Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Choosing to be thankful

Dear Life,

Today I went to a basketball game with my tall one. 
As I watched the game with him, my heart broke all over again because IT'S NOT FAIR.
He should be ON the court.  
He should be playing.
He should be enjoying his freshman year of high school. 
Instead, he is sidelined by this horrible illness....that may or may not get better.
He is on the outside, looking in.  
Watching, when I'm sure he's aching to run, jump and shoot that ball.
But he's afraid.

I watched his teammates play, wondering if they knew just how THANKFUL they should be. 
Thankful they COULD play.
Thankful they COULD go to school.
Thankful they weren't living a bad dream every day.
Thankful they weren't afraid.

Then I thought of my own children.
I wondered if I am teaching my children to be thankful for all that they CAN do.
The ability to go to school.
The ability to play sports, play with friends, BE KIDS.  
The ability to be happy.

Then I thought about me.
About how I get sad.
How I grieve all that my boy is losing. 
So I've decided I am going to teach myself.
Teach myself how to be thankful.
Thankful for these amazing, beautiful, different children.
Thankful for the lessons we have learned as a family.
Thankful for the love we have as a family.
Thankful for the gospel that strengthens me.
Thankful for the mess that teaches me. 
Thankful for the incredible strength and bond we have formed together while fighting these battles.
Thankful that my son is so courageous, that he is a warrior, and that he is choosing to fight this illness instead of giving up. 
Thankful for the people that surround our children with love and support, especially when we are battling the most difficult of battles.  
Thankful for a son who is choosing to serve a 2 year mission.  

I am choosing to be THANKFUL.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thank you

Dear Life,

Today I shared a little bit more about my son's very serious, scary, and sad mental health disorder.  Watching his mind basically fracture, and watching him shrink was horrifying...like a bad dream.  And for a few weeks all I wanted to do was talk about it but I felt like I couldn't.  Like I had to keep a secret.  And that is one of the biggest problems with the mental health issues in America.  People don't talk about it.  People don't educate themselves about it.  People don't get help.  They get embarrassed.  They don't want to get judged. But as I shared today, dozens of people reached out, to give our family love and support.  Many people shared their own stories. And that is what people need.  People need grace, people need love, people need to know that there is no judgement.  Mental health is dangerous.  If you feel judged, or unable to get help, the likelihood of suicide is so much higher.  Everyone has a story.  Everyone is fighting a battle.  I am so grateful for all of you that reached out today to love and support our boy.  Knowing that when you see him you will appreciate how much it takes for him to be at church, or at school, or anywhere and just shake his hand or give him a hug.  Let him know he's loved.  Because Love Will Always Win. I have to believe that.  Thank you! 

A broken hearted mom

Dear Life,

I have been reflecting on the last 7 weeks.  The last seven weeks of hell.  Feels like it's been seven years.  
Seven weeks ago my son told me he saw a person.
A person no one else could see.
A person that was awful and horrible and scary.
And he felt crazy.
Then he started hearing voices.
And he felt crazier. 
And all of his hopes and dreams crashed.
When everyone else was posting pictures of school and football games,
our family was in a literal fight for his life.
When he should have been on the basketball court,
He was at home, afraid and alone, and not wanting to tell anyone what was going on in his head.

Watching my beautiful son, my amazing, loving, tender hearted child break was awful.
Knowing I couldn't fix it tore me up.
Watching his dreams slip through his fingers, and his hopes and his light drain from his eyes crushed me.

I knew nothing about this diagnosis.
It is a scary, ugly monster.
Thankfully, I am a fighter.
We know how to advocate and we know how to love.
We love him so much.

Thankfully, he is now  receiving the help he needs.  It will be a very long process and I'm sure there will be ups and downs.  When he feels like he has nothing he has us.  And he has God.  And hopefully, he has all of you.