From My Mother is the story of a woman’s resilience in raising her two children despite a terminal disease in her son and herself. It’s the story of a family ravaged by genetic disease.
To ravage is to destroy, or ransack. Myotonic muscular dystrophy took my mother and my brother. My daddy is the only one I have left from my nuclear family as a child. But look at this:
I lost my brother and mother, but I survived. My nuclear family has two beautiful children, a man who loves to serve the Spirit, and even my dad lives under our roof. My dad and I, we are surviving and thriving in a family ravaged by genetic disease.
What let me come through a life where my brother almost died pretty much every year in his 13 years of life? How did I get past the anger at God for showing me the goodness of my brother and leaving me in a fallen world? What turned the page so I could accept my gifts as blessings rather than just part of a life longer than my innocence? How did I lose my mother shortly after my son was born and manage to try to raise him like my mother raised me? How did I not come out screwed up, angry, depressed and faithless?
The faith of my mother.
From My Mother is a journey of faith, the story of my maturity. In my mother’s last full day on earth, she told me of a dream – she told me she dreamed of my brother watering the gardens of heaven. She knew she would have her life support removed the next day; she knew she would die. I sat by her bed and she moved her hand to show Dustin running and jumping, free of his disability and happy in heaven. She went to the Lord with open arms and a happy heart, joyous to head home to her eternal rest with her son and Savior.
How does a woman survive the a traumatic birth expereince that shifts a family’s fate? How does a woman keep going each day as her muscles are weakening? How does a mother carry on after her son died in her arms? How does a woman seek to enjoy each day as her strength is dwindling away?
My mother did it by faith.
I don’t know how anyone else will do it. I don’t know that it is the only answer. But it was a good answer. It worked. She faced death bravely, with dignity, and paved the way for my life to go on.
By her faith at the time of her death, she gave me faith for the rest of my life.
I’m a woman of faith, but I have questions. I believe, but I have my doubts. I cringe when I hear cliched phrases that make it seem like “everything is awesome” in regards to faith and answering prayers. I wonder why suffering clung to my mother. I wonder why my brother died young. I’ve questioned many things. But because my mother loved me, because she loved God, because she trusted in the Ultimate Reward, I have peace.
I still have many questions about life, and I’m sure as time goes on I will have more rather than less, but I’ve come to appreciate this verse:
“By the grace of God I am what I am.” (1st Corinthians 15:10 NIV)
Have complex questions of faith in facing a currently incurable disease? Want an honest perspective of life in a family with a terminally ill child? Want to know how I continue to go on after loss?
Read From My Mother. It is a story that ends in death for more than one loved character, but it is not a tragedy. It is a story of an Ultimate Victory.