Highs and lows.

Today was a challenging day. My son, who has a chronic (ch)illness, needed his meds refilled. There was an insurance SNAFU and then a pharmacy issue which resulted in hours on the phone before it was finally resolved. Fortunately, it was resolved without any major drama but when these things happen (this is far from the first time), there is a rush of emotions.

First, I am fierce when it comes to protecting my children. Once, I read that the most dangerous place in the world is between a mother and her child and I am much like a bear when it comes to them. I will rise up and roar until I am heard, until they are safe, until things are resolved. Most often, I am grateful that I am strong enough to be able to bear the weight of acting as protector so they don’t know what is going on. Being a parent often means absorbing the shockwaves of pain, trauma and fear that are lobbed at the family so that the kids can keep being kids. My job is done well if at the end of a challenging day, they go to bed with smiles and happy hearts.

But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt me, that there isn’t a price being paid for it all. Indeed, on days like today, I feel weary. This is a soul level weariness that comes hand in hand with being the parent whose child has a chronic condition. Parents, imagine how exhausting it is to deal with your child when they have the flu or a broken limb…and then imagine that lasting for the entire length of your child’s life. It’s exhausting. Most days are not this challenging–and for that I am deeply grateful. Most days are good, great even, and those days sustain my aching heart when these rough days come along.

And that is the condition of life. There are highs, lows and every shade between. There is a popular illusion that remaining positive is the key to changing ones life and while I can definitely see the value in being positive, because this too shall pass, there is nothing beneficial in bypassing the pain when it arises. There is a vast difference between ignoring the waves as they roll in and learning to ride them, and that is what I am learning to do. I once heard grief (pain) described as a river, but I believe it is more like an ocean. There are times when the tide is low and the waters merely nibble at the toes. Then, there are times when the waves are hard & crashing, knocking you on your ass. Today was a day where the waves were stronger & knocked me off balance.

I’m tired and a bit battered today so I will allow myself the space to be quiet, and will allow my heart to express what it needs to say. Tonight, I will breathe deeper, rest longer and feel the ache. Tomorrow will be better.