Monday, August 15, 2016

Would I Choose This Life?

Miles pondering the meaning of life, 18 months.

When Bryce and I were engaged, he lived in Chicago and I lived in Arizona. It was long distance for 5 months as I planned the wedding and we relied on phone calls to keep in touch. He had just started his first big boy job as an auditor for PwC and the hours were absolutely brutal. He would usually call me as he was getting off work at 1 am. When he first got there, he worked in the North Suburbs and didn’t have a car. After work one night he missed all the buses and trains home. He couldn’t find a cab and was walking in deep snow in his dress shoes with no coat on in the middle of nowhere. He was overwhelmed.

On my 28th birthday that fall, Bryce didn’t call me. I know, I know. He was in his new job and wasn’t able to, but you can’t expect girl on her birth to be rational. I was so mad. In the many years since, he has learned my very appropriate expectations for my birthday. Gowns, private jet, Filet Mignon, dripping in diamonds…am I right girls?! Anyway, his best friend, Erik, text me happy birthday and asked how we were doing. Bryce and Erik are very close and for some reason I just spilled my guts to him that things were really hard and frustrating and I was wondering if we should even get married. (I’m telling you, my birthday is REALLY important to me!) I’ll never forget what he said.

“Now is the time to see what you guys are truly made of.”

That was all he needed to say. This is when we get to see the nitty gritty of our relationship. Were we made of the good stuff or bad stuff? The forever stuff or the give up stuff? It was up to us. I know we were made for the deep down, good and bad, never ever getting rid of each other stuff.

I love putting my husband in the hot seat and asking him philosophical questions. He always humors me and honestly answers, hoping that we can quickly move on to watching reruns of The Office.

“If you could know that our 4th child would also be disabled, would you stop having children?” I realize this is a loaded question to ask as Pam and Jim are reminiscing of their love for mixed berry yogurt.

“Not necessarily.” He seemed confident in his answer.

“If you could know our 4th child would be healthy, would you have another one for sure?”

“Not necessarily. One at a time Allison.” Hmmmm, that answer was the same and I needed to pry more.

“If someone could tell you that two of your children would be disabled, and you would go through everything we have gone through, would you still make all the same choices?”

“Yes I definitely would.” Say whaaaaat? I mean, that’s what I wanted him to say but he was taking it a step further. He said he wouldn’t ponder it and be afraid. He would CHOOSE this life, exactly as it is. And if someone could have given him a crystal ball at 22 and told him how it would play out, he would gladly move forward into it. Did I feel the same way? I had to chew on that for a bit.

Let’s say an angel could give me a message about what the future would hold before I had children. She is telling me to move forward without fear and not change my course because this is God’s plan for me. Well, honestly I may need a little convincing because it sounds frickin scary Angel! This is how imagine it going:

ME: “Will I be able to keep my mojo? The fun side of me that is carefree? I don’t want to lose myself.”
Angel: “You are going to change a lot. Don’t limit yourself to who you thought you would be. Let yourself become the woman God intended. It’s much better than the woman you once were. And yes, you will still have mojo. Like, tons of it.”

Me: “What if others judge us? I don’t want a whole future full of that. I’m more sensitive than people think.”
Angel: “They will. They will also have someone to answer to for that. But honestly, that was going to happen either way. That’s people and that’s life. Don’t place your self-worth in others dumb dumb.”

Did Angel just call me a dumb dumb?

Me: “I’m worried about my oldest son. What if I can’t be the kind of mother he needs because I’m so focused on the other children?”
Angel: “Oh come on! You know that kid is a child prodigy in every way. Besides, you grew up in his shoes and you are an absolute hoot to be around.”
Me: “Wow Angel. Now I’m blushing.”

Me: “Well what about my husband? What if he isn’t satisfied with this life and secretly feels held back or disappointed in choosing me?”
Angel: “Who Bryce?! Ummm, he will adore his life with you and you know that’s a guy after God’s own heart. I’m not even going to tell him you said that insane statement because he would laugh and say worrying is a sin so you better buck up you just get over this nonsense!”

Wow. This Angel really has some sass. I like her.

Me: “Why do my children have to experience more suffering than others? And what if I lose them too soon? I won’t be able to handle it. Actually this all sounds like a lot Angel. Are you sure this is the plan?”
Angel: “Listen to me. Hard things bring you closer to God. Do not envy those that breeze through life Allison. They won’t get to experience some of the beautiful things you will. And you will never handle this alone. That’s why I’m here.”
Me: “Couldn’t it all be that way without this disability stuff? The pain, the heartache?”
Angel: “No it can’t. Stop overthinking it girlfriend! Your kids are the cutest ones God has made yet! You won’t be worrying about this stuff every day. Now do you want me to tell you who the next Bachelor is?”
Me: “No! Don’t spoil the entire future for me! I like surprises too. Sheesh.”

Well that solves it. I would choose this life too. Over and over. Because that’s what has been asked of me and also because it’s so beautifully worth it.


1 comment:

  1. Wow. As a mom of two special needs daughters, no genetic link between them, the second diagnosis a crushing disappointment because we had been told she was fine, I really needed this tonight. It's not about me, it's about them. It's not about what it cost me or how I've changed or how it feels. It's about those two girls, about bringing glory to God, and about striving to see the beautiful. The beautiful that comes especially from these circumstances, not in spite of it. Thanks.