“My Own View of Special Education” by Lisa Oddo

WN Lisa OddoIt was an October night, and I was supposed to be asleep. As a 7-year old, I was excited to see my grandparents, who were in from Michigan. They were using my room, so I had to sleep on the floor in my brother’s room. I could hear unfamiliar voices and lots of movement in the hall and my parents’ bedroom. I knew something was wrong but didn’t realize what exactly or how it would change my life forever.Mom was 32 years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia and also pregnant with my brother. My grandparents were there to be with her and say goodbye. I had absolutely no idea her life was ending. When my parents were told their options, my dad wanted her to do whatever it took to survive, even if it meant losing the baby. She was unwilling—selfless. She decided on the least evasive treatments, even though her outcome could be devastating. There was no guarantee that she would survive. She could lose the baby, or he could be born with birth defects. She told my father that the baby could have multiple heads and she would love him.

Mom was 32 years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia and also pregnant with my brother. My grandparents were there to be with her and say goodbye. I had absolutely no idea her life was ending. When my parents were told their options, my dad wanted her to do whatever it took to survive, even if it meant losing the baby. She was unwilling—selfless. She decided on the least evasive treatments, even though her outcome could be devastating. There was no guarantee that she would survive. She could lose the baby, or he could be born with birth defects. She told my father that the baby could have multiple heads and she would love him.

God really had his hand in this situation. He always does. My brother turned out healthy, smart and athletic. He went on to have a family, run a business and be a part of a multitude of other things. My mother lived much longer than the doctors thought. They gave her 6 months, but her drive and love for us helped her hold on an additional four years. She was organized, specifying instructions for our care and our “tendencies” for anyone watching us on her frequent stays at the hospital. She also was prepared ahead of time with plans for her funeral so that the burden wasn’t left on Dad. She had become involved in a church. She encouraged my father to attend, and later we went as a family. Her radiance, fortitude and God’s love are what caught my father’s attention in the first place. He wanted what she had, and even after her passing, he continued to take us to church. Not only did we go on Sundays, but we took part in other activities there, too.

I am thankful that my parents’ faith in God was so pivotal in my childhood, and it helped draw me near to him once again.

It was during my college years that I fell away from attending church. I always prayed at night in order to fall asleep and knew God was listening. I still always sensed his presence and didn’t feel alone. Eight years ago, I realized something was missing, and it was my obedience to God. I wanted to walk closer to the Lord and physically do more—attend church, read the Bible and learn. I am happy to say that I am doing so and am very active in ways that I never dreamed possible at my church. I am thankful that my parents’ faith in God was so pivotal in my childhood, and it helped draw me near to Him once again.

Note from Alice
: Knock. Knock. “Who’s there?” Jesus. “Jesus? Oh, my God!” Then, Lisa obeyed and opened the door. That driving theme of missing Him repeats itself in Lisa’s story as it does in many stories. She admits that she needed what Jesus provides with opportunities to simply fall in love with Him! In essence, Lisa is blessed to have had one father who nurtured her on earthly matters and implied that help from her heavenly Father would be very acceptable. Lisa now works in special education at a local high school. Her story reveals a very special form of education—that which comes from the home.    

Biblical Note: “Why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” “Mary!” Jesus said. She turned toward him and exclaimed, “Teacher!” John 20:15-16 (NLT)

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