This past weekend I went to the Abilities Expo in Edison, New Jersey. If you’ve never attended before, there are a bunch of different dealers and others who have products and services for people living with disabilities. I had an interaction with a young man aged 22. Eight months ago he was shot and became paralyzed as a result. I could see in his eyes that he was angry. Justifiably, but he could not get past his anger and this was evident when we spoke. I was honest with regards to his future. I emphasized that it is not going to be an easy existence, but it can be rewarding and most definitely worth the effort.
A short time later I had him follow me to a gentleman I had spoken with earlier. Frank was an advocate for people with disabilities. During the short time I spent with them I could see a positive motivating demeanor and message that would be great for this particular young man.
As they continued to speak I slid into the background. I noticed his mother standing over to the side and I went to speak with her. She told me how he was having trouble moving forward. As she was speaking I could see her eyes start to fill up. She also mentioned that she was very surprised he spoke to me and actually followed me over here. I tried to reassure her that he will find his direction and it will take some time. He had a very nice conversation with Frank and we exchanged information in case he ever needed anything.
I remember in my interaction with his mother saying how he had the most difficult job in this journey. But I also told her that she had the second most difficult path moving forward. There is a special bond between a mother and a child and that is only enhanced when the child is suffering. So often I see those who have been injured and struggling, unable to express their true feelings as a result of their circumstances. Those mothers may never get to hear the words, Thank You. Sometimes we don’t communicate gratitude or we even lash out at the parents. I understand.
Since this is Mother’s Day, from me to all the mothers watching their child go through the challenges of SCI and experiencing their own (and to my own mother), I have a message:
“Mom! You feel all of my pain and you find any way to help alleviate my path. When frustration related to circumstances are outwardly expressed, you are often the one who is the recipient of those emotions. I also see the look in your eyes of Pride and Joy whenever you speak of my accomplishments. To be able to say thank you does not even remotely express the feelings of love and appreciation that I have for you. On this Mother’s Day I hope this expression of love puts a smile on your face because you always put a smile on mine.”
Written by Michael Maruzzi