I wanted to write today about something that literally hurts my heart every year about this time. This is the time of year when families start to get excited about their kids graduating and some possibly even getting ready for College. This is an exciting time of the year for most families. Aside from graduating they are also planning their vacations. This is not the case for the family that has a member with Lyme or some other lovely tick born illness. I think it hits my heart on two levels….one because I had a child in High School with Lyme that lost a great deal of her childhood. The other because I was a mom many years ago that could not even function with so many tick born illnesses and the idea of vacation was a foreign concept. When you add the financial ramifications to the family for anyone to get long term treatment it just becomes more of a constant reminder that you are not the “NORM.”
Now I do not want people to read this and feel bad for themselves or their situations because I do not believe you will stay where you are for very long. But there is nobody on earth that is going to tell me that seeing the eyes of a parent that has a child with Lyme listen to other parents talk about the great things ahead for their kids is not literally breaking their heart. When the parent is sick and has to take their child around to see Colleges it is not a wonderful experience for them so they hide their pain as much as they can. The parent/s basically pray that they will be able to drive the distance, tour the schools, and handle the level of stress that accompanies all of the issues like housing, financial aid, and even a food plan! It is so hard for a sick parent to push themselves to that level and most just feel like life is not Fair or they were cheated somehow.
Pain is a horrible thing for anyone at any age so I am not going to tell you that I went through all of those years sick as a single mom and I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Heck, I did not even think I would get out of the tunnel most days. I was happy to just see my daughter out of bed and in the living room when she was sick. I would give anything to just see a smile on her face instead of seeing her in pain. I was just happy to be able to take a hot bath and ease some of my pain without having to try and push myself to do something else. It is about sacrifice for sure on all levels but I wanted to remind everyone that IT IS ALSO ABOUT LOVE.
You get out of bed in pain every day because you love your child. You just drove through three states looking at Colleges and the pain in your legs, feet, jaw and neck are so bad that you are beyond crying but you did this because YOU LOVE YOUR CHILD. For the child that is barely able to get through school and go see some Colleges….you put a smile on your face and make pretend everything is going to be ok because YOU LOVE YOUR CHILD. Oh, and that lovely 504 or special needs discussion you experience with you against the world so that your child can graduate and go to school like all of the other children….is because YOU LOVE YOUR CHILD.
The point I am making for everyone is that you are amazing parents with amazing children. You will get past all of this “quick sand” and you will get your lives back. In the meantime, try to see what is so hard for most people….see the levels you will go to SHOW LOVE FOR YOUR CHILD and realize how truly lucky you are to even experience that level of LOVE. So many people are operating at 100 mph that they never slow down to even realize what is happening in their lives. You cannot operate at 100 mph but you do have a choice and you always CHOOSE LOVE…now to me that is worth its weight in GOLD. It is more important than what school a child was able to get into, or how high they scored on the SATs, or what dress/tuxedo they will wear for the Prom. You get to see your child every day fight to stay with you….trust you…count on you…LOVE YOU….yes torture you most of the time….but you get that time with your child. One day soon when they are better you will not have that time and you will be going 100 mph again….just don’t ever forget that you did not lose anything during this time…you had the opportunity to SHOW YOUR CHILD HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THEM. This is definitely one lesson you were meant to see and understand in order to move forward. I cannot think of a better way to make the world a better place to live in then teach your CHILD HOW TO LOVE by EXAMPLE!