Maybe I have a skewed view of how life really was now that it’s been almost a year since I lost my son, but I know our three years, though precious and amazing, we’re not easy. We had long hospital stays, g-tube feeds, medications, countless appointments, therapies, specialists, emergencies, messes, and very little sleep.
But I never really minded any of it. Truly. Yes, it was my duty as a mother, and I signed up for it when I made the conscious decision to parent, but I enjoyed caring for my son. I wished with every ounce of my soul that I could heal what hurt him, and believed in my soul that with our efforts he would overcome his ailments. But through all of it, I rarely, if ever, lost my patience.
Today, I have to practice patience.
When driving in rush hour traffic, I have to tell myself I will reach my destination eventually, and there is no reason to weave through cars just to slam on the brakes. Leave the house earlier if you feel hurried and anxious.
At work, I have to take a deep breath before responding to questions and comments that I know are not well intentioned or well thought.
I listen to those around me complain about their pets or partners or car problems and they often expect sympathy from me. I practice patience and respond with a generic “I’m sorry” when really all I want to say is, “You haven’t lost a child. You don’t have real problems.”
But I hate that I feel that way. Because that isn’t me. I don’t lack empathy. I do feel sorry that they are having issues with their car, or their pet, or their partner. And I want to be sympathetic. So I practice patience. And I respond with as much sympathy as I can.
Then I go cry in my car.
I miss my baby. But it’s not anyone’s fault. I wish I were still caring for him. It was my favorite job in the world. But now I have a new job. And today, I am going to be grateful for that.