Thank you Mary for putting those sites up for me. Again, it is a tearful experience for me and dear to my heart. The dad was a great speaker and writer and I enjoyed his enthusiasm for his son and the pope.
When Neill graduated from high school, I wanted to leave his mark on this part of our world. I had written a letter to the director of special education here in Knoxville thanking all the dedicated professionals and everyone who was in contact with Neill, the pier Tudors and even the kitchen staff.
I sent the letter to our local newspaper and said that it would make a great special interest story not only for my son but other kids from his class that were graduating as well. The head of the department
thought so too and we were interviewed and his picture was on the front page of the paper the next day. I had asked if the teacher's assistants would walk him across the stage because he was there because of their hard work and they were honored. I will never forget it. They had taped his tassel on his helmet and had a hard time getting him there because the clapping was disturbing for Neill but 23 years of hard work (not academic but just as much of an accomplishment) culminated that evening.
I was proud, the teachers were ecstatic and everyone that knew Neill were on their feet. It was wonderful! Thanks for listening to my story and here I am crying again. Eileen
Heaven's Very Special Child - by Edna Massimilla
A meeting was held quite far from earth,
"It's time again for another birth,"
Said the angels to the Lord above,
"This special child will need much love.
His progress may seem very slow,
Accomplishments he may not show,
And he'll require extra care
From the folks he meets way down there.
He may not run or laugh or play;
His thoughts may seem quite far away.
In many way he won't adapt,
And he'll be known as handicapped.
So let's be careful where he's sent,
We want his life to be content.
Please, Lord, find parents who
Will do a special job for you
They will not realize right away
The leading role they're asked to play
But with this child sent from above
Comes stronger faith and richer love.
And soon they'll know the privilege given
In caring for this gift from Heaven.
Their precious charge so meek and mild
Is Heaven's very special child."