You know when you graduate high school you know, just know, that you will never forget those who shared those torturous four years with? Then you grow up and move on. One of the wonders of Facebook is reconnecting with friends long forgotten. Lucky for me an old friend, Stacey and I found one another recently.
I am so thankful she is willing to share her challenge today.
MY CHALLENGE: Choosing to truly love all that isn't perfect
Remembering back to where it all started, trying to have the perfect life. I was on the fast track. Improving my career, I had just accepted another promotion. Things were going as PLANNED. I became pregnant and life was awesome. Then IT happened. I started having horrible pain and realized I had miscarried. Well that was just the beginning…the truth is I ruptured an organ and had 4 cups of blood in my abdomen. I had gone into shock and was practically dead. I picked myself up after hitting my head on the toilet and my husband called 911.
The purpose of this story will become apparent soon and it’s connection to autism.
On the road to recovery I decided nothing would stop me from having that perfect life. Despite the fact numerous doctors said I wasn’t able to have kids I tried again several times. And I failed several times. But WAIT a minute. I wasn’t failing at all. I never gave up HOPE. If it wasn’t for hope I wouldn’t have three amazingly complicated mischievous beings.
I got pregnant with my first child and it was rough. The doctor said try again soon if you two. Not 15 months went by and Matthew was born. I was so excited but during my pregnancy everyone asked if things were okay. I only gained 15lbs and didn’t enjoy food. Being my stubborn self I only paid attention to what I thought was important.
When Matthew was four months old I got my first sign something wasn’t perfect. My son’s left arm wasn’t functioning correctly. To my dismay, he needed physical therapy. Then he was diagnosed with autism. So we worked more and more to pay for therapy he really needed. I think we spent over $20k of our own money. But, I smiled through the exhaustion. I read books, studied online, pulled up maps of the brain (that’s the Psychology major in me). I talked to my customers who were doctors, teachers, mothers, therapists, anyone who could offer advice. My HOPE was reaching new levels.
I refused to believe the prognosis that Matthew will never speak more than 20 years. I am not going to accept that and neither will God. For He made me super determined. I began researching vitamins, clay baths, speech therapy and anything that might help my son. We went gluten free, dairy free and I found solace with my spiritual life coach, Sister Ita.
To this day I say whatever your challenge, find your inner peace! Find your strength and pray. Find your child and don't let them go. Don't ever forget the journey, but focus on the end result, the future. Your child is so much more than our hearts can imagine. Hang in there through the hard times. Reach for the sky and don't give up your hope.
Mom of Matthew
Thank you, Stacey for sharing. I think all of us struggle loving what isn't perfect in our lives. But a mother's love always trumps all. In addition to being a warrior mom, Stacey is the owner of Vivian's Day Spa in Florida. A place to rejuvenate and find an hour of peace.
What's your challenge is a series that was inspired by a program I created at Abby's school. I am amazed at how honest and hopeful the challenges have been. Thank you to all who have contributed. To submit your challenge, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org