Our Own Forever: a mother, a son and the unthinkable
Our Own Forever is the story of living through every parent’s nightmare. It is my response to the most common, if rhetorical question we face most: “How do you do it?”
When idealistic notions of safety are replaced by irrefutable proof that nothing is truly within our control, the internal shake up is devastating. Days before I had been the mother of teenaged boys, building a writing career and looking forward to dating when I finally separated amicably from my husband. Once phone call from my son’s pediatrician changed it all. I found myself a newly single woman in the throes of rebuild her emotional and financial lives while becoming an expert on a disease I had always thought was only myth, a folk tale told to get children to go to bed early at night. I’d heard of giants but I didn’t know my son was one. The short answer to how I did it is that I sunk deep, isolated myself from everyone, and clung to my boys. I cried hard and gave up on self-preservation, hell-bent on saving my oldest son and protecting his younger brother. They were all I could see. I bound myself to a rigid, stripped down definition of what really mattered and let all the bullshit go by the wayside.
Everything was a price worth paying. I watched everyone in my life slip away and often I played a part in casting folks off. I could not be a single woman rebuilding her life, nor a daughter, sister or friend because all of my time was literally going to being what my sick child and his brother needed. So I abandoned all those other roles. I became more than Mom, adding cheerleader, bodyguard, medical advocate, and wingman to my CV. I was a walking PTSD victim, I played all these front-line roles and a dozen more on steroids for my sons. Only in the aftermath would I see that I lost sight of what was happening to me.