- Category: Personal Commentary
- Published: Wednesday, 01 January 2014 08:27
- Written by Richard W. Lutman
If there is one thing I can say I have learned, it is the joy of being a single father of a child with special needs. This is a joy that can be so intense that laughing is not merely enough to celebrate it. I have learned to cry tears of joy, and to smile during the toughest of times with my child. No matter how small the accomplishment might be, it deserves to be celebrated. For when we look back it will be those little hurdles that our children overcome that will carry the biggest reward. Each hurdle is a little miracle in itself.
By far, being a father is the greatest joy and accomplishment I will ever encounter in my life. From the moment I held both my children for the first time, my life changed. Knowing that I am responsible for another life changes my perspective on life. The once huge obstacles now seem all too insignificant. I have never viewed my stutter as something negative, because I have always been of the belief that in life we are only given what we can handle. I've learned to take each hurdle as something positive, for in each hurdle lies something of beauty. The choice lies within each of us how we choose to perceive it. I have applied this way of thinking as I raise my daughter with special needs.
Raising my daughter means encountering sleepless nights, specialist appointments, equipment, and hospital stays. The challenge of being able to articulate things without allowing my stutter to hinder what it is I'm trying to convey, can be trying at the best of times. Yet it's in the darkest of moments I can recognize the little miracles underneath.
The challenges that lie behind us and the challenges that lie before can all seem too insignificant compared to the strength that lies within each of us. What we choose to do with that strength is up to us.
Dedicated to my daughter Gabrielle the light of my life.
Richard Lutman is on the CSA board of directors and lives in Stratford.