Monday, August 29, 2011

Have No Fear

I had a realization recently about myself. The transformation from within had been unfolding for some time I believe. However, it was my 40th birthday that drove it home for me. I really have very little "fear" left in me.

I used to live in fear. You know, that motherly kind. "What if my baby stops breathing. What if my children are hurt in a car accident. What if my child is abducted by a stranger." That was all before our 2 year period of our worst fears realized.

Two years ago my then 8 year old son, who has severe autism, was diagnosed with brain cancer. Quite honestly, at first it was hard to believe. How could a child already struggling so fiercely with issues we all take for granted, be given such a horrific additional burden to bear? What are the chances of this happening I thought. How could lightning strike my child yet again? I became obsessed with statistics. What are his chances of survival, of it recurring after treatment, of it leaving him even more impaired than ever?

Cancer has a way of scaring the crap out of you. There really are few things quite as scary. But guess what? He came through it better than anyone could have imagined. He is a healthy boy again, autism and all. But, alas, yet another unthinkable was unfolding in our household. My 2 year daughter who was not developing as she should, was diagnosed with autism too. She was diagnosed just 2 months after my son finished his year long battle with cancer.

At this point I was angry, still am really. What more can or will happen? How often does lightning "strike" one family? But guess what again? My daughter is making slight progress each and every day. It is not easy, and my days are very busy and stressful. But, we are still here doing what we have learned to do, move forward the best we can.

One of my favorite quotes is by Eleanor Roosevelt and reads, "We gain strength, courage, and confidence by each experience in which we stop and look fear in the face. We must do that which we think we cannot". So my message to you is pretty simple. Believe in yourself and your ability to handle whatever life throws at you. Hardships and pain strengthen you - welcome them. Life is not supposed to be easy and you are not entitled to a free ride. Your life could be better, but it could also be much worse. Appreciate what you have and strive for what you want. Breath deeply, and "have no fear".


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