April 3rd 1992 was a day that I will never in my life forget. I was married with a beautiful 3 year old daughter named Abbey. I was also 36 weeks pregnant and sitting in the Doctor’s office for a routine exam where suddenly, I was hearing words that were so foreign to me that I almost couldn’t understand them. I was hearing that the baby I was carrying no longer had a heart beat. I was hearing that I needed to go to the Hospital and go thru labor and eventually deliver a baby that I would never know. My husband and I drove to the hospital and 24 short hours later, I delivered a baby boy. Alvin William. He was absolutely beautiful. At first, I thought my Faith was being tested, but, I quickly learned, it was my Faith that I drew upon. I had to have Faith that my baby would be in Heaven waiting for me some day. Faith that God would help me to get up and care for my little girl that still needed me and needed me whole, not damaged. Faith that I would not be angry and ugly. My faith got me through that and so much more. In the next several months, I learned that whatever had caused my sweet baby to die, had also caused damage that would prove to make it extremely difficult for me to conceive again. This is where my Perseverance kicked in. I went to Doctor after Doctor to solve the problem and finally one day, I found the right Doctor that guided us through the process and helped us conceive again. It took all the Strength I had to get myself through that pregnancy. I was scared everyday that I would end up with that same fate as before. But, I am happy to tell you that on November 12th 1992, I gave birth to another beautiful daughter, Rachel . The joy of that day is immeasurable. I would go on again, 4 years later to give birth to yet again, another daughter. July 31, 1997 Sophie Jo completed our family with her smile, laugh and wit. While my only son is in heaven, I rest well knowing that he is where he should be and that someday, I will get to see him again.
Life went on for a few years, but my marriage was not strong enough to handle all that had transpired and we divorced in 2000. Here is yet another example of my Faith, Strength and Perseverance. I suddenly was a single mother of 3 daughters. Our motto….”Girls can do anything” and we did. We painted, mowed shoveled and even learned to kill spiders, we lived day to day never skipping a beat. We look back now and laugh, but, boy oh boy, it wasn’t funny at the time.
All along while single, I always knew that God would provide me with a loving husband, a man for my girls to love and be loved by. I swore that I was going to show my daughters what a real marriage was supposed to look like. Finally, I met Brian. He is strong, loving and more of a father to my daughters then I ever thought possible. We now have been married for 9 years. Not all ‘bliss” but for the most part, no complaints.
I would love to say that my story ends there, but, unfortunately it does not. In the first few years of our marriage, we had our share of hurdles. I had to have a hysterectomy, Brian had a knee replacement, we had unemployment issues and Deaths in the family including my Father which as anyone can imagine, was one of the hardest days of my life. While I am happy I was able to be there and help him feel comfort and love in his last days. It was a pain I had never felt before. I tried in this situation to draw again on my faith. I took comfort in knowing that my Dad would be in heaven with my son waiting for me. No better place for my son than with my Dad.
The past year of my life has taken yet another unexpected turn. I spent a year and a half trying to figure out what I thought was Carpel tunnel in my left hand. Again, Doctor after different Doctor with no one being able to find the problem. Finally, I was sent to a young Doctor that sat with me, listened to me, asked new questions of me and tested me. He finally called Brian and I into his office and again, I heard words that took me a minute to understand. He told me I have M.S. My own immune system was attacking my nerve endings. My immune system had eaten away at the nerves of my left hand. My hand as damaged forever and we would need to do further testing to see to what extent my nerves were damaged, We sat and looked at an image of my brain with white spots all over it. White spots that look so small but that mean so much. I couldn’t understand or comprehend. Thankfully Brian was with me and heard and absorbed it all. I now wake up every day not knowing what the day will hold. I wake up and start taking medication, 8 pills a day where before I took none. Pills that thankfully I can afford. There are pains that come and go, but thankfully for now anyway, they for the most part go. There is pain in walking, but I can still walk. There is trouble with memory, but, I have learned to take notes mental and written. There are days when I just don’t want to get out of bed, but then I remember Brian, Abbey , Rachel and Sophie. I remember that I have there 100% support of me and my new life. I remember what a wonderful life I have. I remember that there are millions of people that have it much worse than I do. I remember that I need to live each day that is given to me and live it to the fullest. And that my friends, is exactly what I am doing. Happily.