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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Seasons, Butterflies and Lizards

Today's post is born from a heavy heart...a burden for my child shouldering the weight of the world as she raises a special needs child...a child with a life long handicap that has been determined to be the most expensive handicap a child can have.  A handicap that causes many marriages to fail, and families to split apart under the stress.

God created the seasons of the year but I like to think there are seasons of the HEART as well.  I am going through a season of feeling powerless...having to step back and watch the people I love most in this world bear burdens I would gladly bear myself.  A season of  wanting to step in and take control when life is out of control...wanting to take the pain away or at least kiss it and make it better.  It worked when our children were little but now we can only sit back and watch our grown children bear the burdens heaped upon them and want once again "to kiss it and make it all better".
If only a kiss would make it all better, I would fill their world with butterfly kisses, raspberry kisses, big sloppy kisses, kisses upon kisses
IF ONLY................................................

My precious Grandson James got new braces today.  Forrest Gump kind of braces...the kind of braces that SHOUT to the world I HAVE A HANDICAPPED CHILD/GRANDCHILD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
His mother, Mary Ellen, and my oldest daughter, simply wasn't prepared for the Institutional Look of these new braces.  In the past, James' braces have been tempered with cool shoes, cool colors, blinking lights in the soles of the shoes, and even stickers.  No amount of stickers are going to make these puppies look cool. 

The reason for the braces however, is to correct the right foot from turning in at a severe angle.  Every option has been tried and nothing has worked.  James even has to wear some sort of "cables" at night when he sleeps???!!

These new braces involve a metal ring around the waist covered in leather and a flexible pole going down the side of his leg.  I will have to post pictures so you can see how "lovely" they are.  HOWEVER, we know in our head  the Braces are necessary to reach James' goal of *Independent Walking"!!  Our hearts just haven't caught up as yet.
Today this smile was replaced with tears and fear of the unknown...on the part of ALL of us!  Will the Braces work?  Will his foot alignment be corrected?  How long will he wear them?  What happens if they DON'T work??  These are all questions we have no answers for...at least not on this day...maybe 3 months...6 months...1 yr.  down the road, we'll have some answers.  Will MORE Therapy be the answer???

  My prayers are for my daughter to have the physical and emotional strength to WALK this journey with James.  I'm thankful for Josh and his support as her husband and father to James.  I would not want her to walk this path as a single Mom!!

It's these days of NOT KNOWING how everything is going to turn out, having to walk in Faith,  having to Keep On Keeping On even when the spirit is down, finding strength when the soul is weary and having to sit on the sidelines cheering from the bleachers.  I want to comfort but don't have the words.  I want to offer wisdom but feel ignorant in the face of such overwhelming obstacles.

I am reminded that my daughter is still the same child who at age 3 picked up a lizard and when I told her to put it down because she might get bit, put her little spunky hands on her hips and with finger pointed, told me "Now you just go back to your Cross Stichin and I"LL handle this lizard.
If Only this was just a Lizard, sweetheart........................................................................................

My Prayer, Dear Lord, is that while in a cocoon of love, the best medical attention available, physical,speech, & occupational therapy, and good teachers, you will allow James to grow, strengthen, and prepare for the miracle of becoming a Butterfly.  Help us through these dark days when all we have is our Faith in YOU.


  1. What a beautiful post Jane - one that hammers at the hearts of all parents and grandparents. We would love to carry the burdens of those we love but if we did they would become weak and ineffective as adults. It's only through their own labor as they work through the difficult things that they gain strength. Just as James' muscles have to be strengthened to make his foot become straight, your daughter has to work her own emotions to gain the strength of character God wants from his children. But He will walk beside that family every step they take, slow and faltering at first but gradually a little faster and a little lighter. Watch and listen and you'll hear His steps. blessings, marlene

  2. What a powerful post! right from a momma's heart. Praying God's peace, comfort and strength for you. Take care


  3. So many parents and grandparents have the same hopes, wishes, worries, and concerns about the lives and events of our children. The hardest thing in the world is knowing how or when to let go and allow them to made decisions, go down their own paths, and still let them know that you are there if needed...

  4. Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world, one for which we are given little or no training and for which we have to rely on our own instincts, whether they are good or bad. Sounds as though your instincts in raising your daughter were good, just as hers (and her husband of course) are for raising young James. That includes making these difficult decisions, because they are made with the best of love and intentions. Sending virtual hugs to you all.

  5. There is something about life's lessons that melts our hearts and allows more love to fill them. Whatever challenge your sweet James will face, the love around him will surely carry the burden. You may not realize this at the moment, but it is these moments that bring out the best in all of us...

  6. Thanks for sharing this heartfelt post...as a grandparent I know what you are saying is true. Your family is blessed to have such a powerful prayer warrior on their side...God bless all of you. Hugs and prayers to you!

  7. I wish that I had some great words of comfort. It's kind of hard to know how to phrase things for a computer screen. All I can say is to remember the braces are just a small part of who James is.
    I'm sure he has a ton of love around him, with time the braces will just be part of normal day wear. As for the rest of society. If they can't see the love and happyiness that James has to offer, they are the one's missing out.

  8. Oh do I know how you feel, we have a similar problem with our grandson who is four and was born blind. He is the sunshine of our life and I watch my daughter struggle everyday with her own medical problems of diabetes and kidney dialysis now a part of her life. We do as much as we can to help out and my prayer everyday is that she won't die before we raise this little boy. It is hard by prayer is our saviour and
    God will get us through. Blessings and prayers for you and your family. Sandra

  9. James is doing so well, all because ME has persevered and not given up. To God's glory, she and Josh and James will be strong and will continue to be conquerors! I know how much your prayers have had to do with their successes so far, Jane -- I continue to lift them with you! :)

  10. What a heart-wrenching post that brings tears to my eyes that someone so young should have to endure something so challenging. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, but you are sure supplying the love and support.

    As a cancer survivor, my mantra was "You gotta believe" and "Miracles do happen". I hope the same holds true for Little Janmes.

  11. I appreciated your post so much. As a "daughter" who (along with my DH) raised our severe special needs daughter who went to home to be with the Lord 4 years ago at the age of 30 .... I now understand how my Mom felt. She was a wonderful support and at times tried to expess her sadness for us but I just didn't get it. Thank you for sharing a "mother's heart" for her daughter and helping me understand the ache she also felt. I will be praying for your family.

  12. What a beautiful post from a mom's (& grandma's) heart of love! I know your dear grandson is very loved. He is blessed to have such a loving family.

    I am finding out more and more that as a grandma and mom of adult children that I am having to go to God in prayer even more often! Many things we can't fix, like we did as the mom of little children!!! IT is so hard at times. God engineers all of our circumstances, we have to trust in that fact. My prayer is that He will give you strength and encouragement as a grandmother, and for your daughter too! Hang in there sweet grandma ((((Jane))))), hugs for you!! xoxo Gloria

  13. Hello Jane,

    My name is Helen and my blog name is "Time for Mimi". I just came across your blog this evening and I'm reading this post in particular.

    I'm a grandmother of 6 wonderful grandchildren, and I have a couple who are "special" because of "issues".

    Watching your child (and not being able to kiss it and make it all better) is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I have a grandson who is autistic. He gets lots of therapy, therapists come and go from their home all hours of the day. Seeing my daughter handle this and watching her deal with all sorts of issues can be heartbreaking. I have another daughter who has two children with issues, too. The older one (nearly 3) has hydrocephalus (water on the brain). She had brain surgery at 3 days old. She is doing fantastic! The second child has a hand that has no fingers. It breaks my heart that my grandchildren (and my children) have to suffer, but I don't know God's plan for them.

    I can understand your feelings, dear Grandmama. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.


Blessings to all of you who have taken the time to leave your thoughtful comments. I read each one and hope you will come back often!

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