Friday, August 8, 2008

A Reminder

Everyone can use a little reminder every now and then. Especially me lately. It seems I need to be reminded to look at the name of my blog – One Day at a Time – and then try to live my life that way.

Lately, I can’t seem to get thoughts of the future out of my head. Many years ago, I can remember thinking of the future and looking forward to it. It was going to be great – children, travel, a great career. The possibilities were endless.

But now? Now the future scares me. It scares me so much that sometimes I feel like I can’t breathe. I worry so much – mostly about Bennett. I’m sure all mothers worry – I have no doubt they do. But not all mothers worry about the things I do. I lie awake at night worrying about whether Bennett will walk, will he ever talk, how extensive will his cognitive impairments be, will he have seizures, is he having them now, will the hydrocephalus get worse, will he be able to participate fully in school, will he have friends, will other kids pick on him or bully him, will he be able to live on his own, what if something happens to us? I could go on but you get the idea.

I worry about myself too. Will I end up losing my leg at some point, will it get so bad that I’ll be confined to a wheelchair, what if Bennett and I both end up in wheelchairs? Will we become too much of a burden for Jim (he’ll kill me when he reads that one, so this may be my last blog post). I also worry about Jim – about my family, about his family, etc.

I know what some of you are thinking and I know you’re right. I have to stop worrying so much about the future. I can’t control it, I don’t KNOW what’s going to happen. I have to live one day at time. So, I’ll take a deep breath and remind myself to try this.

The other reason why I need to stop worrying so much is because it robs me of something – something very important. Something called HOPE. When I worry so much, I lose hope. And frankly, right now I need hope. Hope that I can handle whatever happens. Hope that wonderful things will happen too.

I really need to start enjoying Bennett more than I worry about him. After all, there is a lot to enjoy. How can you not enjoy a sweet little boy with an incredible smile who gives sloppy kisses, who has an infectious belly laugh and an apparent love for Salsa music?

So, here’s my reminder for today – ONE DAY AT A TIME. And today is Friday.


Kara said...

Coming from me, advice about this is sketchy at best. Kind of like one mental patient giving advice to another mental patient! (Not that I'm calling you mental Barbara..though I do believe your mother did refer to both of us as crazy in a previous post! Luv ya Grandma!)

Anyways, let me quote our helpful friend the Buddha:

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly."

My best advice to you and what's helped me most is to celebrate TODAY. Sometimes looking at things a different way can change your outlook too. I stopped worrying about whether or not Kasia would walk, talk, etc. and instead started looking forward to the day that she WOULD do those things. Much easier on the spirit....

Your story is an incredible one, and you've overcome so many obstacles. You should feel like you can do anything!

Mummu and Poppa said...

Yes - One Day At A Time - is not the 'subject' but just the title.

The subject is Bennett - giving to all of us all that he is and all that he will be. Let us count our blessings!

None of us know what tomorrow will bring but be damned if we are going to stop living until we have to - until our number is up.

We all have obstacles at one point or another in our lives, but we do our best to overcome them and move forward.

Premature babies fight to live.

People on their death beds fight to breath and live on.

As long as we are alive we have a purpose.

My Aunt Aline underwent open heart surgery and says that the only reason she is still here is because her work here is not yet done. So be it for all of us.

Buddha is oh so right. We can do nothing about the past; we know nothing of the future; our only 'job' is to live wisely and earnestly and give thanks for lifes 'little treasurers' - which believe it or not - WE ALL ARE!

The saying is that 'today is the first day of the rest of your life' ... so live it as the gift in which it is presented to you ... in good faith!

No amount of worrying will change one aspect of life. Only the human spirt can make changes. Go out and share who you are with those who love you.

We do not know Bennett's capabilities but they will be 'endless' as long as he is able to strive and achieve. He has come 'along way baby' and we know that he has 'along way to go'!

Barbara, your shoulders are too small to carry the 'burdens of the world' so why not give them to God and see what happens ... so far God has been very good and generous in giving us mommy, daddy and Bennett.

Let us rejoice and be glad!

Love and Prayers
Mummu and Poppa
xxx ooo xxx ooo

Mummu and Poppa said...

'Anyone can hate. It costs to love.' How true!

As parents we are only human and we can only do what we can do - we should not beat ourself up trying to do 'everything' because in the long run it is so much easier just 'to let go' and live and enjoy the moment. There is so much joy in Bennett's life.

We only pass this way but once.

Just look at the beaming smile on Bennett's face and no words need be said. He is truly happy and we are happy with and for him.

As Willie Nelson said 'Once I started counting my blessings my who world changed!'

'We must have the courage to allow a little disorder in our lives.'
~Ben Weininger~

The beauties of the world will be seen by Bennett as he creates some and strives to reach others. It is only our joy to travel with him on his adventure. Aging is a life long affair and we wish Bennett long life.

We also wish mommy and daddy a safe and happy journey.

Whatever or whoever your higher power, don't be afraid to call on Him - that is what He is there for. It can't hurt.

God Bless with love and prayers
Mummu and Poppa
xxx ooo xxx ooo

Anonymous said...

So every person deals with things differently. Some look to spirituality, some seek advice of friends, some worry. We all deal with things in our own ways and you know what Mommy it is OK to worry. We all wonder what tomorrow will bring but I think your "reminder" rings true. Today is Saturday ... the day Bennett had breakfast with grandpa before he went to see the horses with Auntie Kerry and his cousin Amber. The day Bennett enjoyed french fries in his high chair with ketchup all over his face. Tonight we will all go camping in the driveway. So like your blog is titled One Day at a time and today has been pretty wonderful so far. We will tackle tomorrow ... well tomorrow.

Daddy aka Jim

grandma and grandpa said...

you have handled whatever shit has been thrown at you with bravery, courage and determination. You have fought valiantly for whatever our Bennett needs. You are right when you say that you can't control the future. However, here are a few things that I have learned as a parent.
Lesson # 1:Sometimes I've been a good parent and sometimes I've blown it. I don't think that I have ever been a bad parent and you seem to have turned out ok..
Lesson # 2: Learn from the past, it will help you deal with the future.
Lesson # 3: Prepare for tomorrow but don't expect it to come out the way you planned it. Life (as you, of all people, well knows), can throw you for a loop. (there are other words I'd rather use than "loop", but you get the idea).
Lesson # 4: Worrying about the future can make you crazy. Most of the stuff you worry about will never come to past. However, I believe that my worrying about the Berlin wall is what finally brought it down.
Lesson # 5: I can't control everything as much as I'd like to.
Lesson # 6 : As your mother I do worry about a lot of the same things that you worry about (even if you are 30 something) I started worrying about you the day you were born. I worry about Bennett but I was determined from the time we learned he had CP that I was going to enjoy every moment that I had with him. And, ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, there is are a lot to enjoy. It would take me an hour, minimum, to list them all.
Lesson # 7:
The biggest lesson I learned is that as far as the future goes, I'll worry about it when it comes and deal with it then too.
This part is not a lesson. This is about unconditional love, acceptance and faith that he is going to do great in life. He is a smart little guy in spite of the CP. He is also a little trickster, joker and so much fun to be with. He is also stubborn and determined and be darned if I know where he got that, Barbara.
Barbara, you are also one of my heroes!
Lots of love, hugs and kisses
Mom AKA mikey and grandma

Bonnie said...

Hello Mom. I can certainly understand how easy it is to get wrapped up in worrying about what will happen. The Buddha is correct - live in the moment or you will miss its beauty.

I would say though, that given what you have gone through, it's amazing you don't worry more. As mumu says, you can give all of this worry over to God (it really does work, even if you might think you don't have much faith).

The other thing that really helps is just talking about what you're worried about with someone. Everyone can tell you "don't worry" - and it's not your fault - and you can't control this. You can though, walk through it. I know some people in Sudbury who do a great job in helping people walk through their worrying and come to a place of peace (which will be good for you, dad, and especially Bennett). If you want to talk to them, just let me know.
Auntie Bonnie

Mummu and Poppa said...

All in all - isn't life grand?

We can all agree and disagree and still love one another and be friends.

Every coin has two sides (not two faces)and we can learn from both sides.

We all bring something different to the table, but sitting at the head is himself, Bennett, who draws us all together in love.

Yes, no matter how old we are (Grandma and Mummu included) we are still learning and sharing with our families. Hopefully we will never be too old to learn!

Today, it is so nice to hear that our 'little family' went to the horse stables. We bet that Auntie Kerry and Counsin Amber were some proud of Bennett. They will all have stories to tell.

Continue enjoying today and tomorrow will come soon enough.

Take care and God Bless!

Mummu and Poppa
xxx ooo xxx ooo

Barbara said...

Thank you so much - all of you for your thoughtful comments and words of support. Sometimes it's easy to get overwhelmed. That's when it's important to live in the moment and enjoy what you have now.

The main focus of the blog is Bennett and to cheer him on. But sometimes I need it to. Thank you for being there!

Dawn said...

I think another commenter said it right, it's amazing you don't worry more with all you've been through.

But like you say, "one day at a time." Take things as they come, and try not to worry as it gets us no where. I know easier said than done

Kiera Beth said...

Barbara - Your posts are always so honest and so touching. You are right about one day at a time. I am so impressed with your strength and courage with everything that you have been through. I am also touched by the comments of your friends and family. I have found you have to be a remarkable person to be surrounded by remarkable people and surrounded you are :)

Even though we are "cyber" know that you have support from all over North America. If times get tough we are here to support you in word and in thought and whatever else we can provide.

Mummu and Poppa said...

We love you.

Mummu and Poppa
xxx ooo xxx ooo