Last month I was standing at the Starbucks, getting my pumpkin latte (fat free) and I heard Al Green's song "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart". It just stuck in my head. I downloaded a version on my itunes. Al Green is one of my favorites and this song is so beautiful. It struck me in so many ways. I know that many of us as parents of different ability children go through mourning. We experience all the stages of grief, sometimes at the same time. There is anger, denial, bargaining, depression and acceptance. We experience these emotions at different times, come to acceptance only to have another crisis and resume the cycle again. So I was wondering, how do you mend a broken hearted parent? I always thought this group would help with the process. I really hoped that strength in number would erase the pain many parents have in regards to their child's education and how difficult the special education process can be for many of us. Of course I know their pain can NEVER be taken away. Each of us goes through this cycle in our own way, in our own time. Being the nurse who wants to "FIX" everything, this still was one of my hopes. Then our group suffered several set backs. I was in the melancholy mood when I heard this song, which is why it probably struck me so profoundly that day.
One line in the song states, "no one told us about the sorrow". Which I think is true of many parents dealing with these issues.
Then I think of my cardiology (heart) background. Once you have a heart attack, your heart muscle starts to repair itself. With modern medicine and medication, the heart becomes strong again. Without the medicine, without treatment, the heart repairs itself in a way that weakens the muscle, stretches the heart, and causes heart failure. This is well studied, well researched, well documented. Of course, it is not so simple, but that is the basis. I of course want that simple formula for my son. I want that formula for his education. I want that formula for parenting some times. It is not there. It is not that simple. I have spent the last few years building my community of support not only for my son, but for myself and my family. The kind of community I want RAIN to be for people who need it. The community that will help fix a broken education system. The community that will educate parents to be advocates, support parents so their children can mend in a way that is healthy, so parents can help each other mend in a healthy manner. We don't need to mend in an unhealthy manner, we don't need to mend on our own, we don't need to deny our broken hearts. We have the resources, we have the support to help each other mend our broken hearts and heal the sorrow, which is part of parenting. We can come together like last night with positive energy and help each other out, empower each other and support each other. "How can we mend a broken heart?" Build a community.