An NLD Fairy Tale

    Once upon a time, there lived a sweet princess, who had long, blond hair, big green eyes, and a big, genuine smile.  The princess was kind to everyone, even those who were mean to her (and there were plenty of those people).  As a baby, the princess had been born to a woman who was too sick to take care of her, so one day, a beautiful fairy godmother saw an ad in the New York Times for a sweet little baby who needed a home.  The fairy godmother went immediately to the foster care agency to see the baby, as she wanted to be the first in line.  Sure enough, the fairy godmother brought the baby home, and that night, there was a joyous block party.  Everyone in the neighborhood came to see the new baby.  The baby had three new older brothers, and a fairy godmother who loved her more than anyone who had ever loved a baby.  

    The fairy godmother not only fed and held and loved the baby, but was caring and observant enough to notice that the baby was having some problems.  The baby was not holding her head up at the expected age, and although she talked quite often and early, she had difficulty learning to walk, as well.  The fairy godmother read books to help the baby, and encouraged the baby's singing talent.  One day, some wicked women from the foster care agency tried to take the baby away from the fairy godmother, because the baby's birth mother wanted her back.  However, one nice social worker at the agency said, "If you take this baby away from this women, she will be traumatized for life."  So, that is when the fairy godmother found out that the baby was hers forever.  Sadly, that same day, the fairy godmother's youngest son, the sweetest one and the closest to the baby, died from complications of heart surgery.  He was only 7 years old, and he was born with a bad heart.  The baby cried and cried, not understanding why her beloved brother was not coming home.  The fairy godmother maintained her sweet patience and loving manner through her own pain, and assured the baby that her brother was up in Heaven and taking care of everyone.  Despite the fairy godmother's patience, however, the baby continued to have trouble sleeping and eating, and she did not grow or gain weight for nearly two years as a result of the trauma of losing her brother.


    When the baby was three years old, the fairy godmother married a very nice man who took care of them all.  He had a daughter of his own, and everyone became a close family who went camping and on trips together, and shared lots of great times. In 1975, when the little girl was five years old, the fairy godmother and her new husband got to adopt the little girl.  This was the happiest day of their lives. The baby started getting picked on in first grade, when the other kids began noticing that she was "different" from them.  Although she talked a blue streak, had  the vocabulary of an adult, and could appear sweet and charming to adults, the other kids despised her lack of coordination and poor social skills.  She was tripped in the hallway, laughed at, and had very few friends, in any.  However, the baby (now a little girl) so loved coming home every day to the fairy godmother, where everything was wonderful, and she was made to feel so special.  The fairy godmother always told the little girl how beautiful and smart, and special she was.  All of the loving at home helped to make the torture at school more bearable.  The little girl was also fortunate to have a wonderful teacher for first and second grade, who took the time to help.  The little girl was given more time to do her class work, and the fairy godmother helped her with homework and role played social situations with her.  The fairy godmother spent countless hours picking out clothes that would help the little girl fit in, even with her meager budget.


    All through middle school and high school, the girl had trouble with math, gym, and making friends.  Whenever the girl despaired of ever making friends or having a "normal life" (husband, children, etc), the fairy godmother would tell her that there was someone out there who was waiting for someone special just like herself, and that she had a lot going for her to succeed.  The fairy godmother would often remark, "I wish you had an idea of how far you have come. It has been my joy to witness your successful progress over the years." Also, from time to time, the fairy godmother would look at the girl and say, "I really love you a lot, Kid." The fairy godmother, being a sports fan, also encouraged the book-loving girl to learn to like sports.  The fairy godmother said, "Someday, you will meet a handsome prince who loves sports!"  In the social arena, she found that when she went to her special camp, or to places away from home (even with non-disabled peers), that she was able to make friends.  Realizing this, the girl decided that she really wanted to go away to college.  The fairy godmother made a book of all colleges with LD programs, and took the girl to visit them.  Even though there was not a great deal of money, being an unselfish person, the fairy godmother sent the girl to her first choice school, the University of Vermont.  The college was an excellent choice, as she made wonderful friends, got some dating experience, and did well with the assistance of excellent LD service providers.  Every semester, the fairy godmother eagerly pored over the girl's college books, interested in everything the girl was learning.  As the girl grew older, she began to have an  even richer relationship with the fairy godmother, as they could go shopping together and laugh and chat like girlfriends, but at the same time, the girl knew that she could always depend on the fairy godmother to be there for her and make her feel safe.  Life was really, really good.


    One day, while the girl was home from college for Thanksgiving break, the fairy godmother had some very sad news.  The fairy godmother had to tell the girl that she had cancer, and that she did not know how long she had to live, but that she was going to try to beat it.  Well, the girl was so heartbroken, that she was unable to speak for several days (Quite unusual for someone with NLD).  The girl watched, both from college far away and from home, as the fairy godmother braved her way through chemotherapy, radiation, blood transfusions, back pain, and all of the other symptoms of the terrible disease that ravaged her poor body.  The girl tried to be brave, as she did not want to upset the fairy godmother, who was so incredibly brave.  The fairy godmother told the girl that she did not want her to "be brave".  She wanted her to be "natural".  The fairy godmother wanted to girl to come to her with problems or with anything she would have done before the illness.  The fairy godmother wanted things to be as normal as possible.  The girl had never seen such incredible braveness and love for life in anyone.  With so much to live for, the fairy godmother managed to live for five years with this insidious illness.  Then, in June of 1996, the fairy godmother's first granddaughter was born.  The fairy godmother was the best grandmother that ever was, knitting a blanket for the baby to come home in, and teaching the girl about how to care for a baby.  The girl was hoping in vain that the fairy godmother would be around to see her baby. 


    In the early morning hours of November 22, 1996, the fairy godmother left this earth and went to Heaven.  Although the girl was not sure she believed in Heaven, she knew, without a doubt, that if there was a Heaven, that surely the fairy godmother would be there.  The girl had a very hard time of it, and started writing to the fairy godmother in a journal and talking to her, hoping for a sign of response.  Well, one night, in February, 1997, the girl was at a Jewish Singles Dance at a club in the city, and in walked a handsome prince.  The prince came over to the girl and asked her to dance with him.  The rest was history.  The prince and the girl dated for a few years, building a wonderful relationship.  The prince made the girl feel very special, as he was very loving and supportive.  He learned all about NLD, and when the girl was invited to participate on a panel for NLD adults in Monterey, California, he was very proud of her and encouraged her to go.  The prince also was very supportive of the girl's singing, going to every one of her shows, even though they were in the city, and sometimes he missed a baseball game.  (The fairy godmother was right about the prince who loved sports)!    On October 31, 2001, the prince placed the fairy godmother's engagement ring on the bow of the girl's favorite teddy bear that had been a gift from the prince.  The prince said to the girl, "Will you spend the rest of your life with me?"  The girl, crying joyful tears, exclaimed, "Yes!" 


    Now, missing the fairy godmother very much, the girl tried to summon her presence at all times during the planning of the wedding.  When the girl tried on her first dress (the one she ended up buying), a song the fairy godmother had loved was playing--"Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion.  A few months later, the mother of two of the prince's friends gave an engagement dinner for the prince and his bride-to-be.  Well, the girl found a kindred spirit, another fairy godmother.  This one had been truly sent from her very own fairy godmother angel up above.  The new fairy godmother helped the girl get her dress altered, helped with party favors and invitations and planning, but more importantly, became a truly wonderful special friend.  The new fairy gave a very touching speech at the girl's wedding, mentioning how special the girl's fairy godmother must have been.   


    Now, the girl is happily married to the man of her dreams, a prince who treats her like the princess that the fairy godmother always told her she was.  The prince encourages the girl to try new things, but always understands when her NLD makes certain things hard.  The girl never has to feel ashamed or embarrassed around him, as he is her best friend.  The girl was forever miss the physical presence of her fairy godmother, as she feels that she did not get a chance to give back any of the wonderful, priceless gifts that the fairy godmother gave her.  Be that as it may, the girl knows that her fairy godmother is smiling at her little blond princess with her handsome, loving, sports-loving hubby.  She is smiling down with a look of pure pride, and a lot of LOVE.