I am thinking about my mom today.  When I was almost 2, my knee became locked in a bent position.  I saw a lot of doctors before a diagnosis of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis was made.  This was back in 1976, and I don’t think a lot of people even thought kids could get RA back then.  It took a university hospital to make the diagnosis.  They told my mother that I’d never walk again.  They offered her a surgery to clean out the scar tissue in my knee and told her it might help, but it couldn’t hurt.  My mom said that form for my surgery was the one of the hardest things she ever had to sign.  They ended up taking me to surgery earlier than expected and my mom wasn’t there when they wheeled me down.  When I woke up after surgery, she told me I looked at her and said, “My puppy cry (my stuffed dog), my kitty cry (my stuffed cat), and I cry.”  She said that she did, too.  As hard as that time was for us, I am eternally grateful that she made that decision for me.  She also told me that they told her I would never walk again after that first diagnosis.  Lucky for me, she didn’t believe them.  I may have cursed her for making me do those painful physical therapy exercises at home, and take those yucky medications.  I know I didn’t make it easy on her; crying and pleading every time I had to have blood work done and complaining every time she made me do my exercises.  And I may have even hated her at times because of the pain, or because she deemed some activity I wanted to do unsafe for my condition, but I am so happy now that she did what she did.  Without my mom fighting for me, cheering me on, and making me laugh when it hurt the most, I wouldn’t be able to do half of what I can now.  My own daughter has special needs and everyone tells me what a good mother I am to her and how she can do so much because of me.  I always feel odd when people compliment me.  I just do what needs to be done and believe in my kids.  That’s how you do it, right?  I’m only the mother I am because I had a wonderful example.  My mom fought for me and didn’t even know she was teaching me how to fight for her grandchildren.  I am so very grateful to have her as my mom.  I am very lucky.

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