He was walking towards me!
While he walked towards me, Dexter was talking!
And then, I woke up.
Dexter's sister had one of those dreams.
Our hearts broke for her.
We've had those dreams.
Those dreams fill your heart with such happiness... and then, they rip you apart as reality comes crashing down.
Those dreams bring heartache and sadness.
We can only imagine how confused and frustrated she must be. She must feel incredible loneliness and sadness. She grieves for the things she can't do with Dexter, because of his severe disabilities.
We've always been very open and honest with Dexter and his sisters, about his cerebral palsy, vision impairment, his inability to speak and his need for a wheelchair.
The girls are amazing.
They have grown up, knowing Dexter sometimes needs everyone's attention and they just need to wait. They have grown up watching Dexter's determined efforts to move and talk. They have grown up watching Dexter get sick and spend time in hospital.
Sometimes, their little minds try to comprehend why everyone else can run to the park, but Dexter can't. Sometimes, they wonder why everyone can kick a ball, but Dexter can't. Sometimes, they wonder why everyone else can talk, but Dexter can't.
When it gets too much for them to understand, they ask us.
We remind them that Dexter has cerebral palsy.
We remind them that Dexter is one of the strongest, most determined kids we know.
We remind them that he never gives up and we are so proud of him.
We remind them that Dexter would like to run and play and talk and kick a ball, but his cerebral palsy stops him.
And, we remind them that Dexter loves them. We say it, because Dexter can't.
It's not fair for them. We understand that.
We know it's not fair that they often come second place, but we are so incredibly proud of the mature, respectful way they respond, when we need their help. While the girls can be full of spirit and fight, as soon as they are told Dexter needs us, they stop. They wait.
The girls are incredible supporters, of Dexter. They cheer him on and praise him. When they are learning something new, they know to try again. And again. They try again, because 'Dexter never gives up'.
Because of Dexter's severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy, his vision impairment and his childhood cancer battle, Dexter is invited to a few cool activities, each year. The girls enjoy most of them, with Dexter. Because they know how Dexter's disabilities impact on everyone and how the disabilities make life so much more difficult, we always explain that Dexter was given the tickets. We help them realise that, life is really hard with Dexter's severe disabilities, but because of the disabilities, they sometimes get a ticket to a show. We hope this might help them have a little more patience and strength on the harder days.
After every fun activity they enjoy, they thank Dexter. They do this without any encouragement. They really are great girls and we are so proud of them.
This year, The Noisy Sister will start Kindergarten. She is looking forward to going to school with Dexter. And, we are excited for her.
But, we are also a little afraid for her.
She knows Dexter is different, because he has severe cerebral palsy. She knows he doesn't use the words the rest of us do, but she understands him. She already knows to move him away from furniture, because he can't do it himself. She knows to wait patiently and give real praise, while he struggles to move a metre or two, during therapy activities. She knows to include Dexter.
But, we have always been there with her, supporting her and backing her up when people stare at Dexter. We have helped her understand why people sometimes make mean comments about Dexter. We have stood with her, while her mind tries to comprehend why her brother is so different to most kids.
At school, we won't be there. For the first time, she will not be with us, when she hears comments about Dexter. She will see how people react to her brother, and we won't be there to support her.
The school is amazing; the staff and the older kids are great.
We hope her classmates and peers get to know Dexter quickly, so she doesn't have to hear too many hard comments.
We all wish Dexter could kneel and stand up.
We wish he could walk towards us.
We wish he could talk to us.
And, we wish the girls didn't have to have such heartbreaking dreams... dreams so full of happiness and love, only to wake up and face the harsh reality again.
#cerebralpalsy #DextersReality #cvi #wheechair
#childhoodcancer #survivor #love
When Your Heart Aches with Sadness
Mum was Crying in the Ball Pit
When Wheelchair Stops Being a Dirty Word
About the Sisters
My Sister is Four
Stuck in a Rut
Embrace the Lion
Open Letter Thanking Parents for the Parties
Dexter's First Month
Dexter's Cerebral Palsy
Who is Dexter?
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