Are they all Yours? Part II


Depression is a living Hell.  You see life moving around you, but you cannot be part of it, at least the way you want to.  I wished to finish my Master’s, but I couldn’t.  It is a completely desperate feeling.

My first-born son didn’t stop crying.  Many family members came to help the new parents, but nobody was able to console him.  The pediatrician said it was colic.  With what I know now, I think he had sensory problems.  The fact that I was depressed didn’t help him.  It was a horrible experience that I want to forget, but there is something to be learned from it.  What?, you may ask  Well, keep reading.

In the worst moments of my life, I have always seen how my whole little world can be turned upside down and there is nothing I can do about it, at least in earthly terms.  These are the times when I have to decide whether if I am going to keep on living that way or whether I am going to let God take care of everything.  Of course, I am stubborn and get angry at God.  This has not been the “perfect” life that I had always imagined.

Time passed and the post-partum depression faded away.  I became pregnant with my second son.  Oh boy!  Little did I know how this baby was really going to shake my life, but to new heights.  I was already expecting to have a baby that cried all the time and to feel miserable.  What else could be worst than that? If you are asking yourself why I didn’t see a psychiatrist, well I didn’t know I was suffering from post-partum depression at that time and I didn’t want to accept that I needed help.  That is a common symptom in people that suffer from mental illness.

Well, this new baby slept and barely complained.  It was the opposite from the first one.  Then, when we started waiting for the baby to reach developmental milestones like crawling and sitting down, he never did.  That is how our life changed again to one full of doctor visits and therapies.  Everything was a struggle for the poor baby. When he turned one and a half, he was still having trouble walking and spoke no words.  If you have read articles in the newspaper or watched the news, you may have an idea of what else was wrong with him.

My husband finished his federal clerkship and applied for a job in Washington D.C.  He got the job and we moved to Virginia with a two- and- half- year- old and a one- and- half- year- old.  My little one became more immersed in his world and he wasn’t interested in communicating with us.  The oldest one became extremely active and prone to accidents.  He was always looking for that sensory input.  He couldn’t be left alone for one second.  Yes, toddlers are active little things that can kill themselves in an instant. Naps were taken on the floor with me by their side and the door locked.  You get the idea!

I have to say that God is good.  Even when I didn’t want to have anything to do with him, he was always there.  I will explain why.  I took a job as a preschool teacher, so the kids would be able to socialize.  There I met many wonderful people who recommended a nearby pediatrician.  This doctor just retired a few years ago, after seeing my boys for more than 8 years.  He was always there for me.  He gave me the referrals to the best specialists.  He is the reason my second son was diagnosed with autism at an early age in one of the best places that knew how to deal with the condition 10 years ago, when there wasn’t enough information about it.  So yes, God is good and is always with you, every step of the way.  Especially during those hard times when I hated him and asked, “why me?”  When things get hard, I whine like a little toddler!




Worrying About Little Things

It is incredible how much we worry about little things that are not important. The only thing that matters is finding our way to get to Heaven.

As Saint Josemaría Escrivá once said: “We are all called to be saints in the middle of the world by doing ordinary things.”  So, can mothers and wives be saints?  Can all the kid’s screaming, cooking, cleaning, the never ending mountains of laundry, and the lack of sleep take us to heaven?  Yes, it can, but this is not an easy road.  I always remember what one priest once told me: “If things are going perfectly fine, without problems, you should worry.  That is not the way to heaven.”

When I was a mom in my twenties, I used to get so mad when I overheard other women complaining about how their kids were not reading or writing the way they wanted.  During this time, one of my sons was receiving speech and physical therapy services many times a week, so he could do what other kids just learned by themselves.  I wanted to yell and tell them to stop whining.  That they had a “normal” life.  But, what is normal? My crazy life with two kids with disabilities and four with unique  and demanding needs is now normal to me.

To tell the truth, I learned a lot from those experiences, even when I don’t remember most of it.  Nevertheless, when I think about those times, I feel like my stomach is going to burst.  Now, I tell to myself: “Don’t worry about these little things, you are paving your road to heaven.”