Everyone Needs a Mark
by Patricia E. Clawson
Moments after Darla Jantsch gave birth to her first child on July 1, 1982, she knew something was wrong. As a nurse, Darla recognized that their newborn son had Down syndrome. Her husband, Steve, however, suspected nothing. When their doctor told them in the recovery room, Steve fell apart.
As the reality of raising a child with special needs set in, they cried a good deal. To learn more about Down syndrome, Steve first read that more than 50 percent of babies born with Down syndrome die before the age of one. Now they realize that that information was out of date, but at the time it heightened their concern. Read more
Loving a Family Member with Alzheimer’s
by Priscilla King and Joanna Kingsbury
Geraldine Eyres entered Pine Haven Christian Home on December 16, 1995. Three days later she broke her hip. Back from the hospital, Gerry repeatedly begged her husband, retired Orthodox Presbyterian pastor Lawrence Eyres, to take her home. By the time he got home that night, he was in tears. He poured out his heart to God: he didn’t want to let her go, but he surrendered his beloved wife of fifty-seven years to him. “Your will be done!”
Twelve days later, on December 27, 1995, she entered heaven. Technically she died of pneumonia. In reality, Alzheimer’s disease stole first her mind and then her life. Read more
Trying to Make Sense of Jesse’s Journey
by Mary Mahaffy Bonner
The story of Jesse’s journey is one that is at the same time sad and joyful, ugly and beautiful. It raises a question we so often ask throughout our lives: “Why does God allow this to happen?” It seems to be a frequent question when you are a parent of a child with special needs.
As we watch the pain and feel the hurts, we frequently ask God, “Why?” Sometimes we see part of the answer in the life of our child, but so often we are left to wonder. It becomes a battle to accept these situations and acknowledge that God has his purposes in them, even though we don’t see the answers. Over the years, though I have often struggled, I have seen some of the reasons that my son Jesse was allowed to go through this journey. I have also learned that God’s ways are not our ways and eventually become willing to say with trust, “Thy will be done.” Read more