The glare of the theatre lights warmed my skin as my body shivered. The cesarean section was about to begin. Everyone was poised, ready to carry out their designated duties yet I felt inadequate and out of my depth. I’d been in this environment before but this was different. This time, I wasn’t a face amongst the milieu of professionals but rather a patient, a mother waiting to meet her child. Little did I know this role reversal would become the routine of my life; no longer a qualified nurse but rather a nervous unqualified mother.
Ten weeks later, I sat across from another doctor and wished I was the nurse, not the parent. I had been in this room before. The room where the truth changes a life forever but this time the news irrevocably changed my family; my son had severe and extensive brain damage.
Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
As my son grew, the complexities of his disabilities were revealed. With each new diagnosis, life-threatening seizure, and Ambulance ride, I was thrust down an unwanted road. So much of the medical landscape was familiar. As much as I understood the truth of the equipment and readings, my emotions were unprepared to watch my child hooked up to a ventilator, fighting for his life.
There were times I lay in the hospital bed next to my son wishing I didn’t know the truth, feeling the truth about special needs trapped me, rather than set me free. I was fearful of what a new day might bring. Too often, as a nurse, I knew the ‘truth’ about our situation before most parents and I longed for blissful ignorance.
Recently, I published my memoir, The Skies I’m Under. In the process of writing my story, I walked around the darkest rooms of my past, lighting them with the torch of my memory. Telling my story caused me to sit and wait until my eyes adjusted to the darkness. It was a painful process but eventually I became so accustomed to the shadows that I was able to rise up, throw back the curtains and allow in the light. This didn’t make everything easier. Sometimes the light brought with it painful clarity.
Having just celebrated Easter, I am reminded that this too was the experience of the disciples. Although the empty tomb brought truth and hope, it didn’t take away all their grief or confusion. Easter Sunday wasn’t the fairy tale ending they had expected, but it did become the amazing beginning of a different, rocky and remarkable road.
In writing The Skies I’m Under, I expressed afresh the pain of my own Passion Week Friday and Saturday, and in doing so I found the miracle of Easter Sunday. My Sunday is complicated, confusing and at times hard. It wasn’t the miracle I wanted but turned out to be just as transforming.
Have you thought about sharing the Truth of your life and your story? If you do it might just change you.
You can buy ‘The Skies I’m Under’ on paperback here or here and as an ebook/kindle here
This blog was originally posted on Different Dream.