I am a strong woman. I did not always believe that. As I look at the path's I have chosen and their destinations, I know this to be truth. I began my life in a home full of anger. There were many happy times, mostly because of my dad, but they are overshadowed by the abuse of a mentally ill mother. I, being the oldest of five children, emotionally took care of emotional needs of my siblings. To this day, I still have this role. I want to take care of all those around me who cannot emotionally handle their own lives. This has become a fault of mine. After over three decades of abuse, I was able to completely let go of my mother without any anxiety, without looking back, without regret. I had to learn that forgiving someone does not mean enabling them, it does not mean becoming vulnerable to their abuse. I had to learn that sometimes forgiveness does not come instantly, it is a learning process. I am learning to let go. For many years, especially early in my marriage, I would hear other girls my age speak of their moms with so much love, adoration, and respect, and it would make me angry. I was angry that I did not have those experiences. I felt ripped off, jipped. But, I began to grow up. When I has in my second pregnancy and found out I was having a girl, I was so excited, yet so afraid. I panicked. I had no example of how to love a daughter. I never had that love given. Then the epiphany. I no longer needed to be angry and jealous because of my relationship with my mom. I GOT TO BE THAT MOM! What an exhilarating and freeing experience. My daughter, my Isabelle, will have the opportunity to speak of her mom the way those women did. I pledged right then to be that mom.
I love my daughter. I am also lucky to be blessed with two amazing sons. I remember sitting on a rocking chair when I was 8 months pregnant with my first born child. At that point he knew his name was Spencer. He responded every time I said it. I remember I was wearing a lavender button up shirt. I was sitting talking to a friend, our home teacher, Brian Morgan. I had come to the realization at that moment that this was not my child. I was overwhelmed by the responsibility that I was being given to raise a child of God. He was trusting me with his son. He was trusting me to teach him of Him, to bring him back to His presence. No pressure. I know that every mom thinks that their child is extra special, as did I with Spence. It was different though, more intense. I knew that the Lord was sending me an extraordinary spirit. From the time he was very young he was just more spiritual then most children. It never stopped, and only increased. The night that he was diagnosed with stage four rhabdomyosarcoma, a malignant tumor in his head behind his eye, this validated my feelings. This is a special kid. Those who know Spencer can attest to this. This spirit was meant to do great things on this earth, to fight battles, to win battles, to endure to the end. He reminds me of Ammon. Steadfast and immovable.
Gavin. Oh my Gavin. This child was born to be my tormentor! He was also born to give me moments of breath in suffocating times. He was eight months old when Spence was diagnosed. I felt guilty for leaving him behind. I needed to be with Spencer and when treatments were done I had a two year old boy who was practically raised by Suzi and my dad. He was born cuddling. He loves to snuggle and kiss talk. These three things medicate me. Many nights when I was alone with Gavin and Belle, while Nate took his turn at the hospital, he would snuggle me. He knew I needed him. That little guy, as mischievous as he is, holds my heart. He is my guy. He is my best buddy. My heart flutters when I see his cute little face.