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By Hook or By Crook

So here is the conundrum that has been baffling me for a while now.

In the special needs world, there is this phenomenon of insanely fierce and possessive love that some parents have for their special children. It defies logic, physics, and sometimes even common sense. It is that head scratcher that makes doctors shrug in exasperation when parents refuse life support because of extra pain, or vice versa, keeping machines going long after all visible signs of life are gone. It is the soul shattering dilemma of abortion, it is the mother bear on steroids who bellows in fear and rage at a stranger. It is the mutant strength which defies physics and can lift cars and move mountains. But it is also a double edged sword which cuts the wielder as well.

Our special children often call out this hurricane of love in us, which as often as it keeps them safe; focused in the eye of the storm, it nevertheless, throws and catches in its windy maelstrom everything outside.

85% of marriages with a special needs child end up in divorce.

I stumbled across a online thread this morning which was all about mothers of special children who were left, or did the leaving themselves, resulting in a often and very real hardship of providing for and taking care of children completely on their own. Young mothers, older mothers, complaining about the hardship of living, but never ever about the hardship of loving their child. The hurricane is merciless and yet, the eye of the storm is beautiful, peaceful, and serene.

You see my confusion? How can it be, that though our children become our life, teach us all these life lessons, and yet we can remain in darkness. For sure, there are some marriages that probably are hopeless, especially when quality of life is threatened, but how can it be that 85% fall apart?

I can't claim the blissful happily every after in our own marriage, I can't imagine anybody really can, but I'm saddened by the hardness and finality of a mother fending for her young, hurt and alone.

But I'm also amazed by the incredible drive and love that they posses to keep going, cheerfully most of the time, and have the ability to say: it was all for the best. And yet at the same time, I don't believe them, and that perhaps, is my own weakness and insecurity. I know now, better then to judge another person in time of extreme stress.

Sometimes I find myself wondering if the "by hook or by crook," is really the way to go. Fighting for every breath, fighting circumstance and forcing one self to "snap out of it" and keep going, ignoring the mud sucking at your boots. If our mother-love is so focused that it parches all the ground around the one precious tiny patch of green, can that really be the only and best option?

I love my Leo more then life itself, but is that right? Shouldn't my love expand to include as many as I can in the "eye" of my storm? And shouldn't I, above all else, love our God more? If this can be; if it is possible for us this day and age, I think it should be so.

There is this viral National Geographic video of a young female leopard, who on making one of her first kills, discovers a newborn baby baboon nestled in the fur of its mother's dead body. It's astounding to see how the young leopard first protects the baby from a nearby hyena, and then proceeds to carry it to safety and spend the night gently trying to mother it. It's astounding because it's very clear to see the confusion of the leopard. She doesn't know what to do. She suddenly is filled with an instinct to protect something which should have been a tea time snack. Perhaps one could say, her biological clock is ticking so she can't help feeling that way towards a baby. But the fact still remains, that this is not a baby of her species and that she just killed and ate its mother. As different as night and day, and yet, she is confounded by the maternal feelings of compassion and love, that she suddenly has for it.  I don't know what happens later, I can only assume that the baby baboon dies eventually, but that for those few precious hours, it feels comforted and safe. I am reminded again, of this crazy love thing, and how powerful it is. How mysterious and how worth nurturing, even for just a sliver of it.

How incredible to share it. Perhaps that is the only way to wield the double edged sword safety. It is the only Christian way to love. Love with your heart wide open, and in God's name, and then maybe miracles will happen.


  1. wow; what a sad statistic. :( May God always protect your family...


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