By the spring of 1989 I began to question the greatest role God had given to me, that of being a mother. It was a role I cherished; singing silly songs, dancing in the dark and holding tiny hands while bouncing a bundle on my hip. Moments that would pass all too soon. I knew it then, I know it now. Still, frustration set in at my inability to grasp all the “right” answers, the way that I thought every mother should.
Normally, my intuition was remarkable. My family and friends would tell me so. I often had an innate ability to “‘read” people. Not “reading”‘ someone’s palm at a covered table like physics in the movies, or looking far off into the spirit world, I simply mean getting a “feeling” for something. For example: several years before, I blurted out to my future brother-in-law that he would marry my younger sister one day. He didn’t know my sister. He had never spoken to her or had seen a picture of her. I can’t repeat his words to me on that warm summer night, but suffice it is to say that he married her the very next year almost 29 years ago. Forgive me for digressing: the point is, when I needed my inner intuition the very most, it wasn’t there to give me the answers I most desperately wanted to “hear.”
My husband’s job in sales required him to travel much of the week, so my boys and I spent nearly every minute together. We visited downy baby ducks at the golf course pond or teeter-tottered on long red benches in the park. When temperatures neared 100, we splashed bright beach balls in the pool, ate “SpaghettiOs” for supper, and watched “Big Bird” before tumbling into one big bed within the shadow of the desert moon. In between the sweet smiles and fun, a dark cloud hovered overhead. My oldest son’s moods began to change from time to time. One hour he’d be my darling precious boy, the next he’d become withdrawn and pale, or perhaps hyperactive and uncontrollable. I never knew who he would become, or when it would happen: neither did he. Often I would cry for him, my innocent son, the child I had no answers for. Sometimes, he would “catch” me and cry for his mommy. He didn’t understand, this angelic one.
I took him to his pediatrician where all the normal tests were run. Everything came back fine, of course. “He was just a growing toddler,” his doctor would say. My frustration grew. Was I a good enough mother? What was I doing wrong? I enrolled in a night-time “Parenting Class,” trying to discover the answer; trying to become a “better” mother, praying to God on the way there in the dark of the night, and then again on the way back.
In the end, it didn’t matter what I learned. Diabetes was on its way to change his life and ours forever. Slowly my little child’s pancreas was being destroyed, one islet cell at a time. It would be about three years before God would let us know. It was part of His plan, our journey ahead, and the reason I write this blog, in part. Lessons I’ve learned together with my unexpected blessings along the way. Parcels God placed in my “gift basket”‘ of life. Naturally, I would not understand it for many years to come.
Many, many years………..