If, last year, I would have been presented with the scenario of my life right now: watching my sweet son weaken and struggle to survive. Sitting by his crib, rubbing his head, and cleaning up his vomit. Watching his eyes roll backwards, seizing to the point that he starts to bite his tongue and lip. Picking him up and holding him in my arms, with four different lines and tubes connected to his little body. All while eight and a half months pregnant, with my husband away at work.
My response would have been: I wouldn’t have the strength.
Yet, I have learned over these last six months just how strong I am. Strength is acquired, not inherent; it is revealed in the twilight of the stormy days, not the sunny ones. And realizing and admitting one’s weakness is not contrary to finding strength. In fact, doing so is the only way of achieving it. I am strong but no woman is an island. My weakness is my isolation (emotional and situational) and my strength is derived from the endless support I have from community, friends, family and Theo’s care team.
Each one of us will fight a unique battle at different points in our lives (whether it be with illness, relationships, careers, money, stress…), the key is using these battles to find our strength and refocus on what matters. And, we all have the strength necessary regardless of our struggle because when the time comes being strong will be the only option available.
Theo’s seizures have increased in intensity and frequency over the last few weeks. A few days ago, we started him on a new medication (administered continuously via a subcutaneous line in his arm) to help control their devastating effects. Today, Theo’s doctor came by for a visit and told me that the seizures will only get stronger and more frequent until eventually he can’t recover from one of them. Stay strong, he told me as he was leaving. When the time comes, stay strong. It’s the only option I have, I responded.
Today’s miracle is finding strength in the storm and all those who help light the way.