But today I was touched as I thought about their parents. I know firsthand the unconditional love of a mother. I do not know the daily effort of taking care of an exceptional child. I do not understand the mental and physical exhaustion these parents experience. I do not know the pure joy of a milestone like their child lifting a hand on their own, or gathering the strength to hold their head up. I do not know the frustration of dealing with hospitals, insurance companies, equipment. I do not know the worries of money not stretching far enough to give your child the comforts or ease of living in a world not designed and built for their needs.
I saw a photo shoot with a beautiful family with two daughters, one of whom is exceptional (although personally, I think the whole family can be called exceptional.) The smiles on their faces, particularly the father's, touched me deeply. I cannot judge for I do not know them personally, but even though this father's unconditional love for his daughter would drive him to do just about anything for her, I imagine there are moments, days, weeks, that stretch him to his limits. And yet I saw the joy in his face. He is representative of the millions of families in this world whose earthly trials revolve around physical or mental disabilities, trials that don't last a short season and then are conquered, but trials that will last a lifetime. Most impressing is the fact that their endurance is not a result of talent, genius or education, those qualities that we most associate with success. This quote is evidence of what it truly takes for these courageous families to thrive.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
-- Calvin Coolidge