Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Mother's Strength

This time of year, I think a lot about my Mom. She was an amazing, strong, funny, sarcastic, loving, giving, kind-hearted, awesome individual. She was my best friend. She was the one who supported me through almost everything I ever did. Whether it was getting the grade or walking when the doctors said I wouldn't be able to, she stood by me.

This morning, I watched Soul Surfer. In this movie, the main character loses her arm in a shark attack. She went from being a champion surfer with a sponsorship to having one arm and having to learn a whole new way of doing everything. Her Mother stood in the background watching her daughter struggle and the emotions pouring through her were palpable. She wanted to protect or daughter through it all, whether it was from the press or her pain or anything else that was thrown her way. I know the movie wasn't about her Mom, but for some reason, I focused on that.

I have often wondered how my Mother felt through all those years trying to find a diagnosis for me, and afterward, when I got the diagnosis of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. How she felt when, at eight years of age, the same doctors told her I probably wouldn't be walking by the time I was twelve. What did she go through every time my medications were changed, or when doctors called first thing in the morning to tell her to immediately take me off a medication. Sure, I heard her cry from behind closed doors, and she told me at least a thousand times she would take my pain if she could. But really, what was it like for her? To watch her only daughter suffer through the not knowing and the pain and the emotional issues that went along with it all.

I have a better idea now that I'm a mother to a child with special needs, but I'll never know exactly what it was like for her. We were blessed to get an early diagnosis and early help where it was needed. My Mom didn't have that little measure of peace. She had to deal with the question of what was wrong with her baby girl from the time I was about four, until they finally put a name to it when I was about eight. Four years of not knowing what was going to happen to me, then the knowing that I was never going to be normal or be able to do so many normal things. She did it all while showing me, at least what I could see, her strength and courage. She held me up when I most wanted to just give up.

It is because of her and God that I am where I am today. I am amazing, strong, funny, sarcastic, loving, giving, kind-hearted and awesome. I may be a little broken physically, but I can always pull through. Thanks Mom for teaching me and supporting me and loving me. I love you and I miss you!


Cathy said...

What a beautiful post. I often tell friends that until I became I mother, I didn't realize all that my mom did for me. We are lucky ourselves to be giving back to our children what our own moms so selflessly gave to us. Thanks for sharing. Happy holidays.

daina said...

Thanks Cathy. I lost her almost 6 years ago and it feels like yesterday. She was truly amazing. This job as a Mom is definitely the hardest I've ever had, and she had so many more obstacles. Thanks for reading!

Julianna Shapiro said...

A lovely tribute to your mother. When you have strong memories of a wonderful person that cared so deeply for you, and you cared for her in return, they never really leave.
Thank you for sharing her with us.

daina said...

Thanks Jules. She was so so awesome. I could talk about her for hours on end. And I still talk to her, maybe more often than I should, but I doubt that will ever stop...