Thursday, July 05, 2007

Kill The Pity

There are children out there a WHOLE lot sicker than Michaela, and I make it a point to remind myself of that. It may sound weird, crazy, or even sick, but I spend time reading other blogs about sick children. Blogs about very sick children. Children who probably won't outlive Michaela, and who suffer many times more than she ever will. Many of them don't have anything like epilepsy. They have monstrous diseases like cancer.

I do this to keep my life in perspective.

I mean, how can I complain when I read about a little girl who's had more surgery than I've had teeth cleanings? Or a little boy who suffers from screaming pain for hours at a time?

Michaela doesn't have to deal with pain in general. I know there are times when she'll have a seizure that will cause her to bite her tongue, or fall on the floor, or whack her arm. And I understand that a seizure in general is pretty hard on the muscles. It appears as if she's having charlie horses. I bet it hurts.

But that's nothing for her. She bounces right back. And her short term memory really helps, I'm sure. Just the fact that she doesn't think like a normal child, is in her favor in this way. She doesn't know what's going on all the time. She forgets the boo-boos quickly enough.

But the others....

Those children that know what's going on. That hurt. That are scared. I read their stories that their parents record in their online journals, and I ache for them. Literally. Like a ball sized rock in the middle of my chest.....constricting.....pulsing. Sometimes the stories bring me to tears.

I can't imagine what their Moms and Dads deal with. I. can't. even. try.


So when things are tough for you, or your children, or you're having a hard day, always remember: It could be worse, and there's always a bright side. You're probably pretty healthy. And so are your kids. You're not watching them suffer, and you're problem with work/school/friends will work itself out in time. That's a blessing. We need to be thankful. It doesn't mean that you don't have troubles---we all do---but it could be worse. Right? For most all of us, our problems are the types of issues other people WISH they had.

So tonight, I'm thinking about Maria.

And Sophie.

And Jordan.

And Riley.

And Nathan.

And I'm hugging Michaela a little tighter. And whispering a prayer for these sweet children who's Moms and Dads wish they had seizures to deal with. Instead of terminal cancer or heart transplants.

It makes even my darkest days seem a little bit brighter, and helps me to kill any pity real quick.

****If children who suffer with cancer or other terminal illness capture your heart, like they do mine, then put your heartache to work and donate to a fund or charity that supports children in that situation. St. Jude's Research Hospital is my favorite. Find your favorite, and let them know you want to help in any way you can....big or small****


Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right.

It is so easy to forget that there are children who suffer in ways that should never even be imagined every day.

I don't know how their parents do it; how they continue to get up every morning and put one foot in front of the other.

Thank you for reminding me of how lucky our family really is. :)

Awesome Mom said...

You are not the only one that does that. In fact I wonder why I get the pity looks and the "aww that must be tough" Evan is so dang normal and is such a happy normal kid. Yeah he is a bit gimpy and trips a lot but other than that he is just so normal that you can sometimes forget that he has a crazy heart.

Dana said...

There are sooooo many times that I have said thank God for Spina Bifida. We should all be thankful. Things could always be worse. God gives us the ability to handle our own situations. Thank you for reminding us of that.

I miss seeing Michaela daily. August will be here very soon!!!

Love ya both!!!

Jes said...

hey kelly just trying to hook up with you. I have been reading your blog to find out what you have been up to. Great to see all you have been doing.

Jes said...

KellY I am not sure if my last post went through. This is Jessica Beaulieu. I have been reading your post finding out what you have been up to - it has been so long since I have talked to you. You have a beautiful family. I posted on your myspace. Hoping to reconnect!

JSmith5780 said...

I read them for the same reason you do. It puts everything into perspective. Epilepsy sucks, no doubt about it, but there are days that I am so thankful it's ONLY Austin's epilepsy or only Connor's PDD. But it's also enough for us to say, why tempt fate and have a fourth child. Why take the chance that it's something more. Blogs like those make me think and pray for my family's health and that other kids can have peace qand comfort.

Hope you had a great vacation!

Anne said...

Yes, my son ONLY has Down Syndrome. A few months after he was a born a former neighbor lost her baby due to another, fatal, trisomy. I had been pretty deep in pity and that was a wake up call that there are many worse things than DS.

And it seems at times when I'm deep in a pitty party someone will cross our path who has a much tougher path in life. Just a bit of a nudge from above.