Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: What the World Needs Now

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What the World Needs Now

Today was Bev's final home therapy visit. She left with tears in her eyes. When we said our goodbyes, I believe I hugged her longer than I have hugged anyone outside of my immediate family.

Last year Bev watched me burst into tears and run into the privacy of my bathroom the week we received our diagnosis. I had met her merely days before. At the time, I was in shock and could not make my mind wrap around what was happening to us. I had traveled to the children's hospital after seeing photos on line of babies that looked just like mine and knew in my heart my worst case scenario would soon unfold in front of me like a nightmare. Bev watched it happen with me. She brought a nurse to our house to provide counseling and answer my questions. I vaguely remember the nurse very matter-of-factly stating she had worked with another child with WS in the past and that Erik would be "just fine." Despite the fact she was probably a truly lovely person, I felt like punching her repeatedly in the face and watching her teeth skitter across the coffee table. Unfortunately, Bev was next on my list. After the nurse was only a distant memory, Bev remained assigned to help us in our home and at the early intervention facility over the coming weeks and months. She listened to my concerns and worked with Erik's slowly awakening body and mind for months. Looking back, she has been an essential component of Erik's team and is always genuinely amazed by the progress he has made each and every time she sees him. She has had the privilege of witnessing a relaxed, comedic side of Erik that he keeps hidden while he is at school, and she knows exactly how very special that is. She has been nothing but honest with me, and, as much as I hesitated to open my door and let her into my life at first, I consider her part of our family now. Forever. Today when I automatically suggested she attend Erik's 3rd birthday party in October, she readily accepted.

Watching them play together today was wonderful. She seemed to savor every last second with Erik, tickling him and making him chortle (my favorite laugh of his during which he smiles so hard the tiny points of his incisors show). She gave him a ride around the living room like a pack horse and "flew" him around in her arms, even though the increasing weight of him had the potential to generate horrendous back spasms.

Yes, Erik will be okay out there in the world, but from where I'm standing, it's very difficult to see sometimes. That is, it's hard for me to see until I watch someone he has touched hug him with tears in their eyes as they say goodbye. It's magic moments like these that remind me how incredibly special Erik is and how lucky I am to be his mother. I am on the adventure of a lifetime, and Erik is leading the way. It's scary and dark sometimes, but this is precisely the stuff that makes every painful second worth it.

Bev is retiring as the summer session comes to a close, so as she leaves Erik behind, she is quietly closing the door behind her.

For some very strange reason, the memory of this video from years ago came to me this afternoon. Watching it makes me smile. Today I am thinking that, yes, Erik's behavior may seem bizarre at times, but perhaps he is one person who can offer exactly what the world seems to be lacking big time these days. After all, he certainly has given me that very gift.

I'm so proud of you, Erik.

Keep it up, son.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Katie said...

I guess its happy and sad to say good bye sometimes, Well Done Eric for your fantastic progress!!!
Oh and great video clip :)
i havnt seen it before!
.....kinda reminds me of trips to the supermarket with a kid still cute enough to get away with it....

xxoo

10:21 PM  
Blogger Every minute counts.... said...

I know what you mean about people being touched by our kids in a way that is just amazing. I get told on a daily basis by perfect strangers how caring my daughter is. Her teachers all say she gives the best hugs in the world. I see therapists who have worked with hundreds of special needs kids, tear up at the thought of not getting to see Abi every week.WS has many gifts.
As for the video...instead of smiling I sit hear and cry watching it. Not because I am sad but because that could be Abi...I've seen her act that way too many times..sometimes she gets hugs and smiles, sometimes they just look away...I feel sorry for those that look away. They don't know what they are missing!!!
Thanks again Nancy,
Noel

6:18 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Thanks, Katie! It is happy and sad at the same time. I'm a little scared, too, but I'll feel better once I get to know the new people on his team.

Noel, maybe something good deep down is happening in those who turn away or say cruel things. Maybe they are afraid to open themselves up and know it. Maybe some people are hopeless, but I would like to think they are touched somehow, too. Who knows?

7:05 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

It's hard to say good-bye to someone who has made a difference in the life of your child.
Those who look away are not worthy of the gifts are children are capable of giving.

7:15 AM  
Blogger THE PASLAY'S OF IDAHO said...

THANKS NANCE FOR THE GREAT VIDEO! AS YOU KNOW, I COME FROM A VERY HUGGY AND LOVEY FAMILY! THIS VIDEO MADE ME THINK OF MY BROTHER AND THEN I GOT TEARY EYE! SO I CALLED HIM THIS MORNING AND TOLD HIM HOW I MUCH I MISS HIM AND HIS HUGS!!! :)

ERIK IS SUCH A SPECIAL PART OF OUR FAMILY AND I AM SO HONORED TO BE HIS AUNTIE! I PRAY EVERYDAY THAT HIS LIFE WILL BE BLESSED WITH PEOPLE LIKE BEV AND I KNOW THAT EACH PERSON ERIK BECOMES CLOSE TO, HE WILL LEAVE HIS VERY OWN SPECIAL STAMP IN THEIR LIVES FOREVER!!!!

GIVE ERIK A BIG HUG FROM US ALL!!!

7:42 AM  
Blogger Lisa R said...

YOUr nwe picture is HOT!!! post is good to but i have to get over the new pic first :) Nice!!!

6:14 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

I can't begin to think of our lives without Brady's thereapists... they are wodnerful for him and me. I am really glad you had someone who made sucha positive difference in your life. :)

9:13 PM  
Blogger Rosemarie said...

Being that it's Bev's final home therapy visit with Erik and she's retiring can add a multitude of emotions for her. I think it's great that she'll be at his birthday party and hopefully other significant events to share in the celebration.

The song and video were superb! I enjoyed it immensely. *big smile*

11:05 PM  

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