Dear Annie: When I was in high school, I collected articles that I found inspirational and motivational. One of my most prized pieces appeared in Ann Landers’ column in 1978. It was “Heaven’s Very Special Child” by Edna Massimilla, who had a daughter with severe disabilities.
After graduating from college in occupational therapy, I married and worked for 15 years in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and home health care.
When my third son was born with Down syndrome, he changed our world. After three emotional days, I remembered that column and found it at my parents’ house in the first box I opened.
My son is now 20 years old and has just graduated from high school. Would you be able to reprint this piece? I would like to frame it. – Missouri
Dear Missouri: We are, of course, delighted to reprint it. We know it has touched thousands over the years.
By Edna Massimilla Copyright 1956
A meeting was held, quite far from earth
“It’s time again for another birth”
Said the Angels to the Lord above,
“This special child will need much love.”
Her progress may seem very slow,
Accomplishments she may not show
And she’ll require extra care
From all the folks she meets down there.
She may not run or laugh or play
Her thoughts may seem quite far away
In many ways she won’t adapt,
And she’ll be known as handicapped.
So let’s be careful where she’s sent
We want her life to be content
Please, Lord, find the right parents who
Will do this special job for You.
They will not realize right away
The leading role they’re asked to play
But with this child sent from above
Comes stronger faith and richer love.
And soon they’ll know the privilege given
In caring for this gift from Heaven.
Their precious charge, so meek and mild
Is heaven’s very special child.