Suzie’s birthday was October 29th. She started school when she was still 2 years old. Each school day, I would take her to the bus stop and put her on the big bus with all the other children. I remember calling the bus office and telling them that she would need a seatbelt because she was only 2. This was before car seats were in use for young children.
When she got to school, her principal would take her off the bus and carry her around the school to visit all the teachers and students because our particular neighborhood was one of the first to be dropped off at school in the morning.
Suzie was enrolled in our local school district special education classes until she was 10 years old at which time we decided to place her in a group home in Chicago, Il. She stayed there for 3 years and eventually we moved her to a smaller school and home in Monmouth, Il. because we wanted her to be closer to home.
Placing Suzie in a home away from home was a decision that I agonize about all the time. But, one cannot go back and second guess choices that seemed correct 40 years ago. Decisions that were made in another time and place can only be accepted and a person has to try to find peace with them.
As I look back I realize that Suzie was able to have friends and activities that she would never have experienced at home alone with only me.
Life is all about choices and whatever choices we make we have to take solace in knowing that we did the best we could at the time with the information and advice that was available to us.
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