Sarah Cachia broke the internet yesterday with the most heartwarming Facebook post ever about her son’s first night in Paceville.
Posted on The Salott, the story already garnered 3,200 likes and received hundreds of comments.
Here it is in full:
I feel the need to write this here. It’s quite long, sorry. I guess I could have just posted it on my timeline, but I wanted to reach out to other mothers (or anybody else who wants to hear my message for that matter) to someone, anyone who may share my anxieties, who may feel my fears, who may want to keep their children safe from harm.
Even more so if they are challenged!
Yesterday my 18-year old-son ventured out to Paceville for the very first time in his teenage life.
What’s the big deal you may ask? Well, believe me it was a very big deal for him (and me) and thankfully another milestone was successfully crossed off his very long list of challenges that he wants to overcome.
My son is physically challenged. No, he isn’t in a wheelchair, but he walks a little ‘different’ and has problems keeping his balance – a result of his hemiplegia. He wasn’t born disabled. In the prime of his youth at the age of 15 – an age when he was supposed to be carefree and out having fun with his friends – he was struck down by an illness left fighting for his life.
Thankfully he won his battle, but was left challenged and not just physically, but also emotionally after such a terrible trauma.
As his mother I couldn’t kiss and make it all better so I did everything in my power to raise his morale, to remind him of all he had to be grateful for. He was alive!! I even told him he was my super hero. My Titanium Man!
And yes, thankfully my upbeat approach has paid off. He has been surrounded by positivity not just from myself, but from his entire family and all around him. Such great medicine. I am blessed to have an amazing altruistic young man as a result and ever so proud of all he has achieved despite his challenges!
Which brings me to why I am writing here today.
“I could do so many things to make him happy, but this was one challenge that only he could face on his own.”
Unfortunately everything has its price. My son lost his youth. He was left emotionally scarred and I would say that it is the invisible challenges that have been the hardest to overcome.
For the past three years he has struggled to reintegrate with kids his own age. He is loved by so many, but his friends have moved on with their lives and sadly those that I thought I could rely on to help him refind himself have let him down. He is not bitter. Neither am I. Some kids feel overwhelmed and just cannot handle the responsibility, even though he has become totally independent requiring only minimal assistance to climb stairways.
After wanting for so long to go out on the town like so many teenagers do on a Saturday night last night my son had a choice to make. To venture out on his own or to spend another Saturday night out with us (his parents) looking on at other teenagers having fun. I can’t tell you how heartbreaking that is for me as I feel his pain at not being one of the boys.
“What do you think mum? Should I go? Am I ready? Not sure if I can do this. I’m so confused,” he asked me looking for answers.
I thought about these past months when he has been trying to make friends with kids his own age to go out with them, about the youth clubs, the let downs and the rejections, about my efforts to help him ‘belong’.
I could do so many things to make him happy, but this was one challenge that only he could face on his own. I thought to myself, why not? He wanted to go, so why not?!
“Go,” was my reply.
“Remember, you fail if you don’t try!”
Going against my mother’s instinct to protect him and using a mantra I often use when he looks to me for advice.
As we dropped him off at Paceville I can’t tell you all the scenarios that played around in my head. The pushing, shoving careless youths and yes, even those who would perhaps ridicule him.
I felt like I had thrown him in at the deep end and he hadn’t yet learned how to swim!
Read more about Sarah’s son Jacob: The Titanium Man.
Anyway fast forward to 1:30am. He called us. We went to pick him up.
He couldn’t stop talking about what fun he had, the new people he had met,how great the bouncer at Havana was and the barman at Plush, how other youths had looked out for him and on and on and on.
This carried on for the next hour or so until he finally slept blissfully satisfied with himself!!
And it wasn’t just my son that slept happy last night as I thought to myself that we hear so much negativity.
Yes, we live in a negative world. FACT. And yes it’s so easy to be swallowed up by our fears and our anxieties that we hold back from doing what we really want to do, from facing our fears and our challenges whatever they may be, from taking the next step forward when really it’s the only step you have to take!
I want to say a big thank you to all the people that crossed my son’s path yesterday and remind others to give people credit where they deserve it. Not only point out the bad behaviour that we see.
How we behave starts with us and we can make a difference. Well, at least it did last night in one young man’s life ???????????????????? Positivity 1 Negativity 0
And as if that weren’t enough, check out this beautiful exchange from one of the people touched by Sarah’s story.