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.


  14 comments for “Behold, thy Mother

  1. terra
    October 15, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    I love what you wrote. I love you and Jack and your entire family. Thank you for sharing – reading this reminded me that I’m not alone and I’m not the only one having days like you mentioned in this article. Miss you.

  2. Megan Welch
    October 15, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    I read an article recently that said motherhood is not a role but a relationship. I thought of that while reading your description of being tethered together. Thank you for sharing, and for seeing that in order to keep yourself together enough to carry on the relationship you had to step back from the role and eat truffles in your bed. Get sloshed on truffles, Megan. It is absolutely the right thing to do.

  3. Kerri
    October 15, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Your words are healing to me, friend. Always.

  4. Melody
    October 15, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Bear up, dear. Or down. As the day demands. This is beautiful, as are you and yours. Thanks for writing.

  5. Louise Plummer
    October 15, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    You give me courage. And I need courage.

  6. Debbie Tiek
    October 16, 2015 at 10:21 am

    I love you sweet sister! Somedays are so unbelievably hard. Thank you so for sharing. 8 Love that you just keep walking. ..

  7. Molly
    October 16, 2015 at 10:40 am

    So well said, so true. I get so frustrated when the people who work with my son act like they are telling me news about my sons behavior. I have got the nod and saying ok, thank you down pretty good. Then I go home and cry and eat my face off. Thank you for your words, they lift me!

  8. Blue
    October 16, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Megan, I am literally weeping reading this. Real tears. Yours is one of the most beautiful souls ever created. I love you so much.

  9. Emily M.
    October 16, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Thanks you. I love your writing and your hard-won wisdom.

  10. Emily M.
    October 16, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Um, thank you. Not thanks you.

  11. Jennifer
    October 17, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    You have me. And I have you.

  12. October 17, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    I cried. .

  13. Susan
    October 19, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I don’t know if you’ve ever read this, but it is amazing.
    What is your sign?

  14. October 22, 2015 at 10:07 am

    We need to meet so I can give you a big hug. Not that it would change anything, but I know it’s got to be so hard and hope you know you are doing an amazing job. I think you added several fingers of crystal to your chandelier that day.

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