Sandra Stein capturing heart and sole in her Bloom Article

October 21, 2013

I am in awe of writers… their ability to choose the exact word to bring the emotion or feeling directly to the reader. I am there. I am her. I feel this about Sandra because she is a mom warrior. And not only that, but a mom warrior who is able to share her war stories with grace and poise. Please see her blog post for Bloom, dated Friday October 18th.

Nothing is Permanent

by Sandra Joy Stein

When my son was two years old, he played like most toddlers I’ve known. He built block towers and yelled in frustration when they toppled down. He climbed every structure at our neighborhood park and protested when it was time to leave. He complained when a beloved toy stopped working, broke, or the batteries ran dry. I decided, half-jokingly, that I would try to teach him the Buddhist Law of Impermanence—the notion central to Buddhist teaching that things change and nothing lasts forever. I suggested to my husband and other parents, with a strong dash of humour, that this law would ease our children’s sense of loss or disappointment, which would only intensify as their lives progressed. I do not claim to be a master of Buddhist thought, but it did occur to me that if our children were to know and accept the Law of Impermanence at a young age, it would increase their chances of living happy lives.

When an autoimmune encephalitis rendered my formerly healthy son severely neurologically compromised at two-and-a-half years old, my lighthearted lessons to him became my son’s own profound teachings to me. In two weeks he went from crafting percussion instruments out of anything he could get his hands on to thrashing around in a hospital crib. He went from exclaiming excitedly “Mommy! An upside-down M is a W!” to being non-verbal. He went from riding a two-wheeler with training wheels for miles at a time to being non-ambulatory and tube-fed. We lived in hospitals for 15 months before being discharged to home with near-round-the-clock nursing care, a wheelchair, a supine stander, a bath chair, and a rigorous home-based therapy schedule. Our former lives a distant memory, it was clear: things had changed. …
To continue reading Sandra’s blog for Bloom, please click here. Sandra also wrote an article for the New York Times that we referred to in an earlier post.