Thank you to Joan www.Luke14Echange.org for publishing this story orginally.
My daughter came as an unexpected gift. As a woman with cerebral palsy, people didn’t think I could birth or raise a child. So I never dreamed of being a mother but God is full of surprises. After a normal pregnancy, I walked into the hospital. Rachael was born a week early. When my mom heard the news, she drove from Montana to Oregon in record time. With her arms full of gifts from friends and family, she arrived at the hospital smiling from ear to ear.
When we got home from the hospital reality set in. Frustration over the inability to change my baby overwhelmed me. I burst into tears. Sobbing, yet I resolved that no 2-week-old baby is going to get the best of me. Day by day, Mom and I developed ways I could care for my precious newborn. My dear Mom has always tried to help make my life easier. One of the ways she did this was to put Velcro on Rachael’s clothes. As my little girl grew, she learned to be a team player. I couldn’t use both hands to pick her up, like most people would do. So to get her out of the crib, she leaned on my right arm, and that’s how we did it “our way” so I could lift her with my other hand between her legs.
As my big helper, she might have been the only kid allowed to stand on the cupboards to reach the dishes.
Mom visited as long as she could but eventually she had to go back to the family farm in Montana. I hired caregivers to do many of the things that mothers need to do. This meant that there was always someone else with us on our adventures. But we developed a strong mother-daughter bond.
The year I turned 50 I knew Rachael would go to Disneyland with her freshman band. I didn’t want her first theme park adventure to be without me. Because there are some adventures mothers like to do with their children first. Before her scheduled trip, I asked one of my best friends to go with us to Disneyland. It brought me great joy to see my daughter have fun and not worry about taking care of me. The three of us played hard and went on all sorts of rides. When we were ready to go home, my friend, JoAnn, laughed and said, “I don’t really like rides but I didn’t want you to show me up.”
Fast Forward 20 years, my daughter drove me and my three grandchildren from Colorado to Montana to visit my mother, Great Grandma Elaine. It was no easy trek. Even the pitstops for gasoline were an adventure with three young kids under the age of 8. They all took turns climbing on the scooter with me, laughing and smiling. What an amazing blessing, four generations together. The kids loved to chase the kittens at the wheat farm and loved to swim in the community pool while Great Grandma coached them.
Even the difficult things in life can be gifts when we see how God uses them to teach us about His goodness. God richly blessed me with the amazing mother He gave me, and again by the unexpected gift of being Rachael’s mom.