One Glad Dad -- By Joseph J. Mazzella

"Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate." (Ps 127:3-5 NIV)


I am one glad dad these days. I feel so very blessed. Everyday I thank God for these three wonderful souls He sent to be my children. They all have such beautiful spirits. They all bring joy to me and to the world around them every single day. It is always such a pleasure to take walks around town with my oldest son. He has more people say "Hi" to him in a day than I do in a week. This is because his goodness and friendliness touches the hearts of everyone he meets. My youngest son rarely speaks at all, yet his spirit shines in other ways. His spontaneous joy and delight in the simplest things makes me smile and his wonderful laughter sounds as beautiful as an angel’s song. Both of my sons do have Autism, but Autism doesn’t have them.

My boys also remind me that sometimes the brightest souls come to Earth in disguise. They come hidden in broken bodies and handicapped minds. They come needing our help and care, yet at the same time they show the rest of us how to live. They go around spreading love, sharing joy, and shining God’s light. And they help us to realize that we can do the same.

Those who know them often become better because of them too. I know that my daughter’s kind, giving, and loving heart has grown stronger and more beautiful because of them. She has had to face a lot growing up with two "special" brothers, but she has used it all to become the wonderful, young woman she is today. Her own spirit glows so brightly. She has already become one of those shining souls who makes the world a better place just by being in it.

I think that I will remain one glad dad for all of my days here. Life has given me a lot of challenges and struggles to face, but God has given me the love, joy, and strength to face them. Life has given me two handicapped sons to raise and care for, but Heaven has blessed me with three shining souls to show me what it means to live and what it means to love.


Joe Mazzella