On my first Mother’s Day, I sit here in tears. Not because I’m sad, but because I am so happy and thankful for everything these two wonderful boys have given to me. I don’t cry often. There have been times, yes, where I have cried uncontrollably in the shower and asked God, “Why?!”
Why were the twins diagnosed with TTTS?
Why were they born early?
Why did Sam have to perf at 5 days old?
Why did he get GBS with sepsis?
Why did the GBS develop into meningitis?
Why was Jack born with a heart defect?
Why has Sam had to endure so much so soon?
And then I stop. And I reflect. And I look at the twins and realize they are our gifts. God gave us these challenges because we can handle them. I truly don’t think many mothers out there could go through hell and back so many times without having a true nervous breakdown.
Sam and Jack are my life. They are the reason I was put on this earth. Every medical issue, every hurdle, has made my love of being their mother intensify. The twins have made me a better person.
And they have made me a mother. Every little smile, every time they hold their head up, every giggle…. no moment is taken for granted.
When Adam and I have our “stress talks” about Sam’s tube, the “talk” always ends the same… “Let’s be thankful we have this issue. There was a time when we didn’t think we were going to have Sam.”
I have never been a particularly religious person. Always believed in God, but was not a devout Christian. When the boys were born, I begged God to save them and be with them every moment of every day. And when Sam got sick, I was angry at Him. So angry I couldn’t stand it. But He never left. He was always there, always with Sam, and Jack. And my faith was restored when Sam was extubated. My faith grew when Jack was able to go home at 37 weeks gestation. And it grew even further when our family of 4 was finally together at home.
Thank You God, for giving me these gifts. For allowing me to be a mother. It’s the most amazing thing in the entire world.
(Disclaimer: Sam and Jack aren’t “handicapped.” But this poem strung a few heart strings and I thought I would share.)
Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures and a couple by habit. This year, nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children.
Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger. “Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint, Matthew. Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, patron saint, Cecilia. “Rudledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint, give her Gerard. He’s used to profanity.” Finally, He passes a name to an angel and smiles, “Give her a handicapped child.” The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She’s so happy.” “Exactly,” says God. “Could I give a handicapped child to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.” “But has she patience?” asks the angel. “I don’t want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she’ll handle it. “I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I’m going to give her has his own world. She has to make it live in her world, and that’s not going to be easy.”
“But, Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.” God smiles. “No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.” The angel gasps, “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?” God nods. “If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she’ll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a childless than perfect. She doesn’t realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a ‘spoken word.’ She will never consider a ‘step’ ordinary. When her child says ‘Momma’ for the first time, she will be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations.” “I will permit her to see clearly the things I see . . . ignorance, cruelty, prejudice . . . and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.” “And what about her patron saint?” asks the angel, pen poised midair. God smiles. “A mirror will suffice.”