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What I Learned from Mrs. Gump, My Role Model

Raising a special needs child is challenging for the best of moms. But Mrs. Gump knew how to love and detach, "Let Go and Let God" would have been her motto.

I used to wonder how she did it....letting go of the need to control outcomes. I remember saying to myself, "Oh Mrs. Gump, how did you do it?" Even though I tried hard to truly release my fear of "What if...." the way she did, I knew deep inside I didn't. But then something amazing happened - Synchronicity happened yesterday which opened my mind to a valuable lesson.

In the morning I received a message from one of my son's female friends stating that her mom bought my book, No Stone Unturned: How My Special Needs Child and I Transformed Against All Odds. I was happy about this, and wondered how proud her mom must be of her. Our kids went to a specialized learning disabled High School together, and this vibrant girl grew into a lovely hardworking mom herself. She did this by focusing on her strengths and can-do confidence. During Covid, she reinvented herself by creating a website that allowed her to sell beautifying items from her home. I am so very proud of her for she chose to see her gifts rather than defeat and failure.

However, it is her mom that amazes me even more. The daughter lives on the East Coast, and her mom lives on the West Coast. Honestly, I do not know if I could have taken a back-seat, and relaxed enough to allow the process of absolute independence of my kid to take place. The little that I know of her mom, I know that she left "No Stone Unturned" too. She searched and applied every possible tool and technique out there to help her child. When her daughter fell in love, she let go by stepping back to allow the nature of love take it's course. By letting her child leave to start a new life on the opposite coast, she allowed her daughter to blossom on her own. I can only imagine how much courage it took on both their parts.

A few hours later I spoke at length to another mom on a zoom call. We did not know each other, but discovered a commonality that she too was a mom of a special needs adult. And like the courageous mom stated above, this second mom also detached from the need to control by releasing her fear and allowing her grown daughter the freedom to find love in a state two time zones away!

This WOWED me because I recognized this was more than a coincidence. It was synchronicity - a pattern of a repeated message I needed to hear..."Let Go and Let God Really!" A message that presented two very strong mothers who were able to be true life Mrs. Gumps. Yes, both daughters had significant others (perhaps with similar disabilities) who were loved, and living for a number of years with their significant others. I am sure the knowledge that their daughter's were deeply loved, and had supports in place, helped with releasing any fear because stability brings security.

However, I believe it was the mom's trust and faith in God which gave them the strength to let go. They understood that their children are God's children first. We are only their care-takers until they learn how to fly. Tough to do, but necessary. Their journey not ours.

Thank you God for showing me two lessons I needed to learn through synchronicity: (1) Mrs. Gump's parenting style is very possible, and (2) There really is a lid for every pot!

Debra Taubenslag, Author

No Stone Unturned: How My Special Needs Child and I Transformed Against All Odds

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