Thursday, February 17, 2011

Matters of the Heart! And just a few tears on my part!

I have never spoken with you about my daughter Emily.  Today is the day.  I promise not to go into great details, but only to tell you  that she was born mentally challenged.  Emily will be 28 in June.  One and half years ago,  I let her go.  She wanted so badly to be like any other child.  She wanted to leave home when she grew up.  I cried, I yelled, and I cried some more, but I knew in my heart it was the right time, and the right thing to do for her. 

As a mother I asked,  what would she do without me?  Who would brush her hair?   I knew she wouldn't.  It's scary to ask yourself, can you love your child with all your heart if she doesn't have her hair brushed?  I took pride in how she looked.  I dressed her, I did her hair, I put on her makeup.  I wanted her to appear to you that she was well rounded.  I am her mom.  Truth be told, I wanted you to believe I took good care of her.   So 18 months ago my parenting was put to the test,  Emily moved to a group home.  She lives with 8 other women and  she does very well.  She tells me she loves me, and then says,"mom I'm not ever moving back with you." 

She is never wearing what I would dress her in.  Her hair is seldom brushed to my liking.  She only wears make-up on holidays, and I never say a word.  Today I went to see her at her day program, and took pictures of all the adults she spends the day with.  So here is a corner of  life as we know it.
He always ask if I can stay and watch The Price is Right with him.  He reminds me repeatedly how much weight Drew Carey has lost!

I've known Donnie for years.  He only speaks a few words, but he is always smiling! Plus I don't think I've ever seen him without a suit coat on!

His eyes tell a story, but he cannot.  He has never spoken a word in his life!

Jack is one of Emily's dearest friends.  They volunteer together delivering Meals on Wheels.  She tells me they are a team.  When you speak with him, he never looks at you, he always turns away.

She has a laugh you would fall in love with.  I took pizza, she asked when would I be visiting again.  I said soon, she said not soon enough.  We both giggled!

I love this guy.  Many years at different events we have had to watch him have seizures.  He just keeps smiling through it all.   Lesson learned!

I had a conversation with her today on her beautiful pink hoodie.   I told her many people would see her picture and know she was very pretty.  That is the smile I received!

This gal I'm very close with.  I've known her many years. She has quite a personality, she is Emily.  She will be 28 in June.  She is my daughter, and I let her go live her life.  Love you girl, you know that I do.
Soooooo, (tears wiped away here)  I wanted to do this post for awhile.  Not that I don't trust you. There is just some matters of the heart I feel I need to protect.  I know, silly me.  Recently a friend and fellow blogger  was speaking with me on the phone.  We got on the topic of my life and raising Emily, which she didn't know about.  That was ok.  Next day she sent me an e-mail that said, "I knew you were pretty darn special, now I know you are golden."  Thank you Char.  You made this post possible.  These are the golden people in my life.
Last summer, Emily  asked if we could go to the car show.  I said do you really want to do that on such a beautiful a summer day.  Oh yes, she had heard about it on the news, and that was where we needed to be.

As always, I just can't thank you enough for stopping by.


  1. Well, it looks to me that you have done a beautiful job raising her. I have friends in Sunday School that have just had to go through the difficulty of letting their daughter go to live in a group home. They praised the Lord recently for getting to the point where they visit and no one cries. Blessings to you all.

  2. I think you have done a WONDERFUL job with Emily and Bless you for letting her go. It must have been hard hard hard...I feel your pain, my daughter was born mentally challenged with a heart defect and I lost her 10 years ago Apr 7...She will always be in my heart. Blessing~ you are a golden girl and a platinum Mom (((Hugs))) ;-)

  3. The things that are the hardest to share are the very things that make us who we are-You should be very proud of your life!

  4. It's hard to let go of our children. If she is happy that's all you can ask for. I am sure she will be fine. She just needed some independence. She misses you more than you know. You have done a great job. judy

  5. What a beautiful post. I arrived at your blog quite by accident. I was on "hold" with the doctor's office & at Tales of the Cooper looking over her blog list & clicked on yours. What I blessing I got. I shed more than a few tears reading this. You are a very special person. My daughter worked at a group home for a few years. This amazed me since she had been so difficult as a teenager, totally uncaring, running away from home, that sort of thing. But it was wonderful to watch her at work, how she really loved the ones she took care of. Thanks for this story. I think I'll go cry some more.

  6. Mom her hair looks great and she's still a beauty with out the makeup...your a great mom. I love how she says she is never coming home..too cute...that's when you know you did a great job. I have one more year with my daughter...I have a son your daughter's age and its hard at any age to let them go..but she is a very lucky young lady to have you as your mother.

  7. Gee - I'm all teared up here. I love you even more for this. I love you for sharing with us a glimpse of not only your pretty girl, but of all of her friends. You SEE them, and I love you for that. What precious people with so much to give! You are a BRAVE mama. :)

  8. Glenda, my heart is full. Thank you for sharing Emily and her friends with us. This touches my heart. I am a speech-language pathologist and have spent a good amount of time with many wonderful adults that could be Emily’s friends in these pictures. I love them and I know how hard it was for you to let her go. I absolutely know you did the very best thing for Emily as you do. It’s hard to let a little bird fly out of the nest. Hugs to you sweet Glenda!! Hugs to Emily too :)

  9. Between my tears, the most important thing I can say is God Bless You, and I do know the special world you live in!! My first born child was a beautiful little girl who also was a special needs child with a syndrome called Prader Willi syndrome!! Although very challenging at times we were blessed with 25yrs. before the Lord called her home. Although it is still so hard sometimes to even talk about losing her, I just felt compelled to comment as I know what Joy, and heart ache sometimes we can feel with all that is envolved in having a special needs child! Most important, Love and cherish her, and hold your head up high for the decisions you make on her behalf!!! Hugs....Cathy aka GGJ

  10. Hi Glenda!

    What a great job you did with Emily! But more importantly? What a great job Emily did with you! She is teaching you how strong you really are. And she is showing you how well you taught her. She is also proving to you that you have made her feel so secure and beautiful, that she accepts herself.

    Do you know how many famous, award-winning celebrities absolutely refuse to leave their home unless they are completely made up? These highly accomplished women are so insecure they are prisoners in their own homes. But you Glenda, showered Emily with so much love, she is now showing you the results of all the years (and tears) you put into raising her. I love her determined look...what a wonderful spirit she has and blessed she is to have a mother who lets her be her.

    Thank you for sharing such a loving post. You accomplished so much with Emily and now she gets to show you all that you taught her in her own independent way - what a wonderful gift for the both of you!

    Elizabeth :-)

  11. Glad to see you bloggin Glenda! Thank you for sharing this part of life with your readers. Your honesty is appreciated and you will be in our prayers as you take on this chapter in your life! You seem very strong, very blessed, and are very brave to share this reflection. It makes those who read it feel a little braver as well! Take care.......Katie Femia

  12. Hi Glenda,
    Thank you so much for posting this. I think it's so interesting and encouraging how this blogging community really IS a community. You've commented on my blog a few times and I see we're both cyber friends of Elizabeth Maxson even though we're separated by thousands of miles.

    I grew up next door to my grandparents who operated a group home filled with girls of varying mental capacity. And my dad's brother has Down's Syndrome (he's 62!). When I saw the pictures of your daughter's coworkers, a sense of familiarity and joy just swept over me. There is no place on earth I am more comfortable than in the midst of these sweet souls. Your daughter is surrounded by love. Her confidence and happiness are so evident in those pics.

    Those of us lucky enough to have shared our lives with these angels know how lucky we are. We know that our lives are richer and our compassion deeper for having been a part of their lives. I can only imagine how much more profound it must be to be the mama. My 94 year old grandma still visits my uncle nearly every day -- mostly to look at him and make sure his glasses are clean. You'll probably never stop wanting to comb Emily's hair! God bless you Glenda!!


  13. A mother's heart never stops loving them, wanting to hold them, wanting them to look their best. They hold all the love in our hearts in their tiny hands from the day they're born. And no matter what the challenges a child may face, knowing you raised her to *want* to be independent, well, sweetie, that is the sign of a momma's job well done.

  14. Thanks so much for your nice comments on our recent posts. And for sharing this. No, mostly for sharing this. (: Hope to see you soon! xo

  15. oh friend, i'm so, so glad you shared this corner of your life with us. she reminds me of myself... i'm a pretty stubborn gal too, and gave my own mother a run for her money. you did the best thing by letting her go--that takes so much faith. and she's obviously so happy. bless you, dear friend.

  16. What an achingly beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing this. You and your daughter have touched my heart.

  17. Well I have always known how special you and Emily are, now more people do! I know all the hard work and the tears and the joys that have been such a part of raising Emily but now she is a young woman determined to live her life! Life changes , and this change , though difficult I know , is a wonderful one for you and for Emily . I am so blessed to have you sister!

  18. Glenda,
    I don't know how I missed this post, but I'm so glad I didn't miss it completely.
    After our spiritual life, our children are our most precious gift from God. They give our life meaning and purpose. You fulfilled this purpose the day you gave Emily the belief she could fly....and oh mylanta, is she ever flying! It is never easy to let go. As mothers, we know we can do so much more for them, but part of the joy in being a parent is the bittersweet pain of seeing our nurturing come to fruition. Do we stop trying to mother them...never, but by allowing her the opportunity to do for herself, you placed her above yourself and for that one selfless act of complete are now my hero.
    Watch her soar!
    Beautiful from the heart post. Thank you for sharing something and someone so precious to you.

  19. What a wonderful post. I love "meeting" all of Emily's friends! You've raised two amazing children, and we truely are blessed to have YOU. I love you and miss you already!

  20. Thank you for sharing a corner of your world. Touching, beautiful and absolutely inspiring. Your love journey for your family is such a glorious picture of heaven.

  21. I just found your blog a few minutes ago...
    Yup, I believe you are golden :)
    Glad to meet you...and Emily as well :)

    Keep it real, even when you think it's never know who may read your blog and, hence, whose life you will touch.

  22. Glenda, what a beautiful post about your daughter. Thank you for being willing to be vulnerable enough to share with us. You are a very blessed lady.

  23. I work at a group homw w/ four ladies! There is never a dull moment. I learn something new EVERY day!

  24. Your post and all the beautiful comments are inspiring! I too had a family member with special needs much like the gentleman in your post that was conflicted with seizures. His favorite show was Laurence Welk and until my grandparents grew too old to care for him he lived at home. It was never the same for him after that. He passed away last year and his memory will always be with me. His innocent spirit was so filled with hardship I will never understand. Like your friend he smiled through it all. :)

    1. Anonymous, thank you... It means everything to me, to still come to my old site, and see this post is still touching someones heart... It is the eve of Mother's Day, two weeks after you posted, and just by chance I looked here tonight. Blessings


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