Children of Courage Award

You asked for it. Joshua’s trophy.

The layout is here.

I was surprised when Anne rang me to let me know that Josh had been one of the many wonderful special needs children in Geraldton to be honored with the award for Children of Courage. I didn’t quite know how to take this. I was unsure that he was “deserving” and felt really odd about it. I don’t really know why, I just did. Joshua is a very special boy who faces challenges everyday that I will never have to, but somehow I didn’t see that as “brave”. He just does what he does, just as every person does what they must, to get on in life.

“Courageous” to me, is putting on a fire suit and going out in the roaring heat to put out a dangerous fire. “Courageous” to me is undergoing surgery to give up a kidney to give someone a chance in life. “Courageous” to me is jumping in the ocean to rescue someone drowning.

Don’t flame me here. I am being honest.

I voiced my concern to Anne and she assured me that this was a perfect time to have these special kids recognised, for them to recieve a special award, especially after all they had been through, and are still going through.

Anne is great. She is a “lioness” and she was my child heath nurse. You know, the one you take your baby to when it’s little to get weighed and checked for all those little things. You ask questions like ” is that poop colour normal?” and “when can I give solids?”. The child health nurse would know when the sniffles needed a doctors attention, and when the hips weren’t quite right to refer you to the next step. You are supposed to go every so often, monthly or something like that. I think I was there every week. Anne was straight down the line. Anne often made me cry. Anne told it like it was. I needed Anne. My questions were far different from the questions a mother of a typical child would have. I would ask questions about mental retardation, I wanted to know if Joshua could see, I wanted to know why he cried for so long, so much, so often, what I was doing wrong, why couldn’t he lift his head, what I could do to make it better and how long Joshua might live. Sometimes I didn’t dare even ask the questions, for fear of the answer. Sometimes Anne would tell me things no one else dared. Things that would make me cry. I remember the day she used the “W” word. I was devestated for a week that she even uttered the word to me. The “W” word was “wheelchair”. Quite obviously to a proffessional Joshua wasn’t going to walk, but I didn’t see this. I knew it, but I refused to see it. When Anne suggested one day my little boy might need a wheelchair I was heartbroken. I don’t remember my mentality from back then, the reason I was so upset, but I remember crying so long. Maybe for me the wheelchair was the ultimate symbol of disability. Anne told me as it was, and she got the ball rolling on many things that I wasn’t quite strong enough to do like involving disability services which got respite services in place. Anne was also there for my next three children, with all those regular questions. She used to come to my home when the twins were babies as getting out was pretty tricky. I am ever-so-grateful for Anne.

So, Anne tells it straight, and has known us for a long time, we are one of “her families”. Joshua was to become one of Lions Children of Courage.

Here is what Shane Hill said about Joshua on the day:

“Joshua is 12. Joshua has a rare chromosomal abnormality.
Joshua has lived his life with great challenges.
He is unable to walk, talk or communicate and needs around the clock care for everyday living. Joshua’s sight and hearing are impaired and he was the second youngest person in Australia to become an insulin dependent diabetic at the age of 5 months. He attends the wonderful special school here where he recieves the best care, love and attention that he can be given.
His bravery is shown everyday as he has blood tests and injections several times a day without complaint or fear.
He is a happy child, easily pleased with a movie (or ten) and loves people. He likes nothing better than to make someone laugh out loud”.

Now Josh has a lovely big trophy in his room and he totally enjoyed the day out with his peers.

And he has lived with courage. He is brave every day. If I had to live with what he does every day I think I would be mighty scared.

I would rather put on a fire suit, or give up a kidney or jump in the ocean.


9 responses to “Children of Courage Award

  1. Julie Marchetti

    Tania, that is beautiful and as one of Anne’s families (sick mum, very sick mum who was close to death but refused to believe it) I know exactly how you feel about Anne. Even with said baby being 13 years old, she still pops in on her walk and “tells it like it is”.
    Joshua and you all deserve all you get.
    Love, Julie Marchetti

  2. Maybe it should be a “Families of Courage” award. The everyday challenges you all face are so huge, and yet you face them with love and smiles. And so does Josh – a well-deserved award to one of my favourite families. xxx

  3. Pingback: Families of Courage « Country Chix Weblog

  4. I agree with Lisa- “Families of Courage” would be more appropriate. All of you fight his battles right alongside him. Yes it would be lovely to ask Josh if he sees himself as brave and courageous and even lovlier to get an answer, but how could the answer be anything but the one we know he would give. I am sure he would say that sure, things get rough and even scary but you just gotta get on with it and do the best you can with the hand you were dealt. And for him that takes courage.

  5. What a very fitting award for a very gorgeous boy . Joshua has so many challenges in his life but I can’t think of better parents or siblings than Joshua has to help him face these challenges.

  6. Aw thanks. {sniff}

  7. You need to include that entry right next to a giant picture of that trophey in your scrapbook

  8. I think I could make room for that. I’d never thought of putting my blogged words in. Thanks.

  9. Pingback: Since July 2006 « The Scrapbook House Blog

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