When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My achy, breaky heart

Today, is a hard day.  My heart hurts.  My breath aches. My eyes are filled with tears.  I just want you to know that many people struggle.  Some people never see the hurt, or the pain that they cause.  Some people don’t realize what they do.  Some people don’t know or understand what mean-ness is all about.  At least, I like to hope that they don’t.  I like to think that they wouldn’t make these choices if they really knew. 
So today, I am going to talk about my little pioneer.  She is going through a hard time.  She has a disease that makes her different from the other children her age.  She was diagnosed a little over a year ago.  It has not been easy for her. 
I remember the day we went to the doctor’s office to try and find out what was going on.  We knew something was wrong.  We had never seen anything like this before; neither had the doctor.  That doctor called another doctor, who called another doctor and so on.  They kept sending us to new doctors.  It seemed as if no one on the mountain could diagnose the problem. 
Finally, we found a pediatrician that knew what to look for.  She sat down and talked to my little sweetheart, and promised that we would find out what was wrong.  She told her that the first thing she was looking for was a brain tumor.  That was a shock.  It made it the hardest day ever, but she sent us to the hospital for all the tests, and had us wait for the results.  She called us within an hour to give us the news that the results were negative.  We were so relieved.  We wrapped our arms around each other and cried tears of joy.  We both decided that we could deal with anything now that that was out of the way.
So the doctor referred us to Phoenix Children’s hospital to a specialist.  They were able to diagnose the disease.  It was not one that I ever thought possible.  We hoped that it would go away; we wanted it to go away; we prayed that it would go away; but it did not.  It was still there every night when she went to bed, and every morning when she got up.
I have never known anyone to handle it as well as this child.  I have been able to realize that nothing has changed really.  She is still the same child that I have always loved.  She is still just as beautiful, just as strong, and just as amazing as she has always been.  Maybe even more so, because now I see what she must go through to just try and fit in.  Now I see what she must endure.  Now I am starting to realize just how much I admire and respect her.  Most of all, I am starting to realize just how much she must mean to our Heavenly Father.  He knows exactly what she needs to develop into the daughter that He needs her to be. 
But still, I would take away high school if I could.  I would endure it for her.  I would wish that her heart did not hurt every single day.  I cannot; but I can love her; I can support her, and I can always remember who she is and what she can become.  I can’t “fix” things, or take away her trials.  I can only hold her while she cries and remind her that she is loved and wanted and needed exactly the way she is.  In spite of her disease that continues to make her different from her peers.
I think we could handle the disease.  It is not the worst thing to ever happen.  But, it is the bullying, the name-calling, the un-acceptance, the people who think that she can just “decide” to stop and everything will be well.  The people who don’t see the problem on most days, so on a bad day, they think she is faking.  The teachers who don’t help her to learn, the school who tries to ignore it and hopes that I won’t cause any problems. 
It is all the little things concerning how others see her and treat her that cause the most hurt with this.  It is hard enough to be a teenager without having others continually tell you and show you how different you are. 
So, my point, none of us can possibly know exactly what anyone is going through.  None of us can walk in their shoes, or feel their pain.  Sometimes, we can experience something similar, but we are each unique.  We need to be so careful what we say to others.  It is the things that we say (or sometimes don’t say) that do the most damage. 
I can tell you from personal experience that I don’t remember near as much of the physical abuse that I suffered as I remember the words that were said to me time after time.  It is the words that come back to my head when I am feeling blue.  It is the negative statements that come back to haunt me and that find a hold in my heart. 
Talk to your children about differences.  Just because someone is handicapped or acts differently, doesn’t mean that they can’t be hurt.  It doesn’t mean that they are not “normal”.  It doesn’t mean that they don’t feel, and need, and laugh, and cry.  It doesn’t mean that they are not human, with all the emotions and thoughts that go with that wonderful blessing. 
Talk to your children about kindness.  What it means, what it is, and how it works.  Teach them that words can make a difference to someone.  That being included can mean so much to someone who is not part of the group.  Teach them that it is never Ok to be a bully.  That it is never ok to poke fun or tease.  Teach them the golden rule and how it applies to each one of Heavenly Father’s children. 
Most of all, teach them that every single one of us are children of a Heavenly Father who loves us.  He knows our differences.  He knows our challenges.  He knows our pain.  He alone knows the price we pay to be different. 
May each of us strive just a little harder to be just a little bit better to all those who are around us.  May kindness be more than just something we preach.  May we always remember that we are His hands, His eyes, and His heart while we are hear upon the earth.  
Too often, we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. ~Leo Buscaglia
And one more for you to remember:
During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz. I breezed through the questions until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was a joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade. "Absolutely," the professor said. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello." I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy. ~Joann C. Jones
I am also joining up with Life Unmasked for this one.  Write a post, or post a picture or a poem that talks about how you really feel.  Then join us over with Joy at Joy in this journey, to link up and share. 
Life: UnmaskedIt is a new writing prompt and I already think that I will love it. 


  1. Wow. Such wonderful words you expressed here. She is lucky she has you in her life. What does she have?

  2. Bless her heart. I don't know why some people have to be so mean. My 8 yr old grandson asked me about this a few months ago. He was struggling with bullies at school.
    I will be praying for your daughter...and you. And the mean kids and not-so-understanding teachers at school!
    God gave this child to you because He knew you were the one to get her trough all of this!
    She's so blessed to have you!

  3. Thinking of you at this time. You just wrote some wonderful words that I wish everyone could read. Sorry for the pain that you, your daughter, and your family are going through. Hang in there!

  4. My heart goes out to you and your family. Kids are already so mean these days that when you add in something else, it just makes things worse. You sound like a wonderful family, though, and I'm sure through your strength your daughter will endure. *hugs*

  5. My thoughts are with you. You've written some incredibly words ... thank you.

  6. I have an acky breaky heart for her after reading this post. Everything you said is true, it's the negative words that you pull back again and again throughout our lives. If everyone could just be kind.

    At Brady's high school this year a burn victim started school there. They had an assembly to explain about the new student, an assembly to encourage the students to be kind, not to stare and to be aware of what he has gone through during his recovery. Plus they answered any questions the students had. It was a positive thing for the students and the burn victim - they also discussed other siturations. The school has been big on the program that came out of the Columbine High School massacre.

    We all want to belong and have a friend. It's tough when bullies attack and no one is around to defend. I wish I could offer some help other then prayers for your sweet daughter, you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and concern and love for your sweet daughter. I hope things will get easire for her.

  7. I'm so sorry your daughter has such a hard trial in her life. It is so hard as parents when we have to watch our children suffer in this way. You have said some things here that so many need to hear and understand. Your words also give me cause to reflect on my own parenting and how I handle similar situations with my own kids... I need to be better about just loving my kids and listening to them...

    Thank you. I hope things get better for your daughter at school. Sometimes I wish I could make high school go away for my kids too.

  8. Thank you for being so open about the hurt and pain. Your daughter sounds like a strong and amazing girl, but even the strongest of us can be hurt deeply by little things.

    And as a side note, one of things I love about being a home care nurse is that my patients are called by their names, not room numbers like patients were when I worked in the hospital.

    kateri @ http://dandelionhaven.blogspot.com/

  9. Thank you so much for your prayers and your support. I know that we will get through this, it is just hard to watch and have to sit and do nothing. I just want to protect her and help her, and instead, I am left feeling helpless myself.

  10. Miss Patty,
    You tell your daughter that I SAID she is the most amazing, beautiful, brilliant young lady on the planet. I read this post through so many tears. I was bullied mercilessly as a child...kids are just plain rotten. I suppose some adults are too. But ya know what? Obviously the kids that pick on her are feeling so badly about themselves that they have to hurt others. I am so sorry that your baby girl has to be the brunt of it. I know how it feels. It's heart-wrenching. But if she is anything like her Momma, and I'm sure she is, she will come out on top. Because she is AMAZING and gifted and perfect, just the way God made her.
    Love you.