Blog  /  Parenting, Special Needs  /  Thankful For a Second Pair of Hands


I remember a very full day and evening with Joey that ended with a nice ride home and a very cooperative time getting him changed and into bed. He literally flopped into bed like one of his Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls! And so did I!

But what I realized is that I couldn’t have “done” that day alone. I had helpers. And as I look over his 35 years of life I again realize the same thing. We have had many wonderful people in his life. They have all helped us through many times of life. Here are a few:

  • Doctors
  • Therapists – Occupational, Speech, Physical
  • Teachers
  • Aides
  • Hospital workers (nursed, techs, etc.)
  • Grandparents
  • Aunts
  • Sisters
  • Parents (Joe and I!)
  • Bus drivers
  • Friends from Church
  • Friends in the neighborhood
  • Drivers who help me occasionally – getting him from work
  • Friends from “forever” ago that keep us on the straight and narrow with our attitudes

There are so many more. Often I have been moved to write these people notes of thanks because without them OUR life would be more challenging than it was/is. We have had many offers, too, from people who would be willing to help at a minutes notice. I’ve kept those names on a list “just in case” we need help last minute or someone to “fill in”. I’ve not “tapped into” that list, but it is there, and I occasionally mention to those people how thankful I am that they have offered to be on that list. It’s sort of an insurance coverage for us, and it has a good feeling attached to it.

During this month of THANKSGIVING we give thanks to those who’ve lightened our load, helped Joey grow and become a very wonderful young man, given Joey breaks from us, and us from him, emotionally lifted us up in times of challenge, kept us on all the “right foot” when we want to give up, and well, the list goes on and on.

Who helps share your load? Your challenge? Let’s all take a moment to make a phone call, write a note, or write a blog to say THANK YOU for being that second pair of hands that has helped us get where we all our today. THANK YOU!

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, and here at FamilyMatters, and authored UNEXPECTED JOURNEY: When Special Needs Change our Course. They’d love to connect with you at: or



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