January 9th, 2012
Laughter Through the Tears
By: Sue Renfro
The following is a short story about one of our many adventures with having a daughter with a developmental disability. She is 41 now and has been non-verbal since she was two years old. It is a daily challenge but we manage to see the humor and that gets us through those tough days.
It was a beautiful early Spring Saturday. One of those “been cooped up and just need to get out of the house” day. Our daughter, Lori, always enjoyed going for a ride and if she was having a bad day a ride in the car would calm her down. She was in her early twenties at the time.
We headed for Granbury, which had become a very popular tourist destination. There in the middle of town is the town square surrounded by little quaint antique stores, some great places to eat, a small live theatre and various other businesses which lends to the small town atmosphere.
On this, as on any beautiful Spring day, many, many (did I mention many) people were strolling around the square taking in all the sights and sounds.
At the time we had a Ford Mustang with a very large hatchback window (did I mention a very large window) in the back. This was years ago when anyone riding in the back seat wasn’t required to wear a seat belt.
All the way to Granbury Lori was seated in the back seat playing with some toys and just enjoying the scenery. As we neared downtown we decided to turn off the air conditioning and just enjoy that time of day when the sun is just setting and you can take in that cool, fresh smell of Spring.
We drove around a bit and my husband and I were just enjoying talking and seeing what was new since our last visit.
I know you’ve heard stories of how friendly small towns are and how they make you feel welcome. We were noticing that people were waving to us and smiling. This was such a friendly town. We enjoyed the first trip around the square so much we decided to go around again, in case we missed anything. Lori was enjoying it as well. I could hear her playing behind me. Why wouldn’t we enjoy our time in Granbury, it was such a friendly town.
As we headed out of town I turned around to talk to Lori about how friendly everyone had been to us. I don’t think I mentioned earlier that Lori doesn’t like clothes. I mean she really hates clothes so much that I’ve had to make alterations on all her clothes so she will stay dressed. This has been an ongoing challenge for most of her life. We have often referred to her as Houdini because she could manage to get out of clothes that we didn’t think she could get out of and do so at lightning speed.
Slow down, you’re getting ahead of me. She still had her clothes on… well, from the waist down. There she was, on her knees with her blouse off and twirling her bra like a majorette marching down a football field. She wasn’t being an exhibitionist. She just didn’t want those scratchy uncomfortable clothes on. Once she got them off then they became her new toy. Did I mention that Mother Nature was very generous with certain attributes?
No wonder everyone was so friendly as we circled the square. Lori was giving them a free show plus with her twirling the garment it gave the impression she was being friendly and waving back to them.
I didn’t wait for my husband to stop the car. I was in the back seat with Lori in a split second which was no small feat considering how much space is in a Mustang.
Our initial reaction was horror which turned to embarrassment, which turned to laughter when we realized what was done was done.
We decided that, yes, Granbury was a very friendly town and ,no, we wouldn’t be going back till we bought a new car and wouldn’t be recognized.
Sue Renfro and her husband, David, are the parents of Lori, who is a non-verbal 41 year old with a developmental disability. She shares her stories of the humorous side of raising her daughter through the years. Sue believes that even on the most challenging days that laughter is truly the best medicine.
EmbracingMyJourney L.L.C. was created by Caryn FitzGerald in 2008.
Caryn, known as "The Manifesting Queen" is a motivational columnist, speaker and writer, she has been featured in and published several books, including "Tulips In The Sand" "Fish Sticks, Books and Blue Jeans" “Manifest Success” “Visual Arts Junction Interviews” & “Online Marketing Success Stories..."
Caryn is a domestic violence survivor who has triumphed over a 10-year battle with anorexia and bulimia. She is a wife, mother, healthy-aging-specialist, writer, speaker, blogger, coach and a health food enthusiast Click to connect with Caryn at her website
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