Prayer for Parents of Special Needs Children
Have you ever had a nightmare; and when you woke up, you kept telling yourself, “It wasn’t real?” You kept saying, “Everything is ok!” But you could not seem to shake the awful feeling because in the nightmare it WAS so real, and you were terrified.
That is the emotion my parents lived through Wednesday evening when Berkeley disappeared – didn’t make it home from work. Only this was not a dream, and no one could locate him. Phone calls flew back and forth. The hour grew later, and the company responsible for his transportation did a city wide search of their vehicles. Berkeley wasn’t on any of the busses. He wasn’t at his job site. The transportation department called my parents once more. They asked for a description of the clothes he wore that day. “We need it for the missing person’s report,” they told my parents. At that moment, every worst case scenario ran through their heads.
Safeguards had been in place, but they had obviously failed. Helpless does not begin to describe the feeling.
Berkeley was eventually located – safe and unharmed. His bus had never come to pick him up – he saw a different bus – a shuttle bus that looked a lot like his bus. He got on it, but when it didn’t take him home, he got off of it and on to another. We don’t know how many times he changed shuttles. We just know he somehow made it from Issaquah to Redmond.
Most people cannot understand Berkeley when he speaks; so he had to just keep going on alone. Finally, a kind and observant woman realized something was wrong. Berkeley was struggling with his phone. He couldn’t remember how to make an outgoing call, and it had somehow been turned to silent so he couldn’t hear it ring. This woman called my parents and kept Berkeley safe while they rushed to pick him up. Berkeley hasn’t been able to stop hugging them ever since.
I’ve seen a lot of Facebook posts these last few days. They are posts of parents dropping their kids off at college – grieving because their babies have grown up much, much too fast. AND what a legitimate emotion that is, but it is not something some parents, my parents, ever got to do. On Wednesday, it slammed home in a way that is so very real. Berkeley will NEVER grow up, and he will ALWAYS need extra care.
As a family we have always seen Berkeley as a special gift from God. We wouldn’t trade him away for anything or anybody because he has made our lives better in so many ways. But this is what I am wanting to say, the parenting never ends. I am asking you to remember to pray for the moms and dads whose babies never really grow up.