Behold, thy Mother



Tuesday of this week was the kind of day where bad things happened.

Three people associated with the school all lost their cool at separate times and said hurtful remarks to me about things that Jack hadn’t actually done but which they were afraid he might do.

When someone vehemently spouts their displeasure at a special needs mom about her kid, it’s a little like kicking a mortally-wounded horse. Not trying to be dramatic, here, just honest.

I keep thinking of that scene from All the Light We Cannot See when the the Nazi youths are instructed to throw buckets of cold water on a starving, sick Jewish man. Outside, in the middle of the night. In winter.

It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, when people are freaking out at me because caring for Jack is hard, I feel like that dying Jew.

I know it’s hard, you guys. I do it, always. I’ve been doing it for eleven and a half years. I know exactly what it’s like and I. Can’t. Fix. It. Nor can I quit or request a transfer.

I called Jeff and cried. He rearranged his schedule so he could be home that night. I ate mint chocolate truffles in my bed.

Jack seemed out of sorts after school, so I loaded the kids and the respite sitter into the van and went to the pediatrician’s office. Jeff met us there and held Jack on the floor so they could a) look in his ears and b) squirt the flu mist up his nose. Actually, she only was able to glimpse in one ear. It was so hard to restrain Jack, and that one ear was so infected that the doctor put her otoscope away and wrote us a script, fast.

Also, Jack pooped his pants during all of this, so the exam room smelled like a latrine.

And I wanted to fall into a crevasse, never to be heard from again.

But instead I drove to my faculty development meeting and, on the way there, listened to Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk, “Behold, thy Mother.”

I wanted healing.

I felt desolate.

I was heartbroken for Jack, who can’t speak and whose mind doesn’t work like everyone else’s. How desolate must he feel?

Anyway, Holland’s words were a salve.

I bore Jack and I am bearing with him. We are tethered together on this steep, cold mountain, crevasses all around.

Jack has me and I have Jack.

We have each other. We have Jeff and the boys.

We have Jesus.

The end.


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