I’ve been a special needs parent for longer than some people and short than others. Sometimes I miss my old “normal” life. I miss things being simple, at least comparatively speaking, to the way they are now.
I miss having friends. I miss having a career and brotherhood of the fire department.
I miss being financially secure and the ability to plan for my future without having to worry about making sure we don’t lose insurance coverage for the kids. I miss not knowing what half of the medical conditions we deal with every day now, are.
I miss being able to pick up and go camping or going to work out, without having to worry about anything.
I miss having hair and being in shape, both of which have long since run away due to the constant stress. I miss seeing my family and being able to did things together. I miss getting up in the morning and not knowing what the day was going to bring me.
Being a special needs parents x3 is easily one if the most difficult things I have ever attempted to do in my life.
It’s like having 3 full time jobs, all at the same time. The hours suck and the pay is terrible. The stress of everything has my BP to high and I don’t sleep well, ever. There are no promotions and no pay raises or retirement benefits.
However, the rewards are many. These rewards hold no cash value and won’t pay the mortgage. I can’t trade them in for airline tickets or free gas for my car.
At the same time, these rewards are priceless. My appreciation for life is immense and I get to realize just how important the little things are. I get to experience truly unconditional love and acceptance. I also get to see the world in a very different way than many other people ever will.
When it comes down to it, while I do miss many things from my past, I would never change one moment from my past for any of my present and future moments.
It’s human to miss the things that have long since come and gone. So I feel no guilt for the things that I miss. I chose to embrace these feelings so that I control them, instead of the other way around.