To the Dad in the bookstore
We both ended up in the same section of the bookstore and found ourselves reaching for the same book. Your face was tired and the sadness hung heavily around you as you said to me, “Do you ever look at all those other parents out there and wonder if they know how blessed they are?” As you told me about your son and how he had just been released from the psychiatric ward at Children’s, my comment back to you was that your son was certainly lucky to have you for a Dad.
My heart broke as you told me how challenging things have been for your family, searching for answers and a diagnosis of something no doctor seems to have ever seen. I recognized myself in you as you talked about how worried you are that you and your wife will be hit by a car and die, and then where will your son be?
You thanked me for listening as you left - thanked me for the shoulder and ear. I left too, tears in my eyes having heard what you so clearly needed to say to someone. To be able to pass right into such a personal, intimate conversation so easily, and with immediate understanding, is a gift I think we’ve all been given as parents of special children. I left wondering at the bonds that tie us parents together in our own special tribe, and felt thankful that sometimes we are able to find each other and offer ourselves.