After leaving the seminary a second time I wound up at what was called at the time, “St. Edmond’s Home for Crippled Children”. It struck, “for Crippled Children”, from the name while I was there. It is a residential facility for, (How to put this delicately?), children with the primary medical diagnosis of some measure of mental retardation. Mental Retardation is a medical diagnosis that is all and in and of itself is a neutral term. I am aware that it has become a slur used against another in heated exchanges. (That’s not cool.)
Anyway that is where I ended up. The 40 children who lived there were also medically fragile and most were in wheelchairs. The staff was not supposed to have favorite children but we all did. Mine was Neil. I could not have loved him anymore if he was my own son. I got too comfortable there and pondered it as my life’s work. Neil passed away at the age of 14. Puberty was not kind to the boys of St. Edmond’s Home.
I freely admit that I was in a fog at that time but through the fog God started in on me again. Emotionally I was happy, sad and more than a little angry. NOT AGAIN, I thought. But again it indeed was. Since Neil’s death I did not want to stay at St. Edmond’s Home or to continue working with children. God used that.
I have to stop. I’ll continue soon.