What parent does not desire to see their child or children healthy, happy,
filled with God's grace and maturing both physically, mentally, emotionally
What mother does not suffer along with their child or children at every
step of the way? The maternal bond with the child is life-long, starting
from the moment of conception. That bond cannot be severed by anyone, or
anything. It is part of God's Perfect Plan. It does not mean that the
mother ties the child or children to her apron strings (does any mother
wear an apron anymore?) keeping that child close to her even when the child
becomes older. Certainly, any mother cannot do that in good conscience,
recognizing that the child, a gift from God, must lead their own life as
God has planned, for that is the fullness and richness of God's loving
tenderness toward all His people.
Still, the mother has that "intuitive" bond with the child that surpasses
all rational explanation, and often baffles the father, the husband.
However, as wife, mother, and a woman, I can only write about suffering
from that perspective. To do more would be ridiculous; to do less would be
an insult to God.
My husband and I remember quite vividly the bright, happy child who was
born to us over fifteen years ago. We have always considered both of our
sons "miracle" babies, because we lost two children, both in the first
trimester, prior to having our sons. When the miscarriages occurred, we
were saddened, particularly when the doctors informed me (us) that I would
most likely never be able to carry a child to term. Well, God had other
plans. Even then, even before our conversion of heart through Medjugorje,
my husband and I believed that if God intended us to have children (whom we
truly wanted) then He would work things out.
Our oldest son was born bright, happy, and healthy in every way. His
development was normal. He was so full of awe and wonder and curiosity for
all that the world held for him. He was unafraid of the world, never
meeting a stranger, always exploring, racing ahead to another adventure,
tackling the tasks of walking and running (he preferred not to crawl), and
then onward to the continual tasks that he mastered one by one as he grew
from infant to toddler, to child, and now to adolescent.
Now, because of his illness, he does not remember any of the "good"
memories of his early childhood. He can see these times, or at least some
of them, on the video tapes we took (we were heavily into video taping just
about everything in the lives of our children until God saw fit to have the
camera stolen so we'd concentrate more on Him, and less on our archives of
past memories). Still, he'll watch these, and then he'll cry, because he
can't relate to them. He sees it, but it's not him. The "him" that he
knows is a person who has become lost not only to himself, but also to God,
and to us. He hangs onto hope by a thin thread that, for now, exists in
his mind because of the medication, not because he can tangibly see, feel
or believe in God, and the Infinite Love of his creator, nor the
unconditional love of his parents and younger brother.
Like any other mother out there, I, too, had dreams and hopes for my sons.
For my oldest, I looked forward to that time when a certain amount of
independence would be his. I looked forward to his high school years,
which I suppose in retrospect, I naively envisioned as a version of "Happy
Days", with all the fun of sports, dating at the appropriate age, driving,
and working toward full independence.
The reality is that these things will not be. My son will not know the
normalcy of his teenage years. Instead, because of abuse suffered at the
hands of so-called "Christian" people who emotionally and psychologically
abused him, because of an accident when he cracked the back of his head
against a rock, because of being given an antibiotic which, we now know,
caused the chemical balance of his mind to go awry, he will miss the joy
that should be there, and instead, suffer in his dark, black world that
sees no light and doesn't believe there is hope anymore.
No hope! Ah, to hear him say this. To see in his eyes that it is reality
for him. To reach out to him, to try to encourage him, and to hold him in
my arms and rock him as I did when he was a baby! Words are difficult to
find to express the overwhelming range of emotions that hit me full force
at these times.
There are no words I can offer my son, for he does not hear them.
When, after he has cried himself into a calmer frame of being, I retire to
my room where I fall upon my knees and pray. There are times when the
rosary beads find their way through my fingers, and I am able to pray in
this fashion. More often than not, it is a wordless prayer that rises from
my soul to God, a plea from a Mother's heart that God, in His Mercy, will
heal my son, but only as He Wills, never as I will. It is a plea that is
enveloped in acceptance of this suffering, of acknowledging before God that
as my son lives and bears his cross as best He can, so do I believe that
God helps him, and will help my husband and I do the same thing.
Next week: part three