Posts Tagged memories
Today is Chris’ 35th birthday. It’s a difficult day for me. Thoughts swarm my mind as I try to get on his Facebook page to read him his few messages. I see friends who are celebrating new babies, getting married, or seeing the world. Emotions can’t be stopped as I look at his mostly motionless body. My eyes fill with tears as I long to hear his voice again and wish he could tell me at least a little bit of what he’s actually thinking or able to process.
Do I read him those messages? Should I ask his friends to send a video message so he can hear their voices? I’m terrible at impersonations. lol. I notice his pictures on his Facebook page are still the same. Perhaps I should change them to reflect today’s reality. I don’t know.
I do not blame his friends at all for moving on with their lives. They should. No questions there. But it still makes my heart hurt just to see him forgotten. Tossed aside because he cannot contribute to life’s conversation. I really don’t know what, if anything, should or could be changed – just expressing how it feels to be forgotten.
One thing I have begun doing when these types of emotions overwhelm is to think of how I’ve been changed by caregiving for him. See, he’s still my son. I still love him. Actually, I continue to care for him because of that love. He can’t do much for himself but I keep pushing him – one day it might click. He is regaining some muscle control so who knows!
Even though he’s forgotten he still continues to change the world. Maybe some of us become more caring in the face of tragedy. Perhaps a few become more forgiving. There’s no doubt caregiving has changed me. I’m more introverted and less of an extrovert. I won’t go through the list of things I’ve learned about myself or my faith on this journey. It’s vast.
I’m a furnace walker. I was reading this morning in Daniel 3. There were three men facing a fiery furnace because they wouldn’t bow to a false god. I have to say on this difficult journey, there’ve been times I wanted to give up. I just couldn’t. The three Hebrew men acknowledged the ability God had to deliver them. But they said – but if not we still won’t bow. That’s how I feel as I walk through this furnace. God can deliver at any time – and that’d be okay with me. But I really am not looking for another God. There’s not one!
I am determined to let my faith be refined in his fire. I’m determined that I won’t bow to other things that try to get my attention. You know, like fear, doubt, worry. Even though it feels like the world has forgotten my son and me – I’ll stand firm knowing that God has not abandoned in the time of trouble. He’s still walking with me in the storm and in the furnace (description depends on the day.. lol) – He won’t’ quit because it got too long or because I get too whiney. We are forgotten by men – but never by God.
I’ll be the first one to admit that I have lots of trouble keeping my emotions as well as attitude in check. If I am not careful I can get so sucked in to the emotional vacuum where the pain is so deep nothing can be felt – but everything hurts all at the same time. Today, was no different.
My grandson had to have tubes put in his ears. My personal turmoil came because I wanted to be there with my daughter…and at first it seemed impossible to be able to leave Chris and work it out so that I could be with her. After all, I’m Ronella’s mother too! Sometimes I feel she gets the short end of the stick. I am so involved in Chris’ recovery that I know she must feel like she doesn’t even have a mom sometimes! Anyway, that worked out and I was able to sit at the hospital with her and Eli this morning…
The hospital was a little more than I was prepared to handle emotionally. First I had to pass by the trauma unit with the helicopter sitting out front. Then one came in while I was walking across. When Chris was in the hospital in Shreveport I used to hear the helicopter come in all the time with traumas. I would pray for the family because I knew people’s lives were being shaken that day…
The parking garage brought back a flood of memories from our short stay in New Orleans. It was probably one of the worst segments we ever endured. He did not respond to therapy and basically they were kicking us out on the street and I had no “home” to take him to…that’s when we moved to Oklahoma and boy is that a long story I’ll save for the book! lol!
Sitting in the waiting rooms was almost like torment. My mind kept running from memory to memory…I wondered if I could hold the tears in until I got in the car. I figured I would cry all the way home…but something odd began to happen.
I am a pretty observant person in general, and a little bit nosey. In the short time we’d been in the first waiting room I had witnessed what some of the other families were there for…one brought a tiny, tiny baby boy in for some major surgery. Another was the mother of a 2-year-old whose body cannot absorb nutrients so they were doing tests. She was there alone because her husband is serving in Afghanistan. While I could not fully understand their situations, I had some understanding of how powerless you feel as a parent. All the child’s life is spent protecting, teaching and nurturing and you can’t do any of that now. I began to compassionately pray for them…
Coming home I had to go back to the parking garage and the emotions wanted to overtake again…but I made this turn this time. I let the pictures of some of our journey flow through my head…and then I turned them to where we are now. HE has brought us a mighty long way… I’m not sure there’s anyway to compare scenes…
And so again I remind myself to keep at the forefront of my mind not so much how far Chris has to go…but how far he has come! It helps keep my perspective straight. It also helped me get focused back on the task at hand. I am starting to buy some various pieces of equipment that I can use to work with Chris. He did great this morning. I am really concentrating on stretching him right now. And already after one short session there was a response. I said, “Chris did that feel good to get your back and shoulders all stretched out?” to which he nodded his head “yes.” …a different sort of tears…
I think the journey is like my friend, Vickie, talks about a lot – just putting one foot in front of the other and walking… so I intend to just keep walking this one out. Who knows when, how or if it will end…but we’ll continue one step at a time…just walking. I think that’s all He really intends for us to do in our walk with Him anyway. It’s not as huge and grandiose as we would like to make it…it’s just about living life in HIm.