<a href=”http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/pace-oddity/”>Pace Oddity</a>
The speed that things happen, or don’t happen, is relevant to what is being discussed. It is the sort that has no measurements or limits to it that I will talk about. The time that is most important to me is the time I spend with my family. I am certain that most parents look at their son/daughter graduating form high school and say, “Where did the time go? It seems like yesterday she was a babe in my arms.” That was my exact feelings as my children Max and Crystal passed each milestone of their lives. But, as for my youngest child, Alex, I felt as if I was witnessing each period of his life along side of him.
Having a child with chronic illnesses alters the aspect of time. This beautiful little human being is a priority now. The responsibilities are overwhelming and invade the moments that would have otherwise been spent with my husband or with Max and Crystal. I find it difficult to imagine what an immense toll it was on them. Did they feel second best? Probably. Did they resent Alex at some level? I am sure they did. Did they blame me? Undoubtedly.
There is not a handbook with rules and regulations to assist parents going through such abrupt and complex times when they are attempting to fit everything that is needed for the one child into the life of the family that you knew before he was born.
For myself, I wrapped my mind with appointments, medications, studying symptoms of the latest problem in Alex’ life, and my long driving schedules. All things revolved around finding a cure for Alex. He was always in pain due to multiple surgeries and procedures. He never slept through the night due to Narcolepsy that we found out he had after he went over an embankment with his little red Nissan on the 118 freeway. His moods would swing depending on the amount of prednisone he was taking at the time. And, the list goes on. Alex’ journey through his medical plights began at two years old.
It was not until he was twenty-five, when he told me that he did not want to live any longer that I learned what I had been doing wrong for all of those years. My sweet and wonderful therapist allowed me to see that, while I would be loving Max and Crystal until their ‘tanks’ were full, and enjoying each success they made, I was spending all of my time in Alex’ life trying to fix him, to make him better somehow. When those words were finally able to trickle down from my mind down into my heart, I was crushed. It was the bitter truth. In time I realized that there was a part of me that kept him at a distance all of his life for fear that I would lose him too soon. That was my way of protecting myself.
The night that I sat him down to talk to him is forever inscribed inside my mind. The words were not easy to develop, but he understood every word. I told him that he was not broken. He was not my project to fix. That he was perfect just the way he was. And, that I loved that beautiful person. We cried and held each other tight. We both needed that moment.
For me, I wish that it did not take me so long to learn such an important lesson. What a simple lesson it was.