Gaining from the Best of Me
(Dedicated to the MS mothers…
Happy (belated) Mother’s Day!)
As Mother’s Day approached, I reflected on how the days prior began for me. Pondering what my day would be like. Amongst other things, should I drive to church and then the 30 minutes or so to my parent’s for dinner, or should I find a ride in case I get tired? It’s bothersome to me that MS infiltrates every activity, trip, holiday, plan, just everything. But then my thoughts shifted. This special day is set aside to honor motherhood. This prompted me to contemplate the precious ‘factors’ which made this a day of celebration for me. I made the decision at that moment that I would not allow MS and it’s challenges steal my joy… I would instead happily relish in what I have gained that has enriched my life – in spite of Multiple Sclerosis.
Life forever changed
It was first on October 6, 1992 and again 11 years later on October 15 that my life was forever impacted. It was both dates that I garnered such special knowledge, love, feelings and determination that were different than ever before. A better me is the result because the best of me was sent from the heavens. The best of me: Justin Christopher and his little sister, Jessica Dianne.
Learning there was more to learn
I’d always credited myself with a healthy amount of common sense, intellectual ability and a pretty good handle on life. I knew enough about ‘this and that’ to function well in this world. And then came Justin Christopher. I was introduced to a whole new world of knowledge while rearing this precocious little boy. Once, on a particularly trying morning, I recall telling my mother ‘Momma never said there’d be days like this’. She responded ‘Yes, she did… You just didn’t listen’! It was just as I thought I was finally getting a handle on parenting, clever little Jessica Dianne entered our lives, and I learned there was even more to learn. They’ve taught me so much, directly and indirectly, and every day there’s more. Most recently, while I was having ‘a moment’ my Justin taught me how to, and the benefits of, meditate(ing). And Jessica, forever my little news reporter, always ensures that I’m up-to-date with current events.
I have always known love. I love my parents, sisters, maternal and paternal families… I’ve even been in love. Nothing, however, is comparable to the love I have for my children. My love for them began before they even existed outside of my belly. I loved just knowing they were a part of me, their kicks and movements in utero, their cries as they entered the world… to hearing them say ‘Mom/Mommy’ for the first time – and even now. I love them for how they allow me to love them even when it (or I) may become a bit overwhelming. It’s those cheeks, smiles, personalities, seeing me ‘in’ them, their willingness to tirelessly help me through my health difficulties – all that they are makes me love them more and more. They are a blessing to me.
Determined to be the best version of myself
I saw a picture of an adult lion and her cub with the caption “I almost gave up until I saw who was watching”. I identified immediately… I am determined to be my best person for my children. I push myself, even through the challenges of a chronic disease. The two of them are my motivators to be strong, independent, educated, persevering, compassionate and kind. In turn, I model these characteristics so that I can motivate them to adopt the same attributes.
The very best of me
I’ve always wanted to live a wonderful life. I’ve always wanted an enriching life. After I had my children, I really wanted to live a wonderful and enriching life – for them. MS was never a part of the plan, but in spite of, I have been gifted a wealth of joy, greatness and inspiration and from them, I have gained so much. They are, without a doubt, the very best of me… Justin Christopher and Jessica Dianne.