Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Body Of Pain

   One of my first blog favorites was The NieNie Dialogues. NieNie is a nickname for a lovely mom who had a tragic accident in a plane and was severely burned. She has written for years and her blog started before her accident and through her long and painful healing process. I read her posts with compassion as she talked about grieving over what she lost and the struggle to maintain a normal life. When a mother loses the use of her body or has constant pain, how does that affect her family? My family is dealing with such an issue and I have scoured the internet looking for first hand accounts of mothers suffering with rheumatoid arthritis. I haven't found much and I suppose that makes sense since if you were suffering with this debilitating disease you would find it difficult to type on a computer. So, I am writing this about, and for my daughter-in-law. This disease has slowly taken away Vanessa's strength and mobility. She was once an athletic woman and loved to be outside. Growing up on a farm forced her to take an active role in tending to the animals and garden. That spunky, competitive, girl is hard to imagine as she struggles to climb stairs, make food, even brush the errant strand of air out of her face. What is a mother of five children to do as she faces this experience in life? She gets up every morning and copes with the job of overseeing the children's meals, their getting read for the day, their intellectual stimulation, and their need to be loved. Most of these jobs must be delegated to the children and her husband who take on a great deal more on then they expected.

  There are some benefits to this situation, and I am not being cynical here. I still find a mom who finds her children amusing and delights in their antics. Her eyes light up as she tells a funny story about them. She has found some unique ways to show affection and love even when her body cannot endure much contact.
  I find children who know how to do many things beyond their age ability, simply because they must contribute. They can fix simple meals, do dishes, empty the dishwasher, sweep, and clean up, which to tell the truth, they need to do more often. Even though they fight bitterly at times, they know each other well and they offer support.
  I find her loved ones coming to her support and doing it because they want to ease her burden and carry a bit if her sorrow. What seemed hard gets easier as the effects of the added help show life getting a bit more fun.
  I am meeting angels who aren't family coming and doing so much to make life better for Vanessa. She feels a bitter-sweetness as she tries to explain why she needs this help so desperately. She would rather be the one who has it all together and can help others, but that is not her lot at this time. Will her illness get better? I pray everyday that it does and I have that abounding hope. In the meantime, I am learning that we don't rise to heaven we fall to heaven. In our weaknesses we grasp the hand of the Savior and he brings heaven to our door.


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    1. Send your e-mail to beallcomp@aol.com and I will connect you.


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