Sophie started receiving physical therapy at five months old, it was a tough start. Cheryl was her physical therapist, she was truly amazing. She had an instant connection with Sophie and always gave her the opportunity to develop without pushing her, accepting he limitations and helping her flourish. She helped me understand what my part was in helping Sophie and to accept that things will happen when she is ready.
Sophie had very minimal range in her ankles and the stretches were torcher. I would stretch her ankles at every diaper change holding her heel in my hand and pressing her foot toward her for 30 seconds with each foot. She cried and cried in pain, it would break my heart every time I did it to see her suffer so much. Daddy could not watch it was too much for him to handle, but I knew it had to be done. In about a months time the change in her range or the ability to move her foot was beautiful. I will never forget that month it’s burned in my memory forever.
As time progressed she began to gain core strength, with small strides but she has always been a very determined little girl, she does not give up easily. She never used her hands much, I like to say she is just hardwired a little differently so it took longer for her to learn to hold herself up. But, that she did. By 19 months she had learned to sit and crawl, in the same week to make it an even better surprise.
Cheryl never focused much on the fact that she was not trying to walk yet, it was very important that she learn the other basic skills such as standing and balance before we ventured into walking. She always told me when she catches up cognitively to where she it physically it will come together and she is right. But she never stopped pushing her, even in those tough sessions where Sophie fought because it was so hard she pushed her through it. She has a gift with children, the patience of a saint and so beautifully soft-spoken. Plus she knows all the good kids songs!
This past June we were faced with a difficult decision but one I did not think twice about. Sophie’s immune system had become to weak and we just could not keep her healthy so we switched to in-home therapy to limit exposure to germs. It was the right decision health wise, but we miss Cheryl so much. It saddens me that she will not physically be here to witness Sophie’s magical moments but she is always here in thought with us as we push on everyday.
Do you have an amazing therapist? Have you told them how wonderful they are? I realize now how important it is to let the people around you know how much you care. Not everyone cares as I have recently come to experience. Sometimes there are just not enough words to describe such immense feelings, but I’ll give it a go.
Dear Cheryl, I hope you know what a magnificent therapist, friend and mother you are. I know God wanted us to cross paths for a reason. You know my pain and many times helped me see the light through your kind words and support. I want you to know how very important and special you are and always will be in our lives. I feel very blessed to have known you. I pray for you that God may smile upon you always. As I have come to experience not all therapists really truly care for your child. I know you are different, your kindness and love radiate from within you. You touched my life more than you could ever possible imagine. I thank you, from the depths of my soul for being you! We miss you!! ~Sophie and Charity~
This one’s for you Cheryl, our girl is almost there!
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