Mother’s Day. This day has a different meaning after you’ve had to witness your child suffer.
My first born made me who I am today. He made me a mother, a caregiver, a nurse, a doctor, a friend. He also made me a strong person who is willing to conquer anything that’s related to his well-being, a person who becomes emotional just from seeing him eat a meal, a person that doesn’t get angry when he talks back at me, a person that walks in his room at night just to watch him sleep.
The journey is horrible. There’s no nice way to say it. It’s a journey that no one should ever have to experience. For us, the hard part of the journey is behind us but the struggle never ends. When the doctors said “go back to normal life,” we picked up our broken pieces and came home.
Home didn’t feel like home after spending that long in the hospital. It wasn’t home until Chai Lifeline Canada stepped in. Our case manager never left our sight. She called almost every day asking if we needed anything, and even when we said no, she still sent someone to spend time with our children, bring dinner or just say hi.
Later, when our son was more stable, he was invited to Camp Lifeline, a day camp for kids who are undergoing treatment or who have medical of physical disability. That was the first time in a long time that I saw my son running, dancing, and laughing so hard he teared – it brought us pure joy to see it.
Since then, my son has been able to participate in many Chai Lifeline events and programs that have helped him heal emotionally from his journey. He has made a lifelong friend with one of the volunteers who has now become a part of our family.
Going back to “normal life” took us about one year. It was as challenging as going through the journey at the hospital. Thanks to Chai Lifeline we were able to understand what normal life really means, and they were there for us to take the baby steps we needed at the time.
For me, Mother’s Day will forever be a day of giving thanks that I’m a mother. I see this day as a day to celebrate my best gift – the one I received the day he was born.