“…new life starts in the dark. Whether it is a seed in the ground, a baby in the womb, or Jesus in the tomb, it starts in the dark.”
Barbara Brown Taylor
I spent all day Monday in bed. I knew depression had shown up big time. I’ve wrestled with it long enough to know it’s tricks, so I have a few of my own. On Tuesday, I headed to the park.
The worst thing you can do when you are depressed is to stay home alone and eat the entire bag of Oreo’s.
(Not that I’ve ever done that!) So, I walked and I walked and I walked. I let the cool breeze make my eyes water. I smiled at dogs and tried to say hello to strangers. And then it started. The melody first in my head, over and over it played. About one mile down the road I heard the first line,
“We all get something in this life, that we can’t change or fix.”
I started talking out loud to myself, at first in a sweet voice, but then in my stern dead mother’s voice, “Lynn, this is your life now. You tell everyone that it’s about acceptance of what ‘is’. You are always saying that you can’t ask ‘why’ or you will stay stuck, and that you must keep moving forward. So keep moving forward! Oh, and stop eating Oreo’s!” And then another line came into my head, and then another. By the time I finished the second mile, the entire song was written.
This song came out of darkness.
It came out of my own struggle with depression and the truth that having a special needs child in the end always comes down to daily acceptance of what is.
As typical humans living and breathing on this planet we have our struggles. We will worry about tomorrow and beat ourselves up for things we did last week, last month or when we were in college. We will over indulge, self-medicate and worry. Or at least I will. So, when I look at my special needs child, and I find myself thinking that he has a rough life, I remember that I have it all backwards.
Those born with the ability to live solely in the moment, they are in fact the lucky ones.
When I returned home from my walk I reached out to a couple friends. Depression wants you to believe that you are alone. It is a lie. I was not. Within twenty-four hours my community of support helped me shoot the video, record the track, gather photos and be able to share this with you.
I’m thankful for my journey and the gift of this song, that started in the dark.
Happy World Down Syndrome Day!
Lately, I have been feeling quite…. crunchy. You know, crabby mixed with self-loathing and a touch of anger. So when this arrived today, it was just the thing I needed to remind me to stop whining and get moving.
I told a friend the other day that I’ve been trying to figure out which I should be doing,
“waiting patiently on God or making shit happen”.
When I got this in the mail today, I was reminded that it is BOTH at the SAME TIME. This is what God and the universe asks us to do. To live our lives filled with hopeful breath and expectation and faith that God is working His magic and arranging all the chess pieces, and at the same time we must stay busy sending out emails, creating things, dreaming and planning for the future.
The serendipity and God’s timing that the creation of this foundation has come to fruition – almost one year to the date of my experience in the Apple store – is not lost on me! The fact that I will now get to financially help other special needs families with things that insurance will not cover (iPads, jogging strollers, counseling or even a much needed dinner out) is so exciting to me.
I’ll be posting more about this in the weeks and months to come, but I couldn’t wait one more minute to share the good news!
Thank you James for showing me how to help others!
#TheJamesRinkFoundation #grateful #wrapyourheartaroundit
I know I’ve talked a lot in this blog about how hard this year has been, and there have been many times that I felt helpless and that things were out of my control.
But watching your child be sick has got to be one of the hardest things ever!
Last night at a family gathering for my nephew Mark’s birthday, James was not wanting to participate. I pushed him and pushed him to be a part of the party, to sit at the table and sing Happy Birthday with his cousins Grady and Emily, and show my family how cute he can be!! He responded by crying and gagging to the point of throwing up. Couldn’t have been more opposite of cute. This alone is enough to make me feel horrible. But to realize the next day, that he truly was starting to be sick, makes me feel even worse. But I had no way of knowing that this “bug” had entered his system. I thought he was just being a crabby ten-year-old
boy and I wanted him to be “present” for the celebration. I demanded he be present.
I wanted him to perform.
It’s such a fine line between challenging him out of his comfort zone or not. But as I just typed that sentence I realize that when the motivation is about “me” I’ve gone too far. When will I finally get that almost everything is not about me?
Sometime around 2:30am, James woke and seemed happy. He sang songs and cuddled. But around 7am, things took a drastic turn. The fever arrived and by the way he is swallowing, I’m guessing a horrible sore throat. I don’t know. But he and Elmo were out for the count
He fell back to sleep this morning and I laid next to him and apologized. I apologized for pushing him yesterday. And I said that
I know that he came into this world in this form and body to teach me and others about how to let go of all that doesn’t matter in life.
I told him that I know that his presence on this planet is bigger than participating in a birthday dinner. And that it just took me a day to remember that if singing Happy Birthday to Uncle Mark makes him feel uncomfortable, then maybe that’s okay. Because the truth is that James is thankful for Uncle Mark every single minute of every single day and doesn’t need a cake to remind him to be.
I seem to need a cake or donut to remind me of everything!
We also had a long talk about medicine and how much it would help him, if he would only take it. Sigh So here’s a Christmas puzzle for you…. James eats five foods when he’s with me; yogurt, cheese sticks, pancakes, noodles and Auntie Kiki’s toast. Occasionally a fruit cup or applesauce. And of course, lots of milk.
If someone can tell me how to hide medicine in any of these that James will not discover, it will truly be a Christmas miracle.
(I’m confident also that is someone would manufacture odorless tasteless med’s they would make a fortune. At least off us!)
Once again, it comes down to acceptance of what is, of WHO James is. And today he is sick. So, we will cuddle and sleep and pray and read Cat In The Hat books and try to stay away from the dozen’s and dozen’s of cookies on Auntie Kiki’s table. (Okay, I may have already failed at that goal and it’s only 10:15am.)
I was listening to a great book last week called “The Obstacle IS the way” and heard this;
“We wrongly assume that moving forward is the only way to progress, the only way we can win. Sometimes, staying put, going sideways, or moving backward is actually the best way.”
So today I embrace my failures. I’ll embrace going sideways and I’ll be thankful for James’ illness, only because it may be the one thing and the only way that helps me approach this Christmas season reminded of what is truly important.
Happy Birthday Uncle Mark. We love you every day.