Friday, 16 September 2011

Special Saturday - Has Your Child With Special Needs Changed Your Life?

Regular readers of my blog know the answer to this question. There is only one answer - YES!!!!! It would be easier to list what is still the same in our lives than list what has changed because almost nothing is the same.

The day before Cameron got sick we lived in a little mining town in a unit with our name on a waiting list to move in to our first family home. My Marvellous Man was working in his field of choice and had his eye on his future while working towards it. I was teaching part time Kindergarten and loving it. I was  setting goals for my career and working towards them. At the same time I was also working two party sales jobs and doing really well. (Although, I'm a lousy recruiter - sales is my thing.)

We had money in the bank and an investment house rented so we could secure our future. We had plans for our future and the thought in the back of our minds that we would grow our family again in a few years.

We were deliriously happy and content with life. We were so excited and happy to be parents at last and our baby was perfect as all babies are in the eyes of their parents. Our families were supportive and we saw them as often as we could. Our friends were fantastic and we had a great social life. We had holidays and fun, time for ourselves and time for each other. We didn't foresee a real problem in the world for us.

In the blink of an eye it all changed. My career was gone, our home was gone, our son as we knew him was gone. Our money disappeared very quickly and then the investment house was sold along with our second car. My Marvellous Man became a fly in fly out worker which is not the best arrangement for our family and it took a year and a big pay cut for him to find a job so we could be reunited as a family permanently. I became a single parent for a year - not something I would choose willingly, it's too hard.

We lost friends, our freedom and our sense of peace and contentment. We didn't know what was going to happen from one day to the next and life became all about stress and timetabling.

However despite all that not all change is bad. My Marvellous Man and I have changed as people and even though I believe we were good people before Cameron got sick I think we are better people  now. We think about life in a much deeper way and have an even greater compassion for others.

Because of what happened to Cameron it was eight years before we had our second child, not the planned three or four years. If we hadn't waited eight years we wouldn't have My Little Angel and although I'm sure we would have loved the child we would have had I'm not sure that we would have appreciated that child in quite the way we appreciate My Little Angel. Plus, to be honest, I think she is supposed to be in our lives to teach us a few more lessons we've missed along the way. She challenges me in ways I never imagined and teaches me that Cameron hasn't used up every challenging behaviour in the book - shockingly there are still more!

You are moulded by the journey of your life and because my journey has taken an unexpected path I have had to search my soul to study my beliefs deeply and to assess my values and what I cherish the most in life. I am truly grateful for the growth I have made as an individual, I know what I believe and I know what I believe is important and if anything that is what Cameron has changed the most about my life. I am very lucky.


This blog post is part of the awareness raising campaign - Special Saturday - raising awareness of people living with special needs around the globe.

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  1. A thought provoking post Jane. It is amazing how much life does change and it takes a special person to appreciate the positive changes. Thanks for sharing. x

  2. Cameron is such a special part of so many lives because of his personality and spirit. But also by his very presence he reminds us of the fragility of life and to appreciate the gifts we have. And you were both always wonderful, now you're wonderfuller! <3

  3. Thank you for your lovely comments.