I became a mother knowing that it was never going to be a walk in the park. That I would have moments that would make me want to scream, cry, or run away. Maybe even throw up. I knew I would have to "put on my big girl pants" and deal with it, just as my mom and many others have for all of time. That doesn't mean it was always easy, nor does it mean that I always dealt with things so well.
For instance, when Madi was just a little person, (well, littler than she is now) when she would throw up I could not handle it. Could. Not. So Noel was the one that was on puke patrol while I was sitting in another room trying not to lose my own lunch. Luckily, in those first years, she didn't get sick very often and I rarely had to deal with those types of things.
Then came the big heart stuff.. the strokes, the ambulance rides, the endless tests and blood draws. The cardiac lingo kind of slipped under the rug for awhile, and I feel as though the only reason I survived those initial days after Madi was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy was because I was totally and completely numb. Shut down. I honestly can't recall most of those early days, and that's just fine by me.
When Madi had her transplant, I cried rivers of tears. In her room when we got to see her for the first time post-surgery, I almost passed out.
Then, Sydney got diagnosed. And when the doctor spoke the words "Sydney's echo is not normal", I left the room. It was the only thing I could do. I went into the bathroom and laid there, angry at the world (and God), and overcome with nausea and dizziness.
I used to think that I was a big sissy when it came to motherhood. When people would say that I was strong, I brushed it off like it wasn't a big deal. Because, really, what choice did I have? It's not like I would have ever even thought to give up and walk away-not when I knew that my kids had it in them to fight. To live and be happy. When you are a parent, you bear the burdens asked of you for your child. You fight demons, slay dragons, ask questions, give medicine, and chase monsters from the closets. Isn't that what we all do?
But today I was told something that made me think twice about my assumptions. Today, Sydney's cardiologist-a world class cardiologist in the top 1% of his field in the nation-said to me "I think you will have a special place in Heaven; probably at the right hand of the big man Himself." He then turned to the intern that was in the room and said "She just keeps bubbling right along!" and nodded to me. In that moment, I realized something. I will try not to brush off those comments anymore. I have earned every emotional battle scar I have.
I AM strong.
I AM a good mom.
I CAN do this.
I WILL do this.
Today, I left Sydney's appointment with a renewed belief in myself. All it takes are some kind words to change a person's day around, and this afternoon, I was in need of a pick-me-up.
Honestly, Dr. Driscoll's words were probably the nicest thing someone's said to me in a very long time, if ever. They couldn't have come at a better time. It's like God was speaking to me through the doctor, and telling me that even though I have my moments, I've totally got this. Talk about empowering.