When I had just graduated from law school and before I become a teacher of blind and visually impaired students, one of my former classmates said something curious to me. First, let me say that she also was a mother of two (I had just the two girls at that time). Her younger child also had autism. She too was (and still is) a Christian. She also did a joint degree program (a juris doctor and masters) just like me. She said, “You know Nalida. Thank God our kids have these disabilities. Look at us. We have a JD and a masters. We could have just been in corporate America just making all this money!” I just looked at her and nodded. But in my head I was was thinking, “And would that have been so bad??”
I smiled to myself then and now because I really KNEW what she meant. Our focus could have been only with making it to the top–making money and connections. Perhaps we would have lost focus. Perhaps we would have become arrogant. Perhaps we would have lost sight of the dignity of those most vulnerable. Perhaps we would have lost sight of God–that would have been the worst tragedy. Only God knows.
All I know now is that the Lord chose this path for me. I love my family and I love my work. There are times that I feel sad when I think about my children’s limitations. My younger daughter with autism struggles so much with reading. She is 11 and cannot even read at the first grade level. I get so sad watching her struggling and work with her as well as pray for her that she will develop more educationally and socially. I try not to worry about the future, but that is an ongoing struggle on which I have to work and about which I have to pray.
But there are many days that I just look at my children, see their smiles and joyful moments, feel their hugs, and hear their I love yous and feel so grateful to God that I could just cry tears of joys. My husband and children have brought me so much happiness that my constant prayer is for us to have a long, happy life together and into eternity in heaven. I am eternally grateful to God for the gift of my family.