Friday, May 6, 2011

until you walk in my shoes...

don't think for a second that i don't know how you judge me.  i live it every breath i take.  its written all over your face.  it is almost audible.  the look in your eyes when i say something.  don't ask if you don't want to know.  because i will tell you.  brutally.  my words will be brutal.  by definition.

i left a window open.  just one.  all others are closed and locked.  because there may come a day that someone wants to ask a question.  or just come back.  even without question.

last night i slept on the floor next to my little boy's bed.  he has rads or reactive airway disease.  its a condition in which the airways in the lungs overreact to certain things.  he was diagnosed last friday.  he will have to wear a medical bracelet.  but, now, he has a stomach bug on top of that.  he can't have his medication for rads.  his heart rate is up.  his temperature is alarming.  his little cheeks have been bright red.  the heat radiating from his little body has been overwhelming.  he's so sick that he sleeps for long periods of time.  and it scares me.  so i stay up and watch.  he tosses and moans.  or he's deathly still and i watch to see if he's breathing.  he is.  tonight i let him sleep on the sofa.  we will both sleep here tonight.  for the moment he is quiet and still and the overwhelming heat has left his body.  finally.

i have another little boy.  i remember so many years ago the hallucinating fevers that were his only symptoms.  he had asthma.  so many nights i would sit and hold him while he fought the raging fevers.  his eyes were glassy and wide open.  "look mama!  the horses!"  reaching his little hand out into the space that was our living room.  long hours.  holding and rocking while sitting on the sofa.  he never knew about the hallucinations.  nor did anyone else.  just me.  just his mama.  i watched him closely.  every day.  i held him tight every night.  he would say "sing mama" and i would hum a lullaby he was so accustomed to hearing before he fell asleep.  always in my arms.  and i would carry him to his bed.  he's all grown up now.  no symptoms of asthma.  he outgrew it.  a relief.  he's all grown up and has his own baby now.  i hope he remembers the lullaby.

those days are gone.  and nothing to replace them with.  he is his father's son.  but i left the window open.

words will never express the hurt.  the broken heart.  the loss.  all of my will never had a chance.  i had no chance.  the rage of the fight in me got me nowhere.  years have passed.  years i tried.  years i fought.  years i'll wait.  no matter.  i will wait.  i'm still here.  and i still have another little boy.  he's just all grown up now.

today i remembered all of these things.  not that these rememberings are ever far away.  but, they were up close.  and personal.  as i watched my little boy struggle with his fever for the second day.  it all came rushing back.  but they are not to be compared.  my little boy was awake for a little while.  as he watched spongebob his fever raged on.  and again he began to fall asleep.  i watched.  and out of the blue he looked at me and said "mama, everybody in my class is bigger than me."  he's in kindergarten.  "that's ok" i say.  as he drifted off again.  and i watched.

it doesn't matter what you think of me.  i know i did my best.  i gave everything in me.  to no avail.  i was held at arms length.  i was pushed away.  i tell the truth.  i will tell it again.  and its not just me.  its family.  life is shorter than you think.  before you realize it can all be covered up.  but i keep uncovering it.  every day.  i live it.  my life wills me.

i have another little boy.  but he's all grown up.  finally i laid my grief at God's feet.  the grief that controlled my world.  i have another little boy and i watch him breathe.  just as i did before.  i was there.  now i'm here.

you can't judge me.  not until you walk in my shoes...
All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt. Charles M. Schulz