When your faith is shaken
There are certain things that revisiting hurts. Events, occurrences, situations that make your faith shake. I call myself one of the lucky ones. My faith has been shaken, my wheels have fallen off the track they were "meant" for, and more often than I'd like to admit my reserve of self fuel gently alarms me when it's nearing empty.
Where does this lead to and why is this so significant? It's not quite the fast food version of "how to hold onto your faith when it feels broken" that I'm about to digress. "Medical Mom". "Advocate". "Strong"... aren't titles I've earned overnight. I've seen my son fighting and riding a fine line between life and death more than I'll ever say out loud. I've saturated my mind in an endless sea of hours of self education and research while I've dug for answers for my sons health diagnoses. I've prayed to God every day that above anything else, he will be happy and fulfilled in life-secondary to his health being good. I've accepted- FULL HEARTEDLY accepted- the fact that any day might be his last day. I allow myself to be mad and upset while I've mulled over the thoughts of how my child could be born with so many health complications. MY truth is a truth in and of itself that belongs to no other human on this earth. I recognize exactly how beautiful life really is. The moments, the triumphs, the small celebrations have become the puzzle pieces that somehow fit and fill into the bends and cracks that have engraved their way on my heart. I fell asleep for 323 days while he was in the ICU, in a strange bed that I called my "temporary home" and cried myself to sleep while I begged God to let my son live. I've learned that the sound of my sons respiration's on his ventilator around the clock are the most calming noise to me, because it means he is alive.
A secret to the ones who want to to hear it?
Hold onto the important stuff. Whether it's merely memories themselves or a physical object that reminds you of how your hurt has transformed your soul and the way you value life around you. My important stuff for my son is kept in my own little messy way that sits heavy on my heart, but rather light on my mind for keeping the records. It consists of medical documents that sit in a binder in his bedroom. That binder signifies the scab and the band aide to some of our wounds. It holds pertinent information of his past. It gives glimpses into what has made him who he is. It doesn't define him, but does tell his unique story. A story that has become this wound that every so often I lift the band aid to find a piece of health information in the organized heaping binder... which thus results to the "scab" of wounds that begins to bleed. There is no cure or fix for peeling back the layer of the band aide and revealing the scabs and scars that are hidden. What I can say is that there is far too much pride and determination that I hold as a Mother to let the painful days that are summed up into black and white documents do anything more for me than build my character. My skin has become calloused and tough.
My heart has become more real and honest than it's ever been.
For each comment, or pat on the shoulder that tries convincing me how well I've held up since having my son, there are far more nightmares that have molded me into the Mother that I am than the words of others. With diligence and respect, a parent who is backed by an army of encouraging words and "shoulder pats" is a force to be reckoned with. It is the moments, days, weeks, and months of fear and isolation that fueled me to be the Mother that I am today. It is the people who have stayed on the sidelines, and those who have rushed into the marathon flood gates to help wipe the scrapes from my body when I've fallen, who help me continue on the marathon of being a parent to a medically complex and fragile child. An innocent life who shows me every day what it means to persevere shines from the very soul of my two year old son.
I am the Mother who will always turn the word no into NOW. When my son needs his prayers answered or his needs met, my job is to make sure that when push comes to shove, we don't wait when we're told no. When his health and life depend on NOW, we prove that we've got his six. No isn't a word that's accepted in our household. Maybe we've become rough around the edges, raw, impatient, fearlessly filled with fear, gifted with adversity and trust in God's plan.. perhaps we've grown from the people who we were before having our son, and maybe we're real "MVP" parents who have turned into not so great "friends" to the ones we use to be able to "show up" for.
What I do know is this: Love Wins.
No matter what kind of day we've had with our son, our gift and our little hero on this medical roller coaster- there has never for one second been a lack or lapse of true and unconditional love. For that I will always be thankful for. Some go their entire lives without experiencing the feelings of unconditional love. I will continue to have HOPE that those who seek unconditional love can find it within themselves to love their selves first, and thus be able to unconditionally always show up for the ones who rely on them. If you've yet to experience your reason here on Earth, I can promise you that the day will come. You'll see the world in another human being's eyes and it leads you to the greatest devotion you could have never even dreamt of. When two roads diverge- always take the one less traveled.
-Dee - Proud Owner and Founder of My Hero Calls me Mama