make up for a lot of stuff.

Alicia - OneMotherHen said...

I think you are doing an amazing job of getting things right x

Anonymous said...

So nicely written from Fay.

Anonymous said...

Love this!