Carin’s Friday Coffee chat is taking a break on her blog and has moved this week to Jennifer’s blog Girls Gone Reading. Jennifer has been through a lot and tells us about a couple of books that saved her life in problematic times.
At first I thought there are no books that ever saved my life, but actually this is not so. There was a time when a book and a short essay did help me tremendously to realize that not only it was not the end of my life as I knew it, but also that I’m not the only one around who is in my situation.
When our younger son was born it turned out that he had one chromosome too many. I was not completely caught by surprise by this, but it still came as a shock to have your fears all of a sudden become reality.
Now, 5 years have gone by and I am over the initial shock. Our son is adorable, happy and so loving, you wouldn’t believe it. But when it was all new I searched the net and bookstores for information. I found a book called “Aussergewöhnlich” (Extraordinary) by a certain Conny Rapp. Conny, whom I have met in person meanwhile, is a photographer and has an absolutely wonderful daughter who also has Down Syndrome. She put this book together about mothers and their children with Down Syndrome which is so uplifting that I was not afraid anymore. It didn’t tell me everything would be just perfect, but it puts things into perspective. The book gave no advice, was no self-help book and didn’t tell me what to do. But it told me that everything would somehow be alright. And it was.
Conny has a wonderful blog where she posts lots of photos of people with Down Syndrome among others. The photos are beautiful and the kids are all adorable and unique. We met her last year at a photo session at our zoo. If you would like to see our pictures you can see them here.
The second story that helped me to put things into perspective is a very short essay that probably everybody with a special needs child knows already. It is called “Welcome to Holland” by Emily Perl Kingsley. It is often given out by organizations to new parents of a special needs child and it is obvious why. It is a very general essay and even though it was written about having a child with a disability it is extremely adaptable and can be used almost every time when you are confronted with an unfamiliar and unexpected situation.