“God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
“Everything happens for a reason.”
“This too shall pass.”
If I only had a quarter for each time I’ve had someone say those words to me. There are two ways to feel about these statements: either you want to punch the person that said them in the throat – and hard – or you desperately want them to wrap you a hug and hold on for dear life. Sometimes these feeling come on simultaneously, and all you can do is cry.
These feelings can come on after the death of a loved one, after a serious car accident or other major catastrophe or after learning that one of your children has a life altering disease of which they will never be cured.
I remember the night that Caden and I were life-flighted to Kansas City on that little Cessna jet. Hours after we had learned of his heart defect, my mom stood with me in the hallway and she told me that she was relieved.
“RELIEVED?!?!” I thought. I wanted to throat punch her. See? It is a normal response.
I get it now, and I am relieved too. Sorry, Mom. ♥ Good thing I didn’t actually throat punch you.
Our son Caden’s heart defect Truncus Arteriosus is severe and complex and he would never have survived past his first year or two of life without drastic intervention. It will also force him to undergo major surgery after major surgery and have constant medical supervision throughout his entire life BUT it is also something that can be fixed. We are fortunate in that. Some parents don’t get that lucky.
Lucky? I feel lucky that the only thing my son faces is his broken heart and the ramifications from his treatments. I feel fortunate that he is still here with us today – Lord knows how close we came to losing him on several different occasions, and then I think of my friends that can no longer hug their babies like I can mine and suddenly my anger and my jealousy fade away.
I personally know parents who only wish their child could be fixed or was cured or alive. We are very fortunate indeed.
Have you ever attended a child’s funeral? The most heart wrenching thing I have ever witnessed was the funeral for my friend’s sweet baby girl. She passed from a complication after heart surgery and as I stood and listened to Garth Brook’s song The Dance, my heart broke in two.
That could have been us. That would have been us had things taken just a slightly different path. My heart breaks for my friends each and every year as the anniversary of both her birth and her death rolls around. I have too many “heart friends” that have lost their babies or lost their children.
When I feel angry about my son’s situation, or I feel jealous that other parents will never know the fear associated with having an ill child, when I bemoan the next cardiology checkup
You know what? These feeling are normal, and they are okay, and you are not a terrible person for thinking them.
Having a child with a chronic medical issue changes who you are, what you believe, HOW you believe and how you live the rest of your life. It makes you think of things on a smaller scale. How precious each breath is and how sweet those hugs and kisses are.