April showers bring May flowers…and it doesn’t rain on Monica’s parade. Last weekend, Monica and I went to see Singing in the Rain at a nearby high school. The performance was very professional and a delight. Monica was dancing out … Continue reading
What is Monica doing on World Down Syndrome Day? Since we haven’t posted in a while, here are some notes about a typical day with Monica. After making her bed, Monica donned the crazy socks to start the day – … Continue reading
It is truly delightful when Monica conveys that she grasps a concept, a way of understanding, which is not concrete, such as in daily routines. We have often experienced that Monica understands concepts better than she is able to express … Continue reading
On Friday, January 19th, Monica participated in the March for Life with her brother Greg and her mom and dad. The foursome drove to Washington DC on Thursday and started Friday with holy mass to pray for the unborn. … Continue reading
The human individual, made in the image of God; not some thing but some one, a unity of spirit and matter, soul and body, capable of knowledge, self-possession, and freedom, who can enter into communion with other persons – and … Continue reading
When Monica’s cousin got married in February, she wanted to go! Monica’s mom was still too ill to travel but Monica’s brother said he would take Monica. But – how could she go? Monica’s brother lives in New York City … Continue reading
A reader of this blog might wonder, what has Monica been doing the past many months?
When Monica’s family was visiting relatives in England in December, Monica and her mom had hoped to be a comfort or a help in her aunt’s valiant fight with cancer. Instead, Monica’s mom herself had to be hospitalized with serious medical issues. Monica and her younger brothers had to return to the States alone to get back to work or school, while their dad stayed with their mom. It was a serious adventure, rather than a fun, exciting one they might have loved to take. The three of them took a train, transferred trains, rode the underground (the Tube), then stayed alone in a hotel, then rode a plane to Toronto, found the car in the park-n-fly lot, and drove four hours to home. They cooperated as a team with no problems. They also had a great prayer team at home and in England storming the heavens for their safety and their Mom’s healing.
When arriving home, the three found Grandma and their older siblings had already mobilized to keep the family together while Mom and Dad were still managing medical challenges. Monica had to adapt to many changes. Dad brought Mom home to Ohio in a Life flight.
After a week in the hospital, she was moved to a rehab facility. Monica had to see her mother unconscious, then regaining consciousness, but unable to do many things. Monica wrote notes to her mom and prayed for her with the family. When her friends took her to dinner, she invited them to the rehab center to visit her mom too.
Mom came home faster than anyone could have hoped; thankful for the miracle of the perseverance of Monica’s dad to get the right medical attention, the miracle of all the connections among family and community providing such amazing prayerful support and the miracle of healing.
Monica found her mother mostly on the couch and it was Grandma doing the driving, shopping, laundry and organizing the house.
Monica had a little trouble adjusting. At the same time, Monica had work changes: a new work location, a new supervisor, a new van driver. Monica was not able to describe how these changes were stressful for her, so it came out in some disagreeability and difficulty cooperating – some just going to her room and closing the door.
As things settled down for her, Monica began showing more and more compassion to her mom.
When arriving home from work, Monica goes right to her Mom to see if she needs a drink, or Tylenol, or another blanket. Monica increased her determination to complete more household chores. Monica began calling her mother every day from work during her breaks and lunch to check on her. When Grandma had to leave, Monica immediately started making breakfast for her mom every morning.
So much to be thankful for!
Monica and her family attended a Pilgrimage of Mercy on Saturday, October 8, 2016. It was organized by the Cleveland Diocese and the Faith & Light group, which is part of L’Arche and open to people with disabilities and their … Continue reading
Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche, felt everyone, regardless of ability, should be given an opportunity for spiritual growth and expression. Out of that conviction came a retreat and small group experience called Faith and Sharing. In many cities in which … Continue reading