Fiona Midori King

Fiona Midori King

Hope 4 Fiona

The Special Mom, by Erma Bombeck - Wednesday August 22, 2012


The Special Mom, by Erma Bombeck

I want to share my favorite Erma Bombeck writing about "special" Moms
in honor of Mother's Day.
I must note that I disagree with Erma on one part of this piece- that
we (mothers of children with special needs or terminally ill children) are not saints; I believe that
we are just doing what any parent would do. For the most part, Erma
has perfectly described all that God has shown me in my very special
daughter. Happy Mother's Day!

Most women become a mother by accident, some by choice, a few by
social pressures and a couple by habit. This year, nearly 100,000
women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder
how these mothers of handicapped children are chosen? Somehow I
visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for
propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He
instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.
“Armstrong ,Beth: son: patron saint…give her Gerard. He’s used to profanity”
Finally he passes a name to an angel and smiles. “Give her a blind child.”
The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She’s so happy.”
“Exactly.” says God. “Could I give a child with a handicap to a mother
who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.”
“But has she patience?” asks the angel.
“I don’t want her to have too much patience, or she will drown in a
sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off,
she’ll handle it.”
“But Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.”
God smiles. “No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has
just enough selfishness.”
The angel gasps. “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?”
God nods. “If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally,
she’ll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with the
child less than perfect. She doesn’t realize it yet, but she is to be
She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider
a step ordinary. When her child says ‘Momma’ for the first time, she
will be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or
a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my
“I will permit her to see clearly the things I see – ignorance,
cruelty, prejudice –and allow her to rise above them. She will never
be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life,
because she is doing my work assuredly as she is here by my side.”
“And what about her patron saint?” asks the angel, pen poised in midair.
God smiles. “A mirror will suffice.”

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