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Friday, January 30, 2015

Deciding 911 or not

I cradled Cody's head in my arms.  Not sure just what to do next.  He did not appear to be seriously injured.  But I felt fear slowly surrounding me.  Closing in on  me as  though it was  desperately trying to swallow me.

My eyes darted up to my sister Marie and then back to my son, who laid dazed in my arms.  We needed no words to share in our  jumbled emotions, that challenged our rationale.  As if our minds were one, we both knew how serious the situation was.

My hand gently stroked through Cody's hair. Carefully I felt for any bumps, or worse bleeding.  Shock and fear absorbed him as he looked up into my face.  I fought hard to not let panic prevent me from addressing the immediate attention Cody needed.  He seemed to be in shock.  Almost immediately told me the room was spinning.  With my finger tips I could feel a bump already forming on the back of his head.  We knew we had to get him up from the floor, but how?  Moving him gently  was a rather large concern for us.  If he had injured his neck or back transporting  him might not be the best thing. If lifting him was not problem enough, the vomiting that had started heightened the seriousness of the situation.  We now had  to position Cody in such a way that he would not exasperate on his own stomach secretions.

We were two and a half hours from the city and the specialist who new Cody so well.  The nearest hospital was 40 minutes from us.  It was becoming dark, cold and raining.  The wet dirt drive way that lead to my parked van also added to the list of  elements  working against us.  I would have to push both chairs through mud  to get Cody and Josiah  inside my van.  If you have never had to push 150 pounds of flesh and another added 35 pounds (which was the weight of my sons wheel chair) through rough terrain, sand, or mud, you can not even begin to imagine the strength it takes for a 110 pound female.  To add to our anxiety and fear,  my sister was scheduled to fly out of the country in just 36 hours. If I  ever needed a clone it was now.

 On top of all that was happening, my sister was also recovering from a back strain, that prevented her from lifting either of my sons.  That made me  the only one that was capable to  safely lift Josiah, who needed neck support whenever being transported or lifted . I looked over to where Josiah sat, watching us from  his chair, and then back to Marie.  I just could not leave her alone to care for Josiah with things the way they were.   I looked at the clock and back to Cody, his head still cradled in my hands.  His color appeared to be coming back sightly and his eyes were now focused on me.  My throat felt dry as the tears I had been holding back, slowly dissolved.   Even if I  called for an ambulance now how could I ride  with Cody to  the hospital and still transport Josiah.  I had the only vehicle capable of  transporting either of my sons home.   There simply was no other choice, I had to bring Josiah with me to the hospital even if it meant we would be there overnight with Cody, I would worry about details  later.

With  strength from Angels we managed to safely get Cody from the floor to the bed.  Carefully, we laid him out and searched him from head to toe.  He appeared to not be hurt any where other than his head.  Which he complained was pounding and causing him to feel dizzy.  I got him from the bed to his wheelchair as carefully as possible.  Once he was comfortable and slightly reclined we loaded him into my van.  With determination and strength, from a force somewhere with in we pulled into the hospital in relatively good time, where Cody was treated for a concussion.  With the vomiting finally under control he was released for home care a few hours later.  I was drained but more than that happy  Cody was going to be home with us. It would be a long night with keeping my eyes on him but I would not have to be separated from Josiah.  Three  hours later we were back at home.  My sister Marie would make her flight on time.

Later that night after my boys were resting comfortably and safely in bed, I  looked at the transport chair, that had caused Cody to tip  over backwards. Fear and anguish overwhelmed me.  The very thing that had made life easier for us- for me in transporting him, could have killed my son today. In spite of every effort I take  to keep both my sons safe, just one slip,  can literally be catastrophic.  I could feel the warm tears that I  held back earlier that day slowly  began to roll down my cheeks.  I looked down at the  monitor I held in my hand, that allowed my sons to call for me should they need me.  A soft voice whispered to me   "Cody would be fine and that was  all that mattered".

Sunday, January 18, 2015

the argument

mending of hearts

I poured the remains of the bottle in to my stemmed glass.  Quietly I listened as the remaining ice crackled from the sweet cool liquid swirling in my goblet. I kep my eyes down to avoid looking at him,  swallowing hard as  the  pink drink slowly slid down my throat.  Hoping  to feel the effects of my  wine, soon.  Wanting desperately to feel  release from the tension that had been  tormenting me, I took another sip and waited in silence.  Some how I  had to move past the the present.

If things had only somehow gone  different, I tried to reason to myself.  But what was done was done.  I could neither ignore nor excuse our apparent disrespect for each other.   My mind played over and over the conversation, as though the rewind button was stuck on constant replay in my head.   Easily this  moment between us could have been spared the ritual of rising auditory volume and the choice of language could have been  softened to  down play the extremity of our tempers.  I felt the annoyance of the evening grasping at me.  He had hit nerves that triggered a fiery level with in me.  He had came close to sending waves of explosive energy thrashing out of me.  Now I was left with the remains of bottled up emotions from a disastrous attempt to work things out.

My lips parted to accept another sip of the  fruity wine.  Oh yes, I was  beginning to feel the slight surrender to a state of relaxation.  Exhaling,  I felt a shift in weight from my shoulders. Ever so lightly I felt the deep anger that fought to control me earlier begin to disappear.

I sensed the Silence was almost choking him as he sat across from me. I felt his gaze fixed on me while nursed my wine.   I was though rather impressed he had the  courage to with stand my attempts to break him down.   I was also pleased he showed signs of remorse for his own verbal explosion. Most importantly though I saw he was not afraid to fight for what he wanted even if it meant exposing his heart even if it meant making himself vulnerable.

Very tenderly he reached over towards me. His hand rested on mine as though waiting for a sign that I would accept this attempt to make  peace. Our eyes locked as I looked up from our hands to his face.  He seemed so sincere and desperate to end the hurt we had hurled between us. His deep brown eyes captivated me as I searched his handsome face for something more.  He looked so wounded.  It was senseless to let obstacles invade us and yet our worlds were bound to clash at times for reasons beyond our control.  I wanted  more than anything to move past the heightened moment.  I wanted to let go of my pride,  collapse in his arms, the arms that I had once found to give me comfort.  Leave everything I had learnt from my past behind.  Trust in myself again.  Most importantly trust in love again. But, I was determined to keep a small wall up.  A half wall, that would protect me from vulnerability.

I stepped towards him in hopes that we could simply escape words for now and just enjoy the presence of each other.   His embrace felt warm and solid. I felt him breath in deeply as he tightened his strong arms around me.  Why  did I still feel the need to resist his affection, I wondered in silence.  We embraced for quite sometime neither of us wanting to let go.  Escaping  the need to use words for the moment. Laying my head against his chest I listened to the slow steady beat of his heart. softly he whispered the words I had longed to hear "I am sorry".

  We had somehow moved past our anger and hurtful words.  Even with my wall still  partially en tacked, I was finding room to accept what he was offering  me now.  He had managed to use patience to help us shift our emotions.  His lips lightly grazed the top of my head.  We had somehow now entered a new level with in our relationship. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

On loving ......

I curled up on the recliner, pulling the covers over my lap, to enjoy what was left of the Hallmark Christmas show I had been watching.  My two youngest sons  were now resting comfortably in their beds for the night.  I was pleased to finally  have some quiet- me time.  I  glanced at the monitor I had placed off to my side, quiet filled the air.  The slight sound of somber breathing was like music to my ears.   I sipped my glass of wine and softly stroked my dog Bella who had just jumped up on my lap and was now nestling herself in a ball.    The house was filled with a comforting peace.  Other than the television there was  just the soft glow from the lit Christmas tree.  I  turned my attention to the television and watched as a young couple strolled along.  Under a starry  moonlit sky their  romance budded before my eyes.  Standing   in the middle of a small town  alone together they had discovered love between them.  Just as quickly the screen flashed to a Jolly old man dressed in red.    Known as Santa by most of us.

 I smiled to my self, Christmas and romance, how fitting they should be entwined in to at least a half dozen shows of the season. I love the sights and sounds of Christmas and the presence of romance adds even more to the magical belief in Christmas and the miracles brought to life by our hope and faith of the joy of the season.  But as  I watched the screen swiftly flash back to this couple in love, my mind drifted off.  How sweet I wondered, if Santa could actually bring us the one we were meant to fall madly and hopelessly in love with.  How tantalizing the thought was, that Santa could come strolling along and simply decide whether we  need  assistance to find our hearts desire.  Or better yet our hearts desire finds us. Off on another channel I watched as a man found the meaning of Christmas by giving from his heart.  The joy of Christmas had  been captured by Hallmark no doubt.  I sipped more of my sweet red wine and let my mind drift off to the present thoughts that were scrambling in my head.  

Love is a subject that moves me deeply.  Love comes to us in many forms and in many ways.  It is not just one kind of love we all need.  But the love we find between couples is the most misunderstood and most  searched for.  As a  modern day romantic  I am in  awe of romance and find it most captivating. Books and movies hindering with the beauty of romantic notions can lead me astray.  Sending me off fantasizing into another world.  Filling my soul with unsettling visions of the portrayal  of the most desired love.    But the realist in me insist that love in itself must indeed be so much  more than the fairy tale story books portray.  I struggle with its idea that once we find our hearts content  we will no doubt ride off together into the sunset happily ever after.  Coupled with the theory we will not be happy till we find THE ONE TRUE LOVE.  I surrender that yes most of us concede that somewhere in this world there is someone for us, but I also accept that perhaps it is just not ONE we have been destined to be adjoined with in a life time.  The beauty of the human  heart is that it was made to love many and it is capable of with standing and holding so much more than we often allow.  So as a "modern day romantic realist" I can embrace that perhaps in my life time I have allowed my heart to be open.  To feel, explore and express love.  Most importantly I have allowed myself to be loved. However, perhaps it is not yet been to the extent I am destined to have.

Rainbows and sunsets are wonderful for the imagination but  We deserve so much more.
Hallmark definitely covered finding love for Christmas. However, those of us who have not found love this season, well, Cupid will be appearing shortly on the screen.  I myself am eager to see  what the Hallmark channel will once again show us.  Oh my friends if love was only so simple.  I would embrace every broken heart I ever had.  The truth is love is scary and not always the way we think it should be.  It can hinge often on physical attractions and quite honestly not on the stuff souls are made of.  It search can be endless for some and then there are those who have written  it off long ago  Hugs though to all my  friends, who search for Love still continues. I wish for you to find whatever it is that your heart is desiring.  I have found myself once again intrigued with the trimmings of LOVE, lost in my own romance.  Perhaps my search ends here. I will embrace that thought and hold onto to it tightly.  For even us realist believe Love is after all a splendid thing, sometimes it can show up when you least expect it and absolutely, it is better to have loved and lost than never to have known love at all.

Peace and Love
Accepting the helping hand

There was not a trace of snow to be found, as I scanned the courtyard.  No matter, I thought to myself, as we watched a sleigh with two reindeer attached pull up in front of us. Eagerly, my two younger sons Josiah and Cody waited at my sides in their wheelchairs. Amazingly running along the sides of the sleds runners, were wheels.  I smiled as I explained to Josiah, that this was exactly how Santa's sleigh was made, so that he could visit warmer climates, that did not get snow.   Excited we approached the sled that harnessed Donner and Blitzen.  Cheerfully we were informed that the reindeer were a bit anxious themselves and on a ride earlier, had attempted to speed up there pace.  Warning us we could feel a bit of a jerk, should they decide to gain speed again.  However the men that guided the  reindeer would do their best to keep the sled grounded and not let us take off in flight.  Josiah's beautiful brown eyes widened as he smiled-  the mere thought of this undoubtedly sounded utterly fascinating. Naturally flying through the air would be in the reindeers blood-we joked together. 

I sized the sleigh up along with my brother in-law Bill,  who had  graciously agreed to accompany us today, along with his wife, my sister Marie. We are so blessed, with both of them always lovingly and eager to assist us, whenever possible. Lifting my sons high enough to place them inside the sleigh was one posing problem, but also with the lack of head support and seat belts or a harness I was faced with keeping Josiah’s neck supported during the ride.   As if on que, and not letting us fret for a moment, two men approached us offering to help load both of my sons.  Within seconds it seemed we were all comfortably seated covered with a blanket, my arm safely supporting Josiah’s neck and we were off on our journey.

Our ride through the court yard was wonderful, and it was the first time my sons had ever been in a real open winter sleigh. Having reindeer pull us made our experience even more festive, with the Holiday spirit seeming to be all around us.  It did not matter to us nor did it seem to the reindeer that there was no snow to be found anywhere. Holding Josiah in my arms during the ride I had decided it was a most pleasant joyous way to share with my sons the beginning of the 25 days of Christmas.

Christmas along with most Holidays as well as Birthdays often leaves me filled with mix emotions.  I have learnt to accept that Chronic Sorrow will always be part of my world.  As I rejoice for the present love and joy that surrounds us during these special times I am also privately consumed with the Sorrow that accompanies watching my two younger sons slowly lose in their battle with Duchenne Muscualr Dystrophy.
However it is in this magical season, where joyous events can occur and often brings out the warmest welcomes, filling us with the wonder and awe of the season.  At the end of the ride as I lifted my Josiah in my arms-(while still in the  open sleigh)- to lower  him into the waiting arms of a  kind stranger, I was filled  instantly  with the magic of the season.  As I stood holding Josiah, like Mary may have held Jesus on that first night, and welcomed strangers that came to adore her infant son,  I could not help but feel joy, that this was all made special for my sons.  This stranger carefully listened to my instructions, and with waiting arms embraced my youngest.  I watched as he carefully placed Josiah back in his waiting wheelchair.  Then swiftly, he turned around to offer me his hand to help assist me in getting down.

It is not always easy for me to ask for help on this arduous journey with my sons.  However, I try to not let my pride prevent me from accepting a helping hand when ever offered.  For I know, often I am giving back by allowing others to experience the joy in helping and giving of themselves.  In this Christmas season as I reflect on the good Blessings we have received by the generosity of so many, I give thanks to our Lord for allowing me to see and feel Joy even in Sorrow.

In my quest to give my sons the most of this world, my new acceptance of Duchenne and my courage to feel past my  Chronic Sorrow   has helped many new doors open for us.  We are so blessed and I am thankful to so many wonderful people and organizations that have played a significant role in helping me to achieve my goal of creating a world beyond the barriers for my sons.