Thanking My Children for Giving of Themselves
On the day set aside to give thanks for all things in and around our lives which we should be grateful for, I was so excited. The day would be spent 'home,' my childhood home where my parents still reside, which we deem 'Headquarters.' There, our entire immediate family (17 out of 18 of us) under one roof, would spend our time happily fellowshipping, breaking bread together, spreading love amongst one another, and celebrating each other.
One thing I can never forget - MS
BUT... I had one thing lingering in the back of my mind, one thing I can never forget. MS and if, when, or how it would rear its ugly head and affect my day, or might it just allow me to enjoy myself with only the 'regular stuff'. Because it has already snatched the majority of my independence, I found myself so very thankful for my children. You see, to even get my day started and get to our destination, I had to rely on them. Out of any and everyone else, they are on the 'front line'. Their attributes and how they use them to help me give me strength and hope and makes me appreciate them so very much.
My son has rallied with me every step of the way
My son. Always very mature, mild-mannered, easy-going, protective, 'marching to the beat of his own drum' as they say, practical, logical, humorous, a strong and sturdy physique... a host of wonderful characteristics that made him a joy to have as a son. He remembers me and our life 'pre' MonSter. At 14 years old, he stepped up to the plate, with his heart, mental and physical strength, with no questions asked. Once he realized I/we could fight this chronic yet not fatal disease, he's rallied with me every step of the way.
My daughter only knows my MS and progression
My daughter. Picture a pre-school little girl ardently running after a precocious toddler to wipe his runny nose because "his germs will spread allll over and that can make everybody sick"! And fast forward to an after school program, her time - after her homework was completed - was best spent assisting the teacher with the younger groups. Through middle school, junior high and now in high school, this selfless young lady hasn't changed one bit. She still readily assists teachers, counselors, peers - and me. Her mother who was stricken with MS when she was a mere three years old. She only knows about my pre-MS days through pictures and familial anecdotes. Her early memories begin with my pink cane. We are, at this juncture, in a wheelchair 95% of the time, and the remaining percentage, a walker. She is 16 years old now and only knows MS and progression.
Not thinking about what I can't do
So, on Thanksgiving Day, my son and daughter came together first thing in the morning with all of their attributes with the hope of keeping MS at bay by keeping me calm and preserving my energy - two very key components. They were successful and we enjoyed the day without very much muss and fuss. It truly made for a thank-worthy Thanksgiving. I was able to visit, eat, laugh and chat and enjoy my family, just about like the days of old. I didn't have time to think about the 'can't do's of the day such as not being able to dress myself, drive my family, meander from room to room, fix my own plate, or even pack up my own leftovers because I instead focused on having the support of my children and family eagerly and willing to make certain I didn't have to.
The difficulty of accepting your children's help
Undoubtedly, it can be difficult to have to accept so much help from my children whilst still mothering them, but somehow, we make it work even when times are hard. While reflecting on giving credit where credit is due, I feel clear why my children were born with such strength, such wonderful attributes. God sees and knows all so my children were born to me just for me. I am grateful and thankful that they both so lovingly give of themselves to me and for that - and because they're my babies - they will not only have my love, but my respect, appreciation, and adoration - forever and always.
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