Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Rantings of an Amnesiac. . .

I know a blog is something you are suppose to keep up with far more often than I am.  I have so many stories, so many things in our lives to share, and then I sit to type and it's all gone. . . and I mean gone.  I know life has been challenging in the past few years, I can see it in the pictures I have in my files, I can see the lines hanging from my kids, the helmet on my son's head, the daily tantrums, the non-stop medicines, the constant appointments, etc, etc.  I know this is not the "normal" life that most lead, yet it is soooo normal to all of us.  It doesn't feel hard, or challenging at this very moment, because despite all of the "stuff", all is good.  I have developed a strange ability, liken to childbirth, to forget those times that ripped my heart out or caused me great pain.

I can honestly walk into the hospital for each admission and face it like it's just another day rather than relive the horror that has often manifested itself within those walls.  I can say hi to the staff and mean it, I can move in and out of those doors as easy as if it were a hotel and leave the crud behind. Most of the time I love this ability of mine.  It certainly makes the day to day grind easier and doesn't allow me to focus on the often uncertain future of my children.  It allows me to live in the moment and not in the past or the future.

BUT. . .I hate it as well.  I find that I don't retain the good memories either.  I can't remember all of the funny things my kids say, despite laughing for hours about them.  I can't remember holding my son for the first time in my arms.  Well, maybe that's not entirely true. . . I can remember the acts, I just don't have the emotional tie to those memories.  I need pictures to often conjure up a memory and then that memory is just that, a snapshot of the very photo I needed to recall it.  I often recant to Peter my frustrations with this, as he has the amazing ability to remember everything from sights, to sounds, and even smells.  Oh how I long for that with some of my memories, and then on the other hand, I would also have to remember the sights, sounds and smells of so many bad things as well.  Ask me a date or or time when something happened to anyone of my children and I'll whip it off without a problem... ask me the date of my best friends birthday or how old my parents are or a date when Peter and I went someplace together and had a great time, and there is a blank.  I often joke with the kids and tell them, "Please be careful with how much you talk to me, because there is a finite amount of room in my head and the important stuff, like your birthday, might slip right out." My fear is, this is actually true.  I remember the dates and times of diagnosis'.  The exact weights of kids and every test and scan any one of the kids have had.   But, struggle with the more abstract and enjoyable things. 

I am confident God has granted me this amnesia for a reason.  To be a good mom.  I couldn't possibly relive the traumas over and over and still be able to breath each day, so he allows them to slip away.  I can't be picky and ask for Him to select which memories stay, so I find myself coming to the realization, I need to start writing them down.  I need to start ensuring that all of the amazing, wonderful things are recorded right along with the crappy and downright scary things.   It'll be messy and probably not all that coherent to the rest of the world, but they're my memories and stories so I'm not worried about it at all. 

So it begins, soon anyways, the rantings of an amnesiac.

Take Care and God Bless,

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Love. . .

I was horrified and honored to read the agonizing eulogy of a young mother who, along with her husband, lost all three of their precious daughters, as well as her mother and father, in a Christmas Day fire. I can not imagine the scene that day, as she was dragged away by the fire fighters, watching in horror as her life was consumed by unforgiving and relentless flames. As I read, I thought, how would I deal with such a situation, such a monumental ripping apart of my being, as my children and I are separated for the rest of this earthly life. How does a parent come to grips with such a concept, especially when there was no warning, no way to prepare for such an event. . . and on a day of joy such as Christmas none-the-less. Thinking about it actually causes me enormous anxiety. . . yet, there is no guarantee any of us will escape such a life altering event. No on on this earth is exempt from pain and suffering. . . it is what it is. This is a dark world, a cruel world and one that is unforgiving in its desire to try and take from us all that we have and even who we are are. But, there is one thing and only one thing that stands between us and that black abyss. It's love.

Love can and will conquer all. Love is an emotion that can drive a person to unbelievable acts of kindness and heroism, and it's an emotion that can drive a person to unthinkable acts of desperation and destruction. We are all capable of love, even the most vile of humans can feel love. . . the key is the ability to receive and reciprocate without the anticipation of something in return. As soon as you throw in the need for reciprocation, you have cheapened the exchange. . . you have not loved as God has attempted to teach us to love. Look around, see the news, read the paper, listen to people talk of one terrible thing after another. A mother kills her five children and then herself. A father steals a son from the loving arms of a mother and hides him away to never see him again, murders, stealing identities from the young and old, the list goes on and on. Walk through the corridors of any hospital, see the looks of desperation on the faces of the young and old who are abandoned by those that supposedly loved them. The abuse of "loving" is going on all the time. Yet, there are so many MORE examples of real love all around us, all the time, and it's our job to find them and learn from them. . . that's what this eulogy did for me today.

Today, I learned that through unspeakable loss one CAN speak of the one thing no one can take from them, love. I learned that through the eyes of a child and the love of a child's hear,t one can go on. I learned that as a person, who has and is experiencing the enormity of love and all it entails, it can bring you through situations you would have never thought you could endure.

As a parent, I have signed orders saying "Do Not Resuscitate" my child when they eventually stop breathing or their heart fails to continue beating. I have sat there and listened to doctors say, "There is just nothing more we can do except wait for nature to take its course." I have sat there and listened to the hushed whispers of the doctors, nurses, and support staff during rounds as they come up with a gentle way to tell you that the fight is coming to a close. I have planned the final hours of more than one of my children in my minds eye. The final bath, the final dressing, the final goodbye and the final physical touch . . . I have only had to carry out these plans once for a child I was to call my daughter. Even through all of that pain, Love and only Love was the thing that carries you through. I know, I am loved, by many. I also know I am loved by my Creator, God. I know that I have loved wholly and honestly and though it often hurts more than to not love, I don't regret it one iota. I have been granted more than my share of immunities from one of the greatest losses a parent can experience, the loss of their child. But, I have also witnessed more good-byes than I can remember of others, as they exchange their final farewells. From every one of these experiences, LOVE is the predominant emotion for virtually all of them. The love they felt, the love they continue to feel despite the inability for their child to reciprocate it any longer.

So today I feel blessed. I feel like I have been given another opportunity to learn life's greatest lesson. My heart can not fathom the loss of these 3 little girls and the unbearable grief the parents must feel. But, through their loss and their mother's love put into words. . . their legacy will go on. I know they have taught me and I'm sure they have taught many others.  The very thing their precious mother has prayed to happen, has happened. Thank You to Lily, Sarah and Grace, you have, indeed, touched my life.