Blog  /  Grace, Parenting, Special Needs  /  Simplicity in Thankfulness

08
Nov
2017

We planned that my sister Sue would care for our Joey (special needs age 36) for a long weekend so we could get his room set up as we downsized into our now cozy cottage condo just stone’s throw from the “old” house. This allowed us to prepare ahead of time for what happens when BIG CHANGE creates bumps in the road… even if that change is just around the corner and down the road. If we’re honest, CHANGE often means CHALLENGE.

Joey has a way of arranging his things just the way he wants them….like those of us who like our ducks in a row! And just like we’d notice a duck out of step, he would notice anything not in its proper order. So, our desire was to put things like a “carbon copy” in the new house as in the previous. He had shelves of sports related bobble heads, footballs, baseballs, and things from his favorite Ohio teams on the shelves. We thought we nailed it: organizing his little space JUST for him. We were delighted when he put his hands to his mouth and exclaimed, “Oh my, all my bobble heads. All my things. AND MY SWORDS!” (To clarify, they are plastic swords that he uses to play Narnia.) “Thank you, Mom and Dad!” We loved his heart of appreciation.

The next day on the way to work Joey looked at his shoes and said, “Dad, I’m thankful for my shoes.” Joe told him how nice that was and asked, “Are you thankful for anything else?” He answered, “My room. My clothes. My new house.” And even more recently he said he loved living together “just the 3 of us.”

He doesn’t have much, and much of what he has is ours because he lives with us. He is simple. He appreciates the little things he’s been provided and he seldom asks for anything at all. It was indeed a lesson learned to hear his heartfelt expression of thanks for shoes, clothes, and the new home. I think those are the very things for which we should give thanks.

Most of us have so much and aren’t content. He has little and appreciates it all. Lesson learned. Thank you, Joey, for your heart of appreciation, the thankfulness you expressed, and how you are teaching all of us and don’t even know it.

Happy Thanksgiving…..from our hearts and home to yours!

Joe and Cindi Ferrini

Joe and Cindi have been married since 1979, live in Cleveland, OH, have 3 grown children (one with special needs), grandchildren, and enjoy speaking and writing together on topics related to marriage and family (FAMILYLIFE’S “WEEKEND TO REMEMBER Get-A-Ways” as well as for organizations pertaining to special needs), leadership, and time/life management. Joe has practiced dentistry since 1978; Cindi enjoys writing (books, blogs, articles, etc.), speaking, radio, and social media. Together they have written articles and blogs for Focus on the Family, FamilyLife, http://specialneedsparenting.net and here at FamilyMatters, and authored UNEXPECTED JOURNEY: When Special Needs Change our Course. They’d love to connect with you at: www.joeferrini.com or www.cindiferrini.com

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