I never fully appreciated my mom until I became one myself. I’m not saying that I didn’t love her with all my heart, it’s just that I had no idea what it took to be a mother, the sacrifices, the hard work and the intense love for your child that comes with it.
When my daughter was diagnosed with the rare disease cystinosis at 15 months old it was a scary time. We’d never heard of it and there were so many questions and unknowns. Thankfully we had a lot of support from our friends and family right away but the one that stands out for me is my mother.
I remember talking to her one night about how hard it was to watch my baby go through all the pokes from countless blood tests and watch her get sick every morning as her body adjusted to the new medications she had to take and it dawned on me, this must be twice as hard on Mom. Not only did she have to watch her granddaughter deal with a life-long disease, she also had to watch her daughter struggle to come to terms with this new reality while trying to learn how to best care for her child. She had to see me completely forget about myself and give everything to my daughter, see the pain I was in that I was ignoring and see the toll it was taking on both me and my husband.
Yet somehow she knew exactly how to help. She was there supporting my family while never making me feel judged. She was there just to listen without offering unwanted advice. She was there wanting to learn all about the medications and how to administer them to my daughter.
Without her loving support in those first few months I would’ve been completely lost.
Six weeks ago we welcomed our second child, a beautiful baby boy, and my mother has been over every week to support and help out while we adjust to life with a toddler and newborn. This is despite making the three-hour commute, staying over at our place, and putting her life on hold two to three days a week. Although I know she gets just as much out of these visits as I do, now that I’m also a mother I can fully appreciate the sacrifices she’s making to be here for us.
My mom has taught and continues to teach me how to be a loving, supportive and compassionate mother. The qualities I strive to have for my children she already has and she has been my biggest role model and supporter for all of my life. Even though I’m now an adult with a family of my own, I will never stop needing my mother and I know that she will never stop being there for me. I’m forever grateful for the eternal love of a mother and I hope my children will be too.
Amanda is a mother to two beautiful children and her family resides in New Westminster, British Columbia. When her oldest child was diagnosed with the rare disease cystinosis she started a blog to chronicle their story and help other families come to terms with their diagnosis and show them there will still be lots of joy and love ahead. You can follow their story at www.elsinosis.wordpress.com
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