What if the words you wanted to say, the thoughts you wanted to share never went past your lips?
What if you could never express your desires, your needs?
What if you couldn't take even a single step? Not away from danger or toward what you wanted.
What if no one saw you?
What if no one knew the creativity, the ideas, the brilliance within you?
What if the dreams you shared when you fell in love shattered? When your belly rounded with child and your partner whispered sweet nothings to the person growing within this wasn't what you'd bargained for.
When you dreamt of your little princess you didn't know she may never move. She may never run into your arms and give you a tight hug.
When you bought onesies with balls on them you didn't think your son may never speak. He may never tell you how his day was or that he loves you.
A marriage, already so hard that most people don't survive it, you didn't know that having a child will put an end to your personal life. You won't have time for yourselves or each other.
Suddenly the problems that regular people face seem so trivial. "Cheated on me", "Works too much", "Spends too much".
And yet when I look at you, through the stress I see strength. I see solidarity. I see two people who have come to love each other more deeply because of your child. Because of what each of you give and give up for your child. I see pure pleasure as you encourage your baby to move towards the next goal. I see the affection in the way you touch her hair, the way she puts her head in your lap, in the way you smile and talk when your baby sleeps after an exhausting day. And I see, always, faith. Undeniable faith that you, all of you, will make it.
If there is love out there, this is the kind I want.
I spent five days at the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, with twelve families from around the world there with their brain-injured children. It was one of the most deeply moving experiences of my life. I returned feeling blessed and thankful for everything I have in my life while at the same time wishing I had a partner like the ones I saw there. This post is for them.