Being severely sick no matter what the disease or disability is, can be life altering. It can stir up anger, rage, hatred, un-forgiveness and fear or it can teach us to love, trust, pray harder, grow in humility and release all that we cannot fix to the master fixer of all things broken.
These last few years have been really intense especially for me. I got sick while working in a contaminated building which lead me to be unable to function normally. My immune system was attacked in the most aggressive way and slowly I began to experience chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, swelling, migraines, psoriasis, pain and swelling in my gums, extreme loss of memory, cardiovascular issues and respiratory distress. I remember crying most days and still keeping up with my full-time job, a family and all of my responsibilities with a big smile and my best foot forward.
I tried my best to give my best and to live my motto “live your life as a gift and then give that gift away everyday”.
My faith in God kept me going, my prayers for relief kept me hopeful, my family and those around me gave me a reason to not give up.
When you are so sick that you can’t even push yourself to get out of bed to cook dinner for your children it’s pretty sad.
When a walk outside is impossible because you’re so chemically sensitive, dizzy and weak that you convince your kids to play inside while mommy lies down……yeah those moments broke my heart and still do.
Life it seems, was sucking the life out of me and although I kept marching, holding my baton high and claiming victory over our many perils, I felt weak and discouraged. But I hid my pain.
Here is an excerpt from my diary on a day I was feeling really overwhelmed:
“Another day where sickness haunts me, it whispers in my ear and taunts me. So much going on, burning in my chest, nausea, dizziness, pain in my neck, stomach upset.
My heart speeds up then down again, difficult to speak, feeling like the air has been extracted from my lungs. Holding on to a prayer that brighter days will come, will they?
Feeling weak and tired, unable to keep up this masquerade.
Hoping for rain, for cleansing waters to come. Wash away the madness, restore my peace.”
I share these feelings and thoughts with the hope that those experiencing similar situations can find hope and know that they are not alone.
“You have to stay strong” I often reminded myself. “You have a family that needs you and people who rely on you and need your help. You must stay strong.”
But in reality I wanted to ball up into my father’s arms and cry. My dear earthy father was granted an early promotion to heaven after medical malpractice claimed his life. During these difficult times I could not help but remember how amazing he was and how his help in our home was like no other.
Wiping my tears now as I type. I miss him so much but I am not bitter about his loss. I remember him with fondness and when I can’t do something or feel like I am facing an unmeasurable mountain I repeat what he always said to me as a child:
“No hay ninguna circunstancia que no tenga remedio. Lo único que no podemos remediar es la muerte pero todo lo de mas es posible.”
In English this reads: “There is no circumstance that does not have a remedy. The only thing we cannot remedy is death, but everything else is possible.”
If I am able to deal with all the curve-balls life has tossed us it is in part because of my father’s deep impression on my heart and my mother’s strong work ethic. My father lived a life of humility and for others. He was last so others could be first.
I believe that God instilled those beautiful things in him so he could teach us the true value of life. And for that I am forever grateful.
My mother always worked very hard in and out of season. Rain or shine she accomplished what had to be done and did her job with excellence. She provided for us when my dad was unemployed and taught me responsibility and commitment. For both of their examples I am grateful.
Most days people see me holding my baton high while doing cartwheels and feeling nothing like my favorite superhero Wonder Woman. Don’t laugh. Seriously I really like Wonder Woman. I even have my personal checks displaying her awesomeness.
The child in me will never die. In a life as hectic as mine it is the small things that make me smile and keep me grounded to reality. I often ponder that if I become overly mature and leave behind the silliness of childhood I will have created a funeral for my soul.
Laughter is another element that has served me much. The bible is true when it says in Proverbs that “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”
When you’re going through a tough time always make time for laughter.
My journey has not been easy but I have learned so much more. So much that I can now share with those around me. I have always believed that when we endure trails and suffering there is gold embedded in each crevice filled with tears. We can choose to partake of that gold with others or ignore it. I have learned to see this as suffering with a purpose.
So today on Mothers Day although I am stuck at home and feeling quite blue I wanted to encourage you to keep pushing forward. No matter what the obstacle or how many times you fall flat on your face.
Remember who you are.
Remember your children and how much they need you.
Remember to reach down often and pick up some of the gold that is left behind once our tears have dried.
Remember to share that gold with others.
Remember that you are not alone.