Find out how a rare breathing disorder has changed the life of my young son and my family.

Friday, May 12, 2006

My favorite "Mother" Story

I was asked to enter a writing contest by submitting my favorite "mother" story.
The prize was a nice gift certificate to Bath & Body. Whether I win that prize or
not was not that important to me. But the message in the story and the feelings
in it, I am happy to share. I thought I would now share it with all of you.
Read below:

My young son looks up at me,
his blue eyes shining,
but his mouth unable to emit words.
A tube down his throat, taped at his top lip
gets in the way so even though he is moving his mouth
to say the words, I cannot make them out.
He so desperately wants me to understand him;
and we both feel like I should, I am his mother.
But no matter how frantically I try
to come up with guesses, I just cannot
figure out what he is trying to say.
Maybe he could write something to me –
but he hasn’t learned to spell many words,
and his hand is bound, so even that doesn’t help.
In fact, it only makes it worse;
he becomes more frustrated
and tears form in his eyes.
If only he could get up out of his bed
to go get an object to help me understand.
What could be worse than to have tubes
in your mouth and nostrils,
IV's attached to your arms,
having to wear diapers
far beyond potty training years
and you can't even get your own mother
to understand your needs?

That describes many days

my son and I faced
in the weeks leading up to his 9th birthday –
a day we would mark in isolation
in the pediatric intensive care unit
in the hospital.
That birthday seemed like it would be
our most dreary and depressing –
because my son would not be able
to have any of his friends
or much of his family around him.
He would not yet be able to eat cake
or even be free of all the tubes
binding him to his hospital bed.
Those days in the hospital,
I cried so many tears –
as I thought of the party
I did not get to plan for him,
and all the things I was sure
he was feeling.
But the only time I would let myself cry
was when I knew he was sleeping
or I went into another room.
I was so busy being so strong for him,
but inside, I was crumbling.

The day of his birthday finally arrived.

His nurses and hospital staff tried
their very best to make Josh smile.
They brought him gifts, balloons
and decorations. They sang to him
and promised a cake the moment
he could eat some.
Then, our church family got into the act –
they collected money and taped it to a giant card.
They brought that plus bags and bags
of gifts for him.
He probably got more birthday presents
this year than he got in the last five
And we got to throw him a party
a few weeks later once we got home.
We combined the occasions –
getting to come home from the hospital
with his belated birthday
and invited friends and family
and we all enjoyed ourselves.
And for this party –
to make sure there was enough –
we baked four cakes!

What makes this story my favorite,

as a mother, was to see just how well
my son accepted such terrible medical
circumstances, to feel the love
so many people showered upon us
and the one on one time I got to spend
with my son
that would not have been possible otherwise.
I will always cherish that time,
despite the difficulties.

I hope that story blesses you like it does me.

Have a wonderful day!



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