I’ve been thinking a lot about the road that led to this moment, the reasons why I have to write when I haven’t written in years. All of us walking on each of our individual cosmic paths, right at this moment, can turn back and look at the confluence of forces, at the many decisions, right turns, left turns, short cuts and the mires we have traversed. What has led me here? What has brought me to this moment that allows me to be capable of taking the next step?
Having a child – that wondrous act all of itself – rocks your world. Suddenly a heart beats separately, a life depends on you, and worlds open up inside your psyche that never existed before filled with tumbling rivers of caring and concern, radiant suns of the purest love imaginable, and dark chasms of fear for what you know is possible in this world, and how your children may be affected by terrible possibility. I never knew fear until my children were born.
Having a child with any type of difficult, chronic, or deadly illness is another life-changing event for the parent. It is a trip into a dark chasm.
I really can think of this experience as some kind of physical trip through difficult terrain. After Daniel was diagnosed with diabetes, I felt like I literally was at the bottom of a chasm. In that place there are a few of choices you can make.
Climb out & move on.
Climb out & run away.
Stay in the dark.
And the choice you make may well depend on the paths you traveled before you reached this scary place.
I have been lucky! Looking back, as far back as grade school, I wrote out my feelings, thanks to Ms. Morselli, my fourth grade teacher, who made our class put our feelings into words for every experience, good or bad. My grandma allowed me to experiment with food, to create appetizers, whip egg whites, and learn my way around a kitchen and cookbook. My mom first showed me how to do yoga. These small events changed the direction of my life.
I’m also not on this path alone. My husband & my three children each hold our families love & burdens together.
At Children’s Hospital, during those 3 days after Daniel was diagnosed, I could only do the most basic yoga to keep me going – pranayama, controlling the movement of the breath. Now, months later, I’m still using yoga to work the accumulated kinks out of the parts of my body that like to hold tension. I’m using my love of cooking to transform old recipes into gluten-free, delicious ones. And I’m using writing now, as a tool, to get the feelings out, to observe, in a more concrete way, the new shape of my life.
As I write this, I imagine that the steps I’m taking now to manage Daniel’s diabetes & celiac while juggling “normal” life – work, kids, schools, activities – will contain important lessons and skills for what lies ahead. Even the darkest moments give me something to carry forward, something that will do good later on.
Thanks to all the other bloggers out there who have inspired me – I hope to talk about you later in detail. For now, I’m a bit anxious. The first day of school is tomorrow. Three kids going in three different direction. Three busses at three different times. The day starts at 5:30 tomorrow morning, so good night for now!