Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Turtle on His Back??

This evening I ran into an old friend. This man retired last year at a fairly early age. He was a hard worker all of his life, and like all of us, he looked forward to retirement. So, he retired at the early age of 61....only to have a massive stroke the very next day! Today was the first time that I have seen him since the day before he retired, and as I walked away from our conversation tears streamed down my face. I had asked him how he was. His reply, "I feel as if I have died. I feel like a turtle that is on his back. I cannot flip over, and no one can help me....but, at least I can finally walk again". An entire year after his stroke and he is finally able to walk.

I found myself wondering "WHY"? Why was this path chosen for this man who was so full of life?

I drove home and found my husband talking to our new neighbor. He had his little boy with him. Emma was SO excited to see a little friend at our house. She chased him up and down the driveway...then he chased her. It was so much fun to see her little face light up. Then, his Mom came over to join us. He ran up to her and said, "Mom, this is my friend"! My heart nearly burst to hear someone else call my little Emma his "friend". Emma's friend is an entire year younger than Emma.

Wow! So great that Em has a friend, but I do hope that one day she can tell me (with words) that he is her friend too.

Interesting, the neighbor Mother was in awe as I told her Emma's story. She said over and over, "I don't know how you got through it". HMMMM? That's a question that I have asked myself. I truly do not believe that it was ME going through everything. I know that sounds odd...and NO I do not have multiple personalities (I don't think). However, whenever Emma has gone through anything BIG I have just felt like I was standing outside of it all watching. Afterward the emotions are definitely within me...but I am numb to it. It is not until MUCH later that the reality hits. At THAT point I have to deal with it. So, at the time where everyone else thinks that all is well again....Emma's Mom is going through HER emotional crisis. Yes, that is the way it works with me. But, I put on the "happy" face, and pretend that I am just doing great! How do I get through it??? Any way that I can! This is the ONLY child that I have....this is ALL that I have ever known as a parent....and all that I do know is that if I do not have to "go through it anymore" then I know that I am going to be "going through something MUCH worse" because my child would no longer be here.

Yes, these are my random thoughts for the day. Ultimately, I guess that we are all a bunch of turtles. Sometimes we do land on our backs. Sometimes others help to turn us back over, and sometimes you just stay there on your back for a while thinking...."OH CRAP...why is this happening to me?".....hopefully we will ALL walk again:).


2DISCO said...

It sure made my heart smile to read about Emma and her new friend. Try to remember that innocent chasing in a few years when you are outside with your pellet gun telling him to quit chasing YOUR DAUGHTER!!!! LOL Anytime you need, I will happily help you off your back. Thanks for finally posting.......

Laurie said...

I, too, felt like an outsider when Anthony was in the hospital or going through some rough patch. There are so many things surrounding Anthony's transplant that I don't remember until I reread my emails home. And then I go, "Oh, yeah!" and then I cry.

You are such a wonderful mommy! I'm so glad that Emma has a friend next door!

Shannon, Little Marisa' s Mommy said...

I think we all go through the motions from time to time, without fully absorbing what is happening. Whenever someone tells me they don't know how I do it, I think...well, I don't have a choice. Even if I did have a choice, I'd never choose to give up my precious daughter, despite how difficult it can be at times. Things can always be worse...

Lots of love!

Amanda M said...

loved your story about various friends...hope your friend with the stroke continues to recover.

re: delayed reaction....I have a dear friend who nicknamed me "delayed reaction girl" which I call "drag" syndrome ...:) :) I completely cope in the moment, am a great person to have in a crisis, seem just fine, lead everyone through....and then, 4 weeks later it hits. I'd much rather know what I was feeling and feel it DURING the event - hello!! However, no, I just cope, superbly, and then suffer later. Not a terrible thing to happen, but I so envy those who feel things deeply WHILE they happen. Anyways, not to go on and on, but just to say you're not alone...delayed reaction girl to the rescue! lol, and sadly, not lol.