Friday, March 15, 2013
I Am Terrified
My twelve year old son is the sweetest and most humble child out of my six boys. He is loving, attentive, honest, and sensitive. He is often picked on by the other boys as being a mama;s boy. He is the one that will not leave my side no matter what is going on. My husband and I encourage him to go play and go outside but even then he is back in 30 minutes to check on his mom. I will admit he is the one that is most like me and I understand him very well.
The other day he and I were talking about the future and he asked me a question that I will never forget. He said, "Mom, do you think you will be able to play with my kids like you play with us?" At first I laughed. I couldn't imagine my baby with kids! But I looked at his face and he was so serious and there were tears in his eyes. I reached out to him and I said, "Yes I will sweetie." His next questions hit me like a ton of bricks. It made me take a quick long look at my own truth. "So you really are not afraid of the future? You really aren't scared how sick you could one day be?" I tried to smile but I couldn't. He looked at me like he already knew the answer but wanted me to say it so I would know it too. I started to cry.
I immediately took those questions into my mind and processed them quicker than I had anything in years. I realized that my son and probably his brothers as well, knew I was afraid. I just sat there because I wanted him to know that even though he thought I ws afraid, I wasn't. I was okay. I was going to beat this thing. I was going to live for 80 more years and never miss a beat. I was not ever going to crumble, run, or be frightened by illness. These were the thoughts in my mind. What came from my mouth was the complete opposite. I looked up from my lap and before I could process another thought, I said it. "I am terrified." It hung in the air like the smell of red velvet cake fresh from the oven. Lingering there for everyone to take in but not to be touched just yet. We both sat silent. I really couldn't believe that I had said it. i had told my child that I was terrified of what was to come. It was the first time I had ever said it out loud since this all started.
I was a horrible parent! Why would I tell him this? I wanted to retract. I wanted to retreat. I wanted it to just thin out in the air and disappear. But it didn't. He smiled and said, "It's okay mom to be scared, it's okay to be unsure. You tell us all the time to be honest with how we feel." He was so right. That was one of my big issues with my kids. I always tell them "nobody knows your personal truth but you. you can hide from the world but you have to be honest with yourself." I cracked a smile at him. I felt wonderful! I felt like a weight had been lifted off of me. I am terrified! I am. And that does not make me weak, or unfaithful or confused, It makes me human.
I think we have to come to grips with fear when we are sick. Even the strongest of us have days when the unknown freaks us out! that is okay. It is okay to not always be optimistic. It is okay to tell people, "I am worried but I am faithful. I am scared but I am hoping for the best." We can not be expected to keep a SMILE on each and everyday. We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to confront our truth. It makes it easier, when you allow yourself to go through being fearful.
My son hugged me and kissed me on the cheek. I asked him, "How did you know I was going to say that?" He said, "because you have to be scared of the things you can't control mom, we all are." I can't control my future with these illnesses. But I couldn't control my future without them either. We plan, we adjust, we save, we prepare. But in the end, we have no idea what the future holds for us. This goes for the healthy, the ill, the disabled, and the able bodied. The one thing we all have in common is we can be honest about our concerns for the future. Don't be afraid to be scared. It goes with the territory. You are sick, you are strong, you are justified, you are human.