Since my mum went into residential care due to her dementia, I've been going through sorting out her things, old photos etc. and I've found lots of bits and pieces that she'd kept that I'd forgotten all about, including a poem I wrote some time ago.
Over the years I've quite often found that Daniel's birthday and anniversary spur me into writing poetry. I've kept copies of lots of them, but not this one, so I was surprised to find it amongst mum's keepsakes.
Some of the most beautiful things in nature
Have but a fleeting existence in time,
Yet those who are privileged to know them
Cannot fail to be moved by the experience.
Think of the exotic butterfly, starting off
As a hairy caterpillar, then as a papery chrysalis
Finally to emerge in all its glorious splendour
For such a short moment of its life.
Just when all its hidden beauty is revealed
It is snatched away for ever, when only a few
Will have been touched by its tragic story,
But for them it will have a lasting effect.
So it is when a special child joins your family.
At first it may be difficult to see beyond the problems
But in time their true inner beauty will be revealed
And fill all who come to know them with wonder.
But like the most glorious things in nature
Their visit may only be brief - just time for us to learn.
Remember with joy and love the gift they gave to you
For it is that which is important, not their length of stay.
Take strength and courage from the lessons you have learnt,
And know that you have been blessed, for you have seen
The inner beauty that many others cannot see.
You can look beyond the disability and take pride
In knowing the child will always be part of your family.