It doesn't get any easier. Each year I expect it to be a little easier to handle. That I won't cry so hard that I ache. I hurt so bad sometimes that I just want to disappear. I am missing my son.
On April 28, 2005 my son died from complications due to Juvenile Diabetes. Warren Jr. had been a diabetic all his life; getting diagnosed at the age of 9 months. Back then he was still in diapers and it was all about medical trial and error. Jr. was one of the first babies in Michigan to be diagnosed with Type I Diabetes--the most difficult to manage.
At the time, I was 22 and a first time mother. My boyfriend (who later became my husband), and I were scared, inexperienced parents. We didn't know what to do with this suddenly sick child who required constant monitoring and a complete life overhaul.
When I say 'life overhaul' I mean, an adjustment to how we lived, when we ate, and how we thought. As a woman and mother, my natural instinct was to do whatever it took to keep my son alive. His father, however, would always harbor distaste for Jr.'s disease. Later, he would tell our son that he thought he was 'weak.'
But, Jr.'s birthday is coming up, he would have been 27 on April 6th if he had of lived. That's why today, all this week, I have been feeling so emotionally overwhelmed. So much so, that yesterday when I witnessed my daughter wheezing and short of breath, I began to cry while taking her to work. I made her promise me she would quit smoking...she told me she would try, but I don't think she will try very hard. A mother knows.
As I watched Shawn struggle for breath, and begin to sweat, my mind instantly went to 'Lord, please don't take my daughter away too, I'm not sure I could handle that.'
Unfortunately, Shawn is an adult, and adults make choices in their lives sometimes totally different than what their mothers' would have them do. So, that being said, I must pray and let God come into her life and handle the things I can not.
It isn't easy being a mourning parent. God certainly comforts me when I have crying spells. There are days when I make myself go out and do something. Even if its just to take a ride or go take pictures somewhere. You see, my camera, my photography has become my tool I use to deal with the pain.
During the days leading up to Jr.'s funeral, a cousin of mine gave to me a poem. The same poem someone gave to her when her daughter had died. You see, I belong to this exclusive club now, of parents who have lost a child, and for the most part, we don't socialize. Its not that kind of party.
TO ALL PARENTS
(by Edgar A. Guest)
“I’ll lend you for a little time a child of Mine.” He said,
“For you to love the while he lives and mourn for when he’s dead,
It may be six or seven years, or twenty-two or three,
But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for Me?
He’ll bring his charms to gladden you, and shall his stay be brief
You’ll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief.
“I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.
I’ve looked the wide world over in my search for teachers true
And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love, nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate Me when I come to call to take him back again?”
I fancied that I heard them say: “Dear Lord, Thy will be done.”
For all the joy Thy child shall bring, the risk of grief we’ll run.
We’ll shelter him with tenderness, we’ll love him while we may
And for the happiness we’ve known forever grateful stay;
But shall the angels call for him much sooner than we’ve planned.
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.”
From “All In A Lifetime” ©1938 by Edgar A. Guest
Reprinted with permission of the author.
And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, Today you will be with me in