One of the greatest lessons I have learned since Christopher was born is perspective. I sincerely try to write and share pieces of our life simply for a bit of insight. I want people to know what our life is like raising a child with significant needs. My ultimate hope is to share our family’s struggles and triumphs in a graceful way. I never want to come across as complaining or that I’m sharing for sympathy. Believe me, your sympathy is the last thing I want.
My hope is that I come across as grateful, trying to share the silver lining where I can. Yes, there will be days when the silver lining is extremely hard for me to see. And I have my days where grief takes over. I could make a list of things to be angry about but I’m not going to. I can’t change our life, the only thing I can do is live the best way I know how.
Three years ago my dad passed away from anaphylactic shock from a bee sting, Christopher was diagnosed with congenital disorder of glycosylation, and my uncle took his life tragically all within six months. Life was hard. Days were difficult. I shed more than my fair share of tears.
Instead of asking why me I started asking why not me? Because you know what? Tragedy is everywhere. Your neighbor. Your child’s teacher. You. Every one of us has a level of tragedy in our lives and instead of asking why me we should all be saying “why not me.” None of us is more important than the next. None of us is more equipped to handle loss and sadness more than the other. But many of us don’t take the time to recognize other people’s sadness or tragedy.
I was not prepared for a phone call on a Friday at work saying my father had passed away suddenly. A father who hadn’t returned my call when I called on Monday, and I will forever wish he had.
I was not prepared for a call from my child’s neurologist an hour after a brain MRI saying “how much do you want to know?” And when she told me not to google the words she just said I knew when I did finally google I would be scared out of my mind.
I was not prepared for a call from my mom in the early morning to tell me the tragic news that my uncle took his own life. And as much as I wanted to know details and the whys and how, I actually really didn’t.
Not one person is prepared for any of that.
Thinking about each of those scenarios I can’t help but think further and as much as I wasn’t prepared….no one else was either.
My mom had to call me to tell me my father passed away. Can you imagine the strength it took to say those words?
Our neurologist called me the day after his MRI saying how terrible she felt about herself that she delivered our son’s news over the phone. I reminded her that I specifically asked her to tell me all she could over the phone. Can you imagine how many of those heart wrenching calls she has to make?
Again, my mom had to deliver the tragic news of my uncle to me when I was still grieving the loss of my father and the sadness swirling around the diagnosis of Christopher. Not an easy call to make to say the least.
I think that I have been given a great gift. The gift of perspective. I will forever be grateful that one of the many lessons Christopher has taught me, perspective is one of the greatest. Because of him, I will cherish our life. I will be kind. I will forgive. I won’t, and don’t, sweat the small stuff. I will live with abandon. I will do my very best to always find a glimmer of hope, even if it’s just a tiny sparkle. And I hope that when you read one of my blogs you do too.