Guest Blogger: Sally, a mother to Claire & Little Av, wife to D, daughter, sister, friend to many, domestic goddess, blog reader, up-cycler, optimist, allergic to cats, and a therapist/friend to Miss T. Sally wrote this for the blog she writes about her 3 year old daughter Claire, who has leukemia.
This week a terrible, heart-stopping moment happened in our ward (church congregation). A 3-month-old baby died. Dustin and I attended the funeral on Friday and sobbed along with the rest of those in attendance. I don’t wish to dwell on the event on this blog; however, it did call to mind a time when I called out in prayer to Heavenly Father pleading with Him to “not take Claire away from me.” This was probably two months before Claire was diagnosed with a very treatable Leukemia, but I didn’t know that yet. I just felt that something beyond my control threatened her life.
Many of you know the story of our journey to have Claire be a part of our family. We struggled with five years of infertility issues before we became pregnant with Claire. I can honestly say that my pregnancy with Claire and her first 20 months of life were pure bliss after that struggle. Friends laughed at me when I didn’t even mind throwing up for the first 16 weeks of pregnancy. At least it meant I was pregnant, right? I had previously been throwing up on fertility drugs, and it was much better to know that a baby was already cooking.
I was in awe of pregnancy and motherhood until things got hard around Claire’s 2nd birthday. Then my patience was challenged. Then I wondered what happened to my sweet little girl. But, in the midst of this struggle to accept my changing child, I prayed, and I plead that she might not be taken from me. I felt that I had worked too long and hard to have her here. I had wanted to be a mother so badly, and it felt too short at just 24 months. I remember begging, "I need to see 6-year-old Claire and 12-year-old Claire. You can't take her from me. Please don't take her from me." I hesitate to share the rebuke that I received because I want to emphasize that it was a rebuke for me personally. But, as clear as if Heavenly Father were speaking to me Himself, I felt the words, “I have not given you 6-year-old Claire or 12-year-old Claire. I have only given you today.” I sobbed. I thought this meant she was going to die.
Later, it meant that I was to enjoy . . . No, it meant that I was to savor every single moment that Claire was here with me. It meant that all I have is today. Right now. I have memories of yesterday and hopes for the future, but I only have today to hold her.
Then, after 6 months of watching Claire meet her challenges that became our challenges given her age, I started to take it for granted that Claire does this hard thing called Chemotherapy. That she sings through so much of it. That she has battle wounds and scars that aren’t easily brushed aside. And, I expected her to be an adult about it all. And, because she is only a child, things got hard again. And, I forgot to remember the moment that I have been given that is called ‘today.’ The things that cause me impatience these days are normal mother-child moments. Like, why after almost a year of not sucking her thumb, Claire is sucking her thumb again. How do we get her to stop? Like, the fact that ‘taking care of business’ is so traumatic for her and usually ends up in two days of whining until it finally takes care of itself. Also, the moment that Dustin or I take a stance about something (i.e. eating 3 bites of healthy food before having dessert, cleaning up toys before watching a movie, or getting dressed before we go to a friend’s house) a stubbornness that can only be hereditary rears its ugly head. Claire can hold out with the best of them. And, then things are hard instead of fun, and I forget to remember that I have Claire today: I’m still a mother because she was born.
I was reminded this week.
|Claire & Sally|
To read more about Claire and her family and their amazing journey overcoming leukemia, read Caring Bridge.