It sucks to read such things during the holiday season, but its inevitable. because sad, unbelievably wrong things happen every day, evil doesn’t just take a break for the week so everyone on Earth can enjoy their holidays minus the sad news stories. I’ve been seeing way too many stories about children dying, lots of them related to their parents snapping. I’ve also seen too many stories about children dying that are completely unavoidable, but are just as heart breaking as the deaths that are planned. One of my favorite bloggers wrote an excerpt the week before Christmas about how badly she dreads the holidays now that her son isn’t here to celebrate them with her. He died the year before, at age 5, of an inoperable brain tumor. Just days before he was diagnosed, he had his routine check up for kindergarten and everything looked as it should for a boy his age. Despite the sudden headaches that his pediatrician and mom attributed to seasonal allergies. This story instills fear in me, as a mother of a beautiful baby boy, who always checks out perfect at his routine well-child appointments. But this fear isn’t irrational or unhealthy. It’s not like an obsessive, life consuming fear and it doesn’t change the way we do things day to day. Well, I guess it changes the way I think sometimes, and for the better. This fear reminds me that life is way too short to miss out on a single thing my son does on a daily basis. Sure, he’s walked up and down our stairs 35 times already this morning and its only 9AM. But I don’t want to miss him walking up or back down those stairs EVER again, because there’s women who won’t ever get to see their kids do such seemingly boring things again.
My fear is that, despite the crappy few years I suffered through before I got sober and had Jasper, my suffering isn’t quite over and something bad happening is away possible. What if something happens to me and Jasper is miserable for a few months because he’s so attached to me that it’d take awhile for him to cope? Or what if something insanely horrible happens to HIM at such a young age and he’s taken from me? Would I go back to what I was doing before him and before my sobriety? It’s hard to think there’s a possible life without him now that’s he here and alive and well. And please, I’m not a pessimistic and this isnt irrational. The sad news stories are the times I stop to think about the “what ifs?”. I don’t think there’s a mom in this world who hasn’t stopped to think about what would happen to her or to her kids if something happened to one of them.
This fear comes from another feeling, one that’s on the complete opposite end of the emotion spectrum: Love. I only think about such things because of the overwhelming, unconditional love I feel for my son. The same love that’s overcome me since the day i pushed him out and then held his teeny tiny, crinkly looking skinned, warm body against mine. That love grows stronger by the millisecond and will always be there, no matter who Jasper grows up to me or what he decides to do with his life. That’s a mothers unconditional love and that’s why it’s called unconditional. Because somewhere along the lines, your kid will do something you don’t agree with, whether its something small and forgettable or something life changing that lands him somewhere he shouldn’t be. The perfect example of this is my moms unconditional love for me throughout my life and still today. Growing up when I had a 3.5 GPA and was the point guard for my school basketball team from grade 4 to grade 9, she loved me and cheered me on. In 10th grade when I decided I didn’t want to attend regular high school anymore but go to online school again (since I was a pro at sleeping in and missing class anyways), she still loved me even though she didnt agree. Then at the end of high school when I took a turn for the worst, and landed in that spot that I never wanted to be, she still loved me and was my cheerleader. The next few years were a battle, a living hell you could say. She was always worried, nervous and sad for her daughter, yet her love never faltered and she never gave up. I did unspeakable things and her love ? Stayed unconditional. THAT right there is the way I think every mom feels about their child, or at least SHOULD feel. But, like I mentioned in the beginning about those horrid stories about parents killing their kids, there’s always always always going to be some unfortunate exception to the unconditional love definition.
That love is what causes my random feeling of fear. I love jasper so much that I seriously cannot fathom a life without him in it. I can’t even begin to imagine what would become of this sober, healthy and happy life I’ve created if something happened to my son. I read another story a few days ago about a mom who got in a car accident on the street BEHIND her street and her SUV was literally pushed all the way into her backyard because of the strong impact. Luckily her and her son survived, but they spent 3 months recovering in the hospital and her 16 year old baby boy has permanent brain damage. Can you imagine!? No, I bet you can’t, just like I can’t. Why is there so many bad things happening nowadays? Why is there so many diseases that take the lives of innocent children or innocent, healthy parents? Why is the death rate from car accidents so damn high? Isn’t anyone else worried sometimes when they drive on the freeway? You know you’re aware of your surroundings and are a safe driver, but you also are fully aware that there’s quite a few dumb drivers who don’t care about how they drive so therefore speed on the icy freeways or blow through stop signs because they’re in a hurry.
My ever-growing, everlasting, unconditional love for my son Jasper Tucker Phillips Faunt is so strong and so alive , that it causes me to question things and worry about things that were never a concern before. These stories filled with accidental deaths from illness or car accidents, these stories packed with unthinkable tragedy caused by ones own family member in a moment of rage, the stories similar to the most recent tragedy to hit the USA in Newton, CT…..these also make me question my faith, my higher power, and my religion. I can’t get into all that right now because I’d be writing for days and I’d probably contradict myself alot, but I had to mention the fact that these upsetting, life changing events that cause people more misery then one ever should ever have to feel… They make me question what the hell Gods plan was for the victim or for their families and why them and not some gang banging murderer? The same response will come from the Christians and Catholics and ill always respect their beliefs, along with every other religious belief out there. Because everyone is entitled to their opinions, beliefs and morals. I was raised Catholic, baptised at the church of the private school I attended for 7 years. But now more then ever, i can’t help questioning my religion and why things Happen the way they do.
But Anyways, back to the purpose of this post. This healthy fear has helped me take a different look at the world and the people in it. It’s also made me slow down and live in the moment rather then worrying about next week or even the next hour. It’s also made me promise myself to take nothing in my life for granted, even the most insignificant things that I’d usually just blow off. I also give thanks for everything I’ve been given and everything I’ve learned, along with saying prayers and wishing the best for everyone close to me in my life, especially my son and my immediate family. I can’t miss my sons first bike ride or his first basketball game, but I also don’t want to miss a single bath tub experience or another poopy diaper! Because these are things that are taken for granted, until of course they’re not there anymore to be taken for granted.
I love you Jasper Tucker with all my heart, Forever and always. Just like I love your daddy to the ends of the earth and couldn’t ask for a better, more involved father for you. My mom too, of course. I think I mentioned how much I love her throughout this entry. And my dad and brother, although they’re so different then the norm and see things differently then most of us, I couldn’t imagine me without them either, because they make up such an awesome part of this family. I love My grandparents in heaven and my grandma on earth. I love Tim’s family, whose now my family too. They’ve helped us out so much and are perfect with jasper, he’s truly blessed to have such wonderful grandparents on both sides of his family. My extended family on my moms side speaks for themselves, they keep family traditions going and bring us all together for holidays in the best ways possible. I hope we all stay as close as we are now, for the rest of forever. And finally, my dads side of the family, all 7 sets of aunts and uncles, all 15 cousins and 3 great grand kids too! Who else can say that they have this big of a family that actually ALL see eAchother on the holidays?! That’s a pretty awesome feat and I’m thankful to be a part of such a strong family.
I had to add my thankful/grateful list to this because I haven’t posted in so long, since before Thanksgiving. I wanted to add my love
for my entire family, because they too, fit right into that unconditional love thing… How they’re still here and calling me family, after all the years I spent hiding away because I was embarrassed that I wasn’t on a good path like the rest of my giant family.
Love you all. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years. Remember to hug your kid(s) extra tight and extra long today. And every other day for the rest of their lives.