About Me

My photo

Monica Pickard spent twenty years of her adult life as a child care provider. During that time, with the help of her husband, she raised her son who has been diagnosed with Autism and Developmental Delay. She learned to navigate a world that was new to her – the world of Special Needs. She now shares these experiences and the wisdom they taught her, with love and heartfelt compassion for the human condition.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Please Help Us!

It is so easy to place blame for the ills of society. We blame the politicians. We blame that other political party. We blame those other races. We blame the cheaters and the takers. We blame the criminals. We blame the abusers. 

When we’re pointing our fingers at all those other people, we fail to see that three of our own fingers are pointing back at us. 



As the young mother of a child with disabilities, I was bombarded with tons of new information. It was like taking a completely new subject in college; a subject I had heard about, but never felt the need to know more about, until now. I didn’t want to know more - I needed to know more. But this was not a fun learning experience. Much of the information coming in was disturbing. It is still disturbing. At some point, I decided to look away from the disturbing things I would have to deal with in the future because they were way too scary for my young mind. These things made me feel like I needed to live forever to protect my son. All while knowing I would not live forever. 

He will end up vulnerable in the hands of strangers. 

I can do everything in my power to set things up for him so that he is in a good place. But I won’t be here to watch out for him. 

Will someone else who loves him take my place? Possibly, but what if something happens to them? 

What if the voters begin to have brain farts and vote for people who want to cut Medicaid and Medicare? They don’t realize he is even more vulnerable when that happens. He is not even on their radar! He is not on anyone’s radar except for the people closest to him. I know this because recently there was a series of articles in the Chicago Tribune about Illinois’ failure to care for its most vulnerable people. These articles were very disturbing to those of us who love someone with special needs, but these articles are not making the media rounds the way a pussy grab by Donald Trump does. They are not being shared on social media as much as an ISIS beheading.

Terrorism.

Now there’s a subject!

We seek protection from terrorism. We want a tough president who will bomb the hell out of Islamic countries to protect us from terrorism. We want our congress people to be tough, too. They need to be willing to vote for war to keep us safe. We vote for them to keep us safe.

Meanwhile, back at the group home, PEOPLE – who happen to have the misfortune of being born with intellectual disabilities – are being neglected, abused, held hostage, robbed of their SSI, and God only knows what else. This is terrorism. It is the threat of terrorism my family lives with every day. This is the threat of our future!

And the world does not seem to care.

Today, as I write this, it is Christmas morning 2016, now 7:10 am. I write with tears in my eyes and the biggest pain in my heart after a sleepless night of thinking about and praying for the people I read about in those Chicago Tribune articles and my own son who is at risk of being one of those discarded people one day. Many of them were not discarded willingly by their families. The people that loved them most have died. Soon my two men will be up. One will open his new DVDs and music CDs while the other takes his picture as I help him open his gifts. It will be a happy day. We will go to my parent’s house for dinner and probably won’t speak of these issues, just as all of you will go about your day and probably won’t mention terrorism unless a major attack happens today somewhere in the world. Then it will be headline, front page, non-stop media coverage of every tiny detail on a loop. Everyone will talk about it. Did you hear...? Did you see...?

The terrorism my family and so many other families live with daily will not get trapped in the radar of the media and therefore won’t get trapped in the average person’s radar either. No person will talk about this. No person will take responsibility for creating a solution. 

People believe they are vulnerable to terrorism, but they don’t believe they are vulnerable to being neglected, abused, held hostage, robbed of their only source of income, and God only knows what else. Their children and grandchildren are not vulnerable to it either. It is not terrorism to them. It is not an everyday fear for them. It is a passing horror to read about, but one of those things they can say someone else should do something about. Wow, that’s horrible! Those families need to ban together to stop this. They should do better research on these places so their kids don’t get placed there...



The families of these vulnerable people cannot do it by ourselves. We need you! Get angry that your fellow citizens are being treated this way! Learn about the causes of this madness – the lack of funding which leads to the lack of homes and low-paid workers, which leads to fewer choices for families, which leads to more opportunities for the dishonest to take advantage of these vulnerable people for their own greed. If we had more funding, we would have more choices and much less vulnerability to this terrorism. Maybe you don’t have family that is vulnerable to this, but you do have a heart. Many of you have a background of faith. Just call your local representatives and tell them to make funding for our vulnerable citizens a priority. It is the very least you can do to combat the terrorism of our everyday lives and our futures.

If you had a sleepless night, thinking about these issues, worrying about your loved one’s future, you would know the feeling of being a victim of terrorism.

I have a Facebook page called Love Button Worthy! It features photos, blogs, quotes, and other content full of positivity and inspiration. Click here to check it out. Please like the page if it suits you and don’t forget to invite your friends to like it, too.  


Click here for books I love. I hope this blog helps you to create a more peaceful life. Keep in touch by the following methods: Use the links under the archive menu to subscribe or follow by e-mail. Help me get this message out by sharing it with your friends on social media! If you enjoyed it and were helped by it, they will, too! Comment by using the comment link below or write to me with your comments and questions at mindchange4all@gmail.com  I look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



Well, I know I have not posted much the past couple of months, but I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Joshua and I are abundantly grateful for all of you who read this blog and give us support in many different ways. 

We have some exciting news coming in early 2017! I can't wait to share Joshua's new adventure with all of you. 

For now, below is a short, but excellent article to help enlighten us about the way we see disability. Be sure to share it and this blog with your friends and family!

Love to you all...

5 Things Adults Unlearn About Disability


I have a Facebook page called Love Button Worthy! It features photos, blogs, quotes, and other content full of positivity and inspiration. Click here to check it out. Please like the page if it suits you and don’t forget to invite your friends to like it, too.  

Click here for books I love. I hope this blog helps you to create a more peaceful life. Keep in touch by the following methods: Use the links under the archive menu to subscribe or follow by e-mail. Help me get this message out by sharing it with your friends on social media! If you enjoyed it and were helped by it, they will, too! Comment by using the comment link below or write to me with your comments and questions at mindchange4all@gmail.com  I look forward to hearing from you!


Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Bipartisan Prayer for Unity


          This has been a difficult year for our country because of this election. We are divided, it feels, like never before. Neither side understands the other. That is nothing new, but it seems like we are voting against a candidate and ideology rather than for a candidate. Maybe that’s the way it has always been – I don’t know. One thing is for certain: There will be winners and losers on November 9, causing far too many Americans some major stress and a horrible disappointment. I fear it will be me. Some are already majorly stressed and disappointed. So much so that they will refrain from voting this year because neither choice is acceptable to them. For these people, all hope is already lost. This election has been unpredictable throughout the process. Although I want to think my candidate will be victorious, I fear my internal reaction if this is not the case. I see myself spiraling downward into a depression with more fears arising within me, for our country and the world. If my candidate becomes the next president, I will feel great relief, but a part of me will still ache for my friends and family whose candidate will not be president. I know they will feel just as scared and depressed as I would. It is for this reason that I have written this prayer. No matter who wins this election, we all will need to heal and unite. We cannot keep going down this divided road. I offer this prayer to God, for myself and for those I love, regardless of who becomes our next president, so that we can move forward together in Love.


Our Dearest Beloved,

Help us to surrender our hearts to Your will, whatever the outcome of this election may be. Help us to remember that Your will has been done, even though we may not understand the reason. It will be a challenge for many of us to accept this outcome, Dear Lord, but please help us to accept it; for with acceptance comes the loving warmth of Your peace.

Help us to heal our hearts towards these two candidates and towards each other. Help us to forgive the pain we have caused each other over this election. Help us to be kind to each other moving forward. Help us to remember that we love one another. 

Help us to understand our fears and to overcome them so that we may know 

ALL WILL BE OKAY

Help us to remember that You are in charge.


Help us to know ourselves as You know us. Show us our errors in thinking and belief so that we may be humble in making the most loving choices, moving forward, through You rather than through our egos. Help us to remember that when we align with You and Your Love, Your power gives us the strength to move mountains.

Help us to define ourselves rather than defining each other, Dear God. In doing so, may we gain insight into things we do not understand and to see the beauty in each other’s hearts. Help us to remember that people with whom we disagree are not stupid or evil and that they are more than their political beliefs; they are Americans, flawed and imperfect, but fully connected to You.

When we forget these things, help us to see one another and our new president as You see us - not as caricatures, but as Your beloved. Remind us that we all want the same things - ultimately - a peaceful, loving America and a peaceful, loving world; we want to prosper and we want security. 

And finally, help us work together to find solutions and compromises to benefit all of Your children. 

Please help us to achieve these goals, Oh Lord!

We thank you, Dear God, for Your help and for watching over us in our times of turmoil. We thank you for the lessons we learn and for the opening of our hearts and minds. We thank you for the times of prosperity and joy. Our human words can never express our gratitude for Your creation. Let us simply show our gratitude by loving You and each other as we serve Your will. 

Hear our prayer, Dearest Beloved, in the name of everlasting Peace and Freedom,
Amen


I have a Facebook page called Love Button Worthy! It features photos, blogs, quotes, and other content full of positivity and inspiration. Click here to check it out. Please like the page if it suits you and don’t forget to invite your friends to like it, too.  


Click here for books I love. I hope this blog helps you to create a more peaceful life. Keep in touch by the following methods: Use the links under the archive menu to subscribe or follow by e-mail. Help me get this message out by sharing it with your friends on social media! If you enjoyed it and were helped by it, they will, too! Comment by using the comment link below or write to me with your comments and questions at mindchange4all@gmail.com  I look forward to hearing from you!