Saturday, November 3, 2012
When I was leaving a doctors appointment this week with Brenna at the hospital, I pressed the down button on the elevator, and soon it opened to reveal a small family of elevator occupants.
The mother was looking for a different floor, so we joined her in the elevator as she and I laughed about how all of the floors look the same. She had two little blond girls with her, and she was pushing a third girl in a very large, reclined high-tech wheelchair, a precious child who appeared to have very severe physical disabilities, if not mental limitations as well.
And I think if I had spent even two more seconds with this family, I would have felt inclined to give that mom a hug and tell her how much I admired her. Because I can only imagine the stresses of caring for a child with such special needs, along with multiple other children.
I thought about them all the way to the car as I thanked God for Brenna and the minimal care she needs as compared to what that child - and many others - probably does, and I said a prayer for that family to stay strong.
Sometimes when we're around family and friends and people, and there are kids running and playing and so seemingly perfect and healthy, the normalcy of everyone is almost suffocating to me. And that's when I think that our lives will never be a quick weekend away with lots of outdoor activities planned (without months of planning anyway), a carefree trip to the local hill for sledding, a last-minute afternoon at the pool. The worry of temperature and germs and Aquaphor applications will always consume us to some extent.
But I often have to force myself to take a step back, to keep perspective.
First and foremost, Brenna is here with us today. That alone is cause for more celebration than anything else we'd ever want to have or do. She is the perfect addition to our little family, and she lights up our lives.
When I blogged the other day about occasionally struggling with being a stay-at-home mom, I was reminded by some kind commenters that even though I felt this job is the envy of no one, those who want so desperately to get pregnant would trade places with me in an instant. I was humbled by these comments, and they reminded me how richly blessed Evan and I are by our two beautiful children. Having the sole responsibility of these little people in our lives can sometimes be very overwhelming, but I can't even describe the value they have added to our family.
Yes, Brenna has a very severe and serious skin condition, and it's something that will change many aspects of life for us, and for her. But ultimately, though her skin care is constant, it's pretty simple at its core. Daily baths, constant lotion and a little pump to feed her? I'll take it. Compared to the highly technological equipment and care so many children with special needs require, we often remark how simple the "tools" are that we need to keep her alive and healthy.
I think this will be a constant internal struggle for me - feeling like we have it hard and then feeling like we have it easy.Wishing Brenna didn't have to overcome all of the obstacles that she does on a daily basis and that she will in the future...and then feeling blessed beyond measure.
But already I have seen how God places certain people and events in my life to help me keep perspective, and I am grateful for his guidance, especially at times when I am unaware that I need it.
Posted by CWestlake at 8:41 AM