Monday, 7 March 2011

Don't we all have that Inner Strength?

Not too long ago, I deactivated a blog site which was all about my son, J.  I thought that it was unfair because he couldn't tell me if he agreed to the idea or not.  He is a special needs boy.  He cannot talk so he will never be able to tell me.  But today, just for today, I'd like to talk about him to answer some questions friends often ask me.  I must warn you, this will be an unusually long post.

"Do you cry each time something happens?"
"Where do you get your strength from?"
And, quite often, they say to me in sympathy, "It must be horrible for you."

I'd like to say, before you continue reading, that I don't want pity.  We are not an unfortunate family.  We are probably just different from the regular families you see around you.  But like everybody else, we have good days and bad days...and we've had a few bad days quite recently.  J had just been to the hospital again.  It was one of the many times when we had to call an ambulance.  He can be unwell all of a sudden - from  a seizure to a cough that we think is harmless but then turns into a nasty chest infection.  He is fragile and because he cannot walk, he is often prone to infections.

Stressful, you say.  And I say, yes.  But I guess one gets used to it.  How do I handle the stress? When something happens, I  become the supermum.  No, just kidding.  What I mean is, I just have to deal with the situation rationally.  It breaks my heart to see my son unwell.  But I cannot let panic or emotion get the better of me.  I have to think straight at all times - until I am sure J is safe.  And the family is alright.  Then I sit down and go with the pain.  Do I cry?  Yes, if I need to.  If it gets too much for me.  Let's face it, I'm still a human being.  I have to let the tears fall - to feel okay afterwards.

Very often, people say, "I wonder where you get your strength from."  Believe me, you have the same strength, too.  I can't remember if it was Julia Roberts who said something like this in a magazine interview:  "When you become a mother, you discover that strength in you that you never know you have."  But I say this, the kind of inner strength she talked about isn't only found when you become a mum.  Everyone has it and you discover it in you when you have to use it, when life throws something challenging at you.  Remember the saying, "What doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger."

I always try to be positive.  To see the light at the end of the tunnel.  To continue to believe that when there's life, there's hope.  And the sun always shines after the rain (in the UK, it doesn't though.  It stays gloomy most days. That is unfortunate).  When we have good days, we enjoy them.  We love going out, having a meal together, shopping together.  J is adorable and we get a lot of joy from him.

I don't know how I stay positive.  I try my best to be.  In life, we always have a choice - to get depressed or to be happy.  To feel sorry for ourselves or get on with it and make the most out of it.  I feel down and out too, sometimes. But in the end, I always choose to not complain about life.  But to embrace it.

The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on water, but to walk on earth. (Chinese Proverb)


PS.  Thank you for the virtual hugs and love you send through your e-mails and phone calls.  They make me feel better.

31 comments:

Theresa Milstein said...

The post didn't feel long.

When people look at a life that seems hard compared to ours, we probably all say the same things. But in a difficult situation, we have to rise to meet the challenges. What's the alternative? The bad or good part of being human is that we can't maintain the highs or the lows. We acclimate to whatever situation we're in.

I'm glad to hear that you have ordinary days you all enjoy. I know it's been a rough stretch, so I hope you get those happier days back soon.

And I'd like to throw a little sun your way. Spring is pretty rainy in New England, so we can commiserate.

Melissa Sarno said...

This is such a wonderful post. So inspiring. I don't think everyone has the inner strength to handle whatever they are dealt, so you should be proud of your strength. I hope that the tough times you've been having these past few days ease up soon, so you can get outside and enjoy the 'sun'. Here's to the power of positive thinking. And thanks for the proverb-- I love that!

Jules said...

Not long at all and rarely do I look at anything as normal. Mothers are the warriors of the universe and I'm sorry for the bad stretch. As you say the good ones are trues joys though and I saw that smile.

A positive thought and a prayer for sunshine :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Gina said...

Hi Len! Here's to positivity ! And more sunshine ! I will have you and the family in my prayers Len. I wrote u pala kanina sa email na ibinigay mo sa akin on FB. I just got a delivery failure notice. Ngayon lang ako nakareply Len, sorry ha. Nabusy ako with my exams. I finally wrote it last Feb 17th. I wouldn't know the result until next month. I've been doing a lot of farming on FV every chance I get ( in between reviews,etc. ) It was my way to de-stress. I couldn't find the energy to do anything else. Kakainis naman kasi itong winter ....sooooo long. Would you believe, it still snowed heavily the other night? Pambihira. I can hardly wait talaga for sunshiny days! You take care Len....

Michael Offutt said...

I work in Assistive Technology. Have you got access to a MyTobii? It's a computer system that can be used and controlled with eye movment and could help you to communicate with your child.

Makis said...

Wonderful post, Len! I guess inner strength is what makes us get up every morning & face the day, whatever the day is, even if we're not aware of having that strength & courage. Sometimes it is important in life to not necessarily be strong but to feel strong :)

Hope we can really have a cup of tea (because I don't drink coffee) together soon.

Old Kitty said...

It's lovely to hear about your beautiful boy, J. I'm sorry to hear of his illness. I'm sending tons of virtual healing hugs and support over the net to you all. It's fab that he's surrounded by such love and strength and joy and creativity!! I hope J is home now with you? I hope so.

Take care
x

Madeleine said...

Well said: 'The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on water, but to walk on earth'. I can hear your inner strength in your posts. Virtual hugs :O)

Jessica Bell said...

Len, I'm glad you are able to stay positive. I can't imagine what it's like for you, but do know that if you ever need a vitual shoulder to cry on, I'm only an email away! :o) xx

Anne Gallagher said...

My daughter has been ill since the day she was born. Not as gravely as yours, but every little cold turns into something monstrous and ugly. The doctors can't confirm a diagnosis so she's been on meds most of her life. Unfortunately this has resulted in her being immune to most of them.

I have become an overprotective mother now, and have fits of crazy when I see one of her little friends in school with a runny nose. She's not allowed to play at other's houses, for my fear of her catching anything. It's horrible to see her cry because she doesn't have any friends.
She's only 6.

I only cry in the middle of the night so she can't see me. I don't want her to think any of it is her fault. It is just the hand God has dealt.

I know the strength it takes to sit in a hospital room. I know the joy when things are okay. Even for a few days.

My heart is your heart and our feet are firmly planted on the ground.

Danette said...

We walk the path we're given, don't we? And some days we manage it better than others but mostly we just deal with what we have because that is what we have. And I think you're right, we all have that inner strength, we just don't all have to tap into it at the same time in life. Some of us will have to take care of elderly parents and will learn then that we had strength then that we never knew we had. Lovely quote and lovely post! (definitely not long).

VR Barkowski said...

Many of us don't know our inner strength and courage until pressed, but few of us are able to find positive in the challenge. That's what makes this such a singular and inspirational post. Thank you.

Glynis said...

X♥X I am pleased to hear your little man is improving. Take care of yourself. Lovely post.

Loree said...

I admire your positivity and I hope your son is doing better.

Margo Benson said...

A beautiful post, Len and not long at all. I'm so sorry times have been rougher of late but what I feel through your words is strength and love, not helplessness and despair.
Another big virtual hug and healing thoughts winging their way to you all.

jenniferelliott14 said...

What a beautiful and honest post. You are an amazing mother with a courageous heart. And you have a very realistic grasp on your life -- you are only human. It's OK to break down and cry and be sad for certain moments. But for you make a choice to remain positive is a testament to your character and strength. Stay strong and beautiful.

jys said...

Thank you for writing this post. I offer you my respect, because, well, you deserve it. I'm going to go phone my mother now, and I might even tell her I love her. Thank you.

India Drummond said...

I think most of us do have a lot more inner strength than we realise. I get that a lot--people saying to me that they don't know how I cope or say things like, "I could never deal with that." I think that's just code for "I wouldn't WANT to deal with that." Fair enough.

I love how you've let your life challenges bring you to appreciate your own inner strength and that you try to approach it with positivity.

Tanya Reimer said...

This was a very touching read. Reminds us all of what we can do. What we do.
I have a styling award for you on my blog.
http://tanyareimer.blogspot.com

Len Lambert said...

Thank you, thank you, everybody, for all the heartwarming messages. This is why I love the blogging community. Thank you, Tanya, for the blog award. I've put a link to your blog on my Blog Awards page.

LindyLouMac said...

I admire your positive attitude to what life has thrown you Len and I am truly amazed that you even get time to read let alone blog and write such an inspiring post. Take Care x

Joanne said...

It's amazing that we always seem to find the strength when we need it. I guess "not one ounce more" is actually true. god Bless you and your family.

Manzanita said...

Your inner core is sound and firm, yet flexible like a willow branch. This enables you to meet any challenge and accept it with love. What a marvelous attitude you have as you brighten the life of your young son.
Blessings to you and your family
Manzanita

Kari Marie said...

This post was not long at all and your strength shows through. I love the quote at the end. Blessings to you.

Regina said...

There are times that it is hard to stay positive. I have a friend that is in a good mood every time I see him, he is friendly and smiling and one day I asked him. How are you always in a good mood. He told me it was a choice he made. "I can choose to get up in a good mood or choose to be in a bad one. I choose a good mood!" Simply put. He chose to stay positive and it worked for him.

Kazzy said...

I didn't know you had a special needs son. I like your attitude of different, not worse. So true. Warm wishes.

Lydia K said...

Hugs, Len. It's true that we all have a lot of strength, and it is inspiring to see it manifest in wonderful people like yourself who rise to face the difficulties they're given.

Ellen Brickley said...

Len, I just read this post now and wanted to say I really admire you and your family and wish you all well. I have enormous respect for mothers and this post explains why.

Talli Roland said...

I just read this, Len! I'm sorry I didn't comment earlier. I must say, though, I'm not surprised you have such strength. It just comes through in your posts -- your warmth and your character shine. Hoping your son gets better soon and wishing your family well.

Lisha @ DeLovely Life said...

I completely agree. We do have a choice and walking on Earth is such a blessing. And I don't know if it's being a mother or being willing to sacrifice and struggle for another being that brings out that strength you're talking about, but I agree that everyone has it. I do hope that you have more good days and that they continue to get better. I will pray about it. :)

wintergurl said...

Dear sis,

I really enjoy your post. I felt better after read your posts. You posts inspired and motivated me. Thanks. Pls keep updated. GOD bless