Thursday, February 17, 2011


Once upon a time, not so long ago, I believed that my life would never truly be touched by tragedy. Then, low and behold, fate came along and beat that idea out of my skull with such force that I've had a permanent headache ever since. I thought I had life pretty much figured out, I thought I knew what it was to be a mother, a wife, a daughter, I thought I knew unequivocally where my place in the world resided. I had a plan, I had expectations, I knew where my life would end up and who would be by my side near the end of it. My kids would bury me, mourn me, have their own kids and the cycle would begin anew.

Then an explosion of truth collided with my little, bubble wrapped world and now I know everything I planned, although a road paved with good intentions, wasn't etched in stone.  When you face a monster as hideous as a seriously sick child, you can't help but walk away changed. I never knew it was happening. I didn't feel much different after Puck was diagnosed with his heart defect; truthfully, I just concentrated on getting him through the day, and surviving my own morbid thoughts... but, until you have experienced your baby being ill, truly ill, the kind of illness that can't be fixed with over the counter medications, than you can never know what it was like...

Fear, for the most part, doesn't exist for me anymore. The things that used to frighten me, the things that used to put my teeth on edge and cause me anxiety is laughable now. Why be frightened of life when death is right around the corner? Death is not something I fear for myself, but I fear having to live next to it. It's putrid, rotting corpse soiling the couch cushion next to me. I fear the death of my children like never before. It's the one fear that has survived this crazy experience, and it's one I will never shake. It's possibility has been imbedded deeply within my psyche and no amount of cliched reassurances will ever remove it's entangled claws from my thoughts.

But I refuse to live wringing my hands and shielding my children from this world. If death is watching and waiting, readying to strike, then the best thing I can ever teach them is simply this...

Don't waste time and don't lose sight of what's important. I'm not commanding my children to climb Mount Everest while investing in high interest saving accounts and having 2.5 children. The lesson I learned with Puck is simply about love. It is the most precious commodity this world has to offer, and it's one we create together. If you are going to love, than don't hold back...for any reason. If you can do that, than you have everything you need to have a truly wonderful life.

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