I once not to long ago wrote a blog about the grass being greener on the other side of the fence. Bravely I admitted that sometimes it is just that way, especially in the eyes of a parent with a child diagnosed with a life threatening disease or in my case two children that are terminally ill. I was and still am ready to argue to my wits end with anyone who challenges me with an opposing view. Sometimes we will run across a lawn that really is truly greener and our own just doesn't seem to measure up. I also openly said, I was fine with that because I don't even think I like grass, and most of the time I won't even look over the fence. I find myself preferring to look out onto the lake that surrounds the east end of my property.
With the new colors of Autumn bursting forth, we see the signs of summer fading fast. I scantly recall the memory of my grass from this past spring as it shyly, and hesitantly peered out at me from beneath the layers of melting snow. The white cool powder, that once appeared as a glistening blanket, covering my land and all that surrounds me. I have to report that throughout the summer as I helped my grass mend, I did see it flourish, adorned with a deep lush green for a period. But I also recall weeks of summer where scattered shades of a yellowish brown hue littered my lawn. Brown soggy wet masses of something that resembled the texture of grass. With this realization I did look out over the side of my fence one day, only to see a yard that resembled mine. In noting that memory, I reflected silently that they too- my neighbors, had dealt with a few trials of their own. I have no desire to make any comparison as to the level of grief we each experienced. I am sure our emotions were both driven to new heights. We both felt anxiety and fear invade our worlds. But, with one very grossly large difference, as my neighbor worked towards a recovery I coped with accepting more loss into my world.
This past December I was faced with more challenges than I ever imagined I would at one time, when my eldest "healthy son" (being that he does not suffer from a fatal disease) Zach became critically ill. It was with out a doubt the most frightening, intense, 2 weeks of my life. As doctors worked on helping Zach recover from a life threatening illness, my son Cody also became seriously ill and was admitted to the same hospital. While I struggled to be at the sides of both my sons I still had the special needs of my youngest Josiah to tend to at home. With the help of family, and the refusal to give up, I managed.
That December has passed and both my sons have recovered. While we still have our daily battle with Duchenne we are all continuing to thrive. But I have to say for me it is with more urgency. Those two weeks that I watched both my sons fight for life I also found myself fighting. Fighting for strength to be whatever it was that my sons needed. Fighting for strength to face my greatest fear-losing my sons to " death". I literally left the world I had hoped would give me the comfort I needed and failed to. I turned inward and buried myself in the world of my sons. Using every once of courage I had, I chose to move on and not settle for less than complete love. I closed my eyes to a world that denied pain and offered little compassion. I found a new faith with in myself with the sheer determination to be more and to give my sons more.
We have to accept the fact that there will be times when we will see grass that will be just a bit greener than ours. Its just grass- but it is at those moments in our life when we have to reach deep inside ourselves to find the strength and courage to not give up. There truly is more out there.
As I unpack our duffel bags from my latest adventure with my two younger sons, deer hunting in Iowa, I can't help but smile knowing how much I have helped my sons push past the boundaries being physically challenged presents. I also take pride in myself for how much I have grown. We did not harvest a deer on this last trip. But, we did gain something much more valuable. We have once again been blessed with connecting with people who truly want to be a part of this charismatic journey in life and that have openly pulled us into their circle of strength and love. As my, now, beautiful green lawn surrenders to the approaching fall, I also surrender, to an inner peace with myself, knowing that I have become the strength my world demands of me.