Thursday, July 7, 2011

Someday You'll Need to Hear This

It's late. I cannot sleep. I have not blogged in months. But here I am. I can only conclude that the thoughts racing through my head tonight need to be recorded here.

One year ago, I spent tonight packing. Packing for Philly. Packing in silence next to my husband who knew better than to try and tell me everything was going to be fine. Packing to take my son to a surgeon that could help him. Save him.

I am not a terribly sentimental type and typically try to avoid commemorating strange anniversaries like this one. However, I think it has taken me a full 365 days to really understand the impact of our time in Philadelphia and how it changed our lives.

We are all a little emotionally scarred. A little jumpy. A little quiet. A little reverent about last July. Truth be told we'd delete it all if we could. And truth be told we'd do it all over again if we had to. I only partially understand the miracles that were made ours just one year ago. And I am ashamed to admit I have spent the last few months losing sight of those miracles.

McKay is busy. Growing. Hilariously funny and affectionate. He is also still quite silent. We have engaged speech therapy for nearly a year now without success at verbalization. Over the last few months suspicion has grown that more may be going on with our little man. His therapists have shifted from believing that Mac's lack of speech requires treatment of an understandable delay, to a belief that his inability to form any semblance of a purposeful sound is likely a symptom of a potentially larger developmental diagnosis.

Now it's still early. The jury is still out. And we have at least half a dozen appointments and evaluations scheduled with various experts between now and September, so I will avoid speculation. What I know for sure is that all of the talk and referrals and inferences have sent me into a bit of a tale spin. And I've been angry, very angry about the prospect of any more long term challenges for Mac. ENOUGH is ENOUGH is ENOUGH.

I've spent a good two months now feeling angry. And you know what? Being angry is exhausting. It takes a lot of energy and produces crap. Crappy relationships, crappy feelings, crappy progress to nowhere you ever wanted to go anyway.

So I prayed (for the first time in a while) to be done being angry. I prayed for understanding. I prayed to regain a vision of McKay and his purpose and the destination of our little tribe. And you know what? I received an answer. And this, I suppose, is what I need McKay to know someday --

I sat in church on Sunday and listened dutifully to as much of the meeting as I could in between trying to keep my boys entertained and fed and quiet. And then a speaker stood up to share his testimony that does so often --an adult special needs child of an extraordinary couple in our neighborhood. I do not remember a word he shared, but I was overcome with the assurance that he was perfect. He was leading the life that was meant for him. And he was happy. I smiled -- right out loud. I believed I had received an answer. I am supposed to be at peace with whatever McKay's journey will be. Okay, I get it. Thanks God. Sign me up. I'm ready to re-enlist.

Later that afternoon I ran into the man and his mother in the church parking lot. I planned to introduce myself and explain a bit about McKay and the answers I was seeking that day. I planned to thank them for their example. But I was quickly stopped short after sharing my name by the man who grabbed my hand and said very matter of factly, "I shared my testimony for your son today. For your son."

The tears were instant. I sobbed. I tried to explain my emotion to the mother. But the son just grabbed my shoulders and pulled me in for a hug. "For your son, for your son," he said over and over again. And I knew this was more than an answer to my prayer I somehow retrofit to make myself feel better. This was a straight up Answer with a capital A. God is aware of my sons. He is aware of my anger, my hurt, my marriage, my family. He is constantly, caringly, overwhlemingly aware.

So there it is. I need to remember 365 days from now and 365 years after that, that there is purpose and plan in what seems a chaotic mess when I let less than divine feelings take over. There is much work ahead. But I know now that it is necessary work. Work that will take us somewhere intentional, no matter the outcome.

"Always we hope someone else has the answer. Some other place will be better, some other time it will all turn out well. This is it. No one else has the answer. No other place will be better, and it has already turned out. At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want." ~ Lao Tzu

And what I want is happy children. A happy home. And children with memories of a sincerely joyful mother. That much is in my control. Praise God for his patience and generosity in moving my feet to a better view.